The Navy's dress blue uniform is one of two formal uniforms worn for specially designated occasions. It is characterized by the trademark blue coat and has a number of prescribed as well as optional items that may be worn if the individual prefers or is eligible by rank. The other formal uniform worn by the Navy is called the full dress white.
The tell-tale garments worn with the dress blue uniform are the service dress blue coat and blue trousers. Women generally have the option of wearing either blue slacks or a blue skirt. The sailor wears the combination white cap, white dress shirt and undershirt (or female undergarment). The necktie, shoes, socks and belt are all black, though the belt is ornamented with a gold buckle. If the sailor has earned medals, he or she may wear them with the dress blue. If the sailor's rank is at or above lieutenant commander, the sword may also be worn. Optional items or frills worn with the dress blue include but are not limited to gold cuff-links, shoe covers and tie clasp.
The dress blue is one of the Navy's most formal options, so it is usually worn for important events, such as assuming or relinquishing of command ceremonies. Additionally, the Navy states that the uniform is worn for visits of foreign dignitaries or armed forces personnel, as well as state functions and solemn occasions such as funerals or similar observances.