"Suggested White Mess Jacket"
By Cmdr. C.F. Goodrich, U.S. Navy, October 30, 1893
Pen and ink on paper
5 5/8" x 8" National Archives and Records Administration, Naval Records Collection
of the Office of Naval Records and Library
Military Uniforms: Navy White Mess
Jacket On October 30, 1893, Cmdr. C.F. Goodrich, U.S.
Navy, wrote to the Bureau of Navigation about the need for white, lightweight,
dress clothes for officers. He explained that the lack of such uniforms
caused naval officers to suffer considerable discomfort in tropical climates.
He also mentioned that the Navy's white service coat, which was indistinguishable
from civilian garb, was inadequate for a recent invitation from the Governor
General of Indochina (now called Vietnam), where the dress "tenue en blanc"
(white uniforms) was indicated. Goodrich recommended this white mess coat
for evening wear in the tropics and for warm weather in temperate zones.
The short coat with stand-up collar was to be worn with cummerbund instead
of waistcoat, a style that was worn by civilian and military men in the
East for many years.