One of the best perks of being a military spouse is the time-honored tradition of attending a military ball. Getting all gussied up with one of our fancy military ball dresses, fancy hair, and fancy jewelry is something many of us military spouses look forward to each year. And seeing our service member in his dress uniform…*fans herself*…there is a reason there is the saying, “Women love a man in uniform.”
Every year we try to find the perfect dress for our one special night out. We want something that is classic and elegant, but also that speaks to our style and personality. Most balls are formal, which means most military ball dresses are recommended to be floor-length, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with the style and accessories.
Daily Mom Military searched for the best military ball dresses and accessories for this ball season, so you don’t have too. Check out our Military Ball Dress Look Book for 2018 with Lulus, Hope Designs, Jane & Cope, and Charliemadison Originals:
For the Romantic Lady
If your personal style is a little more sweet with a bit of sexy, then this look is for you. The Romantic Heart Navy Blue Lace Maxi Dress from Lulus is a full-length lace gown. The off-the-shoulder cuffs present a beautiful neckline that is unique and sexy, all while still giving a romantic feel with the eyelash lace overlay. The mermaid skirt gives you a gorgeous fitted silhouette. Navy blue is the perfect color for a military ball gown, as it compliments many service dress uniforms, but the Romantic Heart Lace Maxi Dress also comes in peach.
To create the perfect overall look for this dress, you can couple it with this Be Present bracelet from Charliemadison Originals. Designed and created by a military spouse, these bracelets each have a special meaning behind them. The subtle gray, white, and muted blush give a little pop to your dress.
Polish off your look with a set of these textured gold leather earrings from Jane & Cope. The bright gold is a wonderful compliment to the navy blue of the dress, and the large feather shape brings eyes to your face and the romantic neckline of your dress. These earrings are designed two by military spouse friends and come in a variety of colors and shapes for casual or formal wear.
Shop this Look
For the Elegant Lady
If your personal style is classy with a touch of romance, then this look is for you. The Picture Perfect Navy Blue Lace Maxi Dress from Lulus is a full-length gown with a lace-appliqué bodice. The comfortable flowy gown is topped with a romantic lace bodice, with lace details along the halter neckline. The flowy skirt gives you a gorgeous first-season, Downtownesque look. Navy blue is a complementary color for a military ball gown, but the Picture Perfect Navy Blue Lace Maxi Dress also comes in blush, burgundy, and light gray.
To add complimentary accessories to enhance the look of this dress, you can couple it with this Marines Button on Cuff Bracelet from Hope Design Ltd. Designed and handcrafted by a military spouse, each bracelet is a nod to your service member’s branch. The Marines button give a little pop of class and elegance to your dress.
Complete the look with a set of these Marines Button on Post Earrings from Hope Design Ltd. The bright gold is a wonderful contrast to the navy blue of the dress, and the button matches with the bracelet cuff. These earrings are designed for the Marines, but designs for the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard, and the service academies are all available.
Shop this Look
For the Spicy Chica
Bring on the drama. This dress will make the heads in the room turn as you enter with your flamenco-style flair. The one-shoulder bodice shows off your collarbone and that shoulder you’ve been forming at the gym. The So Amazed One-Shoulder Maxi Dress is a textured, medium-weight knit, giving it details that can only be seen from up close. Its bodycon fit means that it hugs your body the entire way down to its mermaid maxi skirt, making it one of the sexiest dresses in the room, all while staying classy. The dress is stretchy, too, so it’s comfortable to wear during the ceremony and lets you move on the dance floor.
Bring the entire look home with a pair of Cream Shimmer Earrings from Jane & Cope. The large size of the earrings brings eyes up toward the bodice of your dress, showing off the best parts. The cream is a trending color and adds little pop of color to the black So Amazed One-Shoulder Maxi Dress. Your hair can be worn in a low up-do or down with mermaid waves — either way, your fun and flirty dress will be the one everyone is watching.
Shop this Look
For the Woman in Charge
Looking for an elegant, timeless dress that flatters a range of body shapes? Enter the Melora Plum Purple Maxi Dress! This Lulus dress is a full-length gown with a mermaid skirt and back zip. It features tapered straps and a deep-v neckline, with a darted bodice to accommodate a variety of bust sizes. The fabric is our favorite medium-weight knit, which is stretchy enough to be forgiving, but sturdy enough to hold you in (in all the right places). Based on the reviews that we read, this dress is even a fabulous choice for our pregnant and breastfeeding mommas! The Melora Maxi Dress is available in plum purple (shown), black, and navy.
Put the pride you have for your spouse on display with this Custom Marines Button on Brooch 21E from Hope Design. With about 50 different brooch options, as well as buttons, insignias, and patriotic centerpieces, you can mix and match to create your own custom-designed show-stopper. Pro tip: Never know what to get for a mother, aunt, or mother-in-law in your life who seems to have it all? They’ll love all the thought that went into a brooch made just for them!
Accent that beautiful brooch with these Marines Button on French Wire Earrings, also from Hope Design. The classic gold button design pairs so well with a jewel-toned dress! These earrings are dressy, but not over-the-top, so you can even wear them after the ball with jeans and a white tee. Not a Marine Corps spouse? No problem, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, and Army options are also available!
Shop this Look
For the Fun Chick
If your style is both classic and dreamy, meet your ball gown. The Vivid Imagination Cutout Maxi Dress from Lulus is a full-length chiffon gown. With a plunging-v neckline and fitted bodice, the dress transitions into a maxi skirt with a crisscrossing waist and sexy side cutouts. The light, flowing, and pleated chiffon bottom will have you sweeping across the dance floor all night long.
The plum purple adds a pop of romantic color against service dress uniforms, but the Vivid Imagination Cutout Maxi Dress also comes in a variety of colors, including forest green, white, slate blue, wine red, and royal blue.
To create the perfect overall classic look for this dress, you can complete it with this custom-made Branch Brooch (with the military branch of your choice) from Hope Design Ltd., as well as this Navy Button on Memory Wire Bracelet, also by Hope Design Ltd. The bracelet comes in all military branches and a choice of a gold-plated or silver-plated bracelet with a gold-filled or silver-filled drop pendant.
Shop this Look
For the Flirty Lady
You better open your door when this Perfect Opportunity Navy Blue Maxi Dress comes knocking. This dress is a classic mermaid style that is perfect for military ball season, but its flirty straps and low-cut neckline give it a little bit of added style to make it unique. The dress is form-fitting all the way down with a seamed bodice, but the material allows for a bit of stretch so you can still sit (and stand…and sit again…and then stand again) throughout the ball ceremony in comfort. This Perfect Opportunity Navy Blue Maxi Dress will quickly become one of your favorite Ball dresses.
Pair this dress with a pair of Taupe Shimmer Bar Earrings from Jane & Cope to polish off your look. The sparkling color of the earrings give them a classy look, but the unique bar shape is fun and different — a perfect addition to your dress. They are light and comfortable to wear, too, so you won’t even notice them when you’re shaking it on the dance floor at the end of the night.
Finish off your look with something that means something — the Be Present Bracelet in Blush from Charliemadison Originals. The bracelet will remind you to stay mindful of where you are, instead of wondering how your kids are doing with the babysitter (Pro tip: They’re fine.)
Shop this Look
For the Glamorous Lady
If your personal style is a modern twist on 1940’s glamour, your ballgown search stops here. The Crazy About You Black Backless Lace Maxi Dress is a full-length gown. The flattering figure-hugging mermaid skirt is topped with sheer decolletage with lace details along the lace cap sleeves. The sweetheart neckline gives you a gorgeous romantic look and the backless back with a hidden zipper adds a touch of sexy. Black is a figure complimenting color that pairs well with any service uniform, and the fabric is figure forgiving.
To add more glamour to the look, you can couple it with this Marines Button on Memory Wire Bracelet from Hope Design Ltd. Designed and handcrafted by a military spouse, each bracelet is a nod to your service branch. The Marines button is perfect for Marine spouses, but designs for the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard, and the service academies are all available.
Polish off your look with a set of these Silver Shimmer Leather earrings from Jane & Cope. The slight shimmer of the earring adds a pop of glitter to the look, and the long teardrop shape plays on the romance of the lace dress. Jane & Cope is owned and operated by a military spouse, and supporting a fellow military spouse and small business while wearing a fabulous pair of earrings — that’s pretty awesome.
Shop this Look
For the Hollywood Starlet
If you want a ball dress with a bit of a glam factor, then look no further than the Lynne White Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress! This Lulus stunner is a full-length gown in the most flattering medium-weight stretchy knit fabric that hugs you in all the right places. The strapless, off-the-shoulder sleeves are lined with a hidden no-slip strip along the edges, so you can dance the night away without constantly pulling up your dress. The v cutout at the bust adds just a hint of sexiness, while at the same time maintaining full coverage. The skirt has a mermaid shape, which really accentuates your booty. Show off all that hard work you have been putting in at barre class, girl! The crisp white color will pop against the dress uniform of any branch, but the Lynne Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress also comes in black, magenta, navy, and burgundy.
If you want to add a bit of subtle elegance to your dress, you can pair it with the Be Present bracelet from Charliemadison Originals. The gray, white, and blush stones are accented with a hint of rose gold, and the pull-on style means you don’t have to fiddle with securing a clasp!
Put the finishing touches on your look with a set of these textured rose gold leather earrings from Jane & Cope. The rose gold compliments the metallic beads in the bracelet, and the lightweight leather material means these earrings are so light, your earlobes won’t be sore at the end of the night!
Shop this Look
For the Sensual Woman
If your style is classic and timeless, behold the Prima Donna Life Lace Backless Maxi Dress from Lulus. It has an empire waist and mermaid maxi shirt. The top is adorned with a subtle floral lace and dramatic plunging neckline. Adjustable skinny straps create a t-strap across a daring open back, completing this stunning dress. Whether you choose black or white, you’ll be sure to feel like you’re walking the runway in this gorgeous and sexy dress.
To create the perfect overall look for this dress, you can couple it with this Be Present Bracelet from Charliemadison Originals in onyx, or add the Honor Bracelet in blue for a trendy stacked look. Designed and created by a military spouse, these bracelets each have a special meaning behind them.
Complete your classic look with a set of these textured silver crackle earrings from Jane & Cope. They come in three different sizes. The bar shape adds an element of uniqueness to a timeless black dress. These earrings are designed two by military spouse friends and come in a variety of colors and shapes for casual or formal wear.
Shop this Look
Military ball dresses are one of our top five things to shop for as military spouses (you know, behind new furniture since our movers break it all). But attending a military ball is the true honor — seeing the honor and the pride in our service members and their families as we conduct traditions that have spanned decades or centuries is something that no person can forget. You watch your service member stand at attention for Colors, your heart swelling with a pride only known to military spouses.
And with this look-book from Daily Mom Military, you know you’ll look good standing there, too.
Photo Credits: Lauren Lomsdale | Christina Carter