The U.S. Navy holds khaki balls in honor of new chiefs after they have advanced. Khaki balls are informal, so you should not wear formal outfits to these balls. You should not, however, dress too casually either. Family members, friends and members of the military can attend these balls to support chiefs they know. Dress appropriately at a khaki ball to show respect for the chiefs who are being honored.
Members of the Military
If you are a member of the military you should wear your uniform to a khaki ball. Chiefs who are being honored at the ball must wear the khaki uniforms that the military gives them. Chiefs can wear ribbons on their uniforms at khaki balls, but the ribbons are optional. It is crucial that chiefs wear their khaki uniforms, since these uniforms are the reason why khaki balls have their names.
Civilian women should look polished and sophisticated, but not overly formal. You can wear a cocktail dress, pantsuit, slacks, a casual but conservative dress, or a skirt with a blouse or sweater set. Solid-colored black, navy, dark brown or gray cocktail dresses or pantsuits look sophisticated, but do not look too formal for a khaki ball. You can also wear a printed or solid-colored silk or satin blouse with slacks. Well-tailored clothing will make you feel polished and confident. You may want to check with other women attending the ball, as levels of dressiness can differ from one location to another.
Civilian men who attend khaki balls can wear informal or business casual clothing. You can wear a button-down shirt with a collar, or a polo or golf shirt. Wear dark, solid-colored slacks. Tuck your shirt into your slacks and wear a black or brown belt, depending on the color of your clothing. Wear shoes that are the same color as your belt so you will look coordinated.
Clothing to Avoid
Women should avoid dresses, blouses and pantsuits that have beading on them, since beaded clothing can look too formal. Dress conservatively, avoiding floor-length dresses and clothing that is tight, low-cut or revealing. In addition, avoid large or brightly colored jewelry. Men should not wear T-shirts or other shirts without collars. Both men and women should avoid wearing shorts, denim, sneakers, or brightly colored, flashy clothing.