History of Red Sea rig

Red Sea rig was initially a Royal Navy idea which appears around 1800. Historically, it was felt that Royal Navy officials, being gentlemen, must wear the full suitable uniform for all official events, whatever the heat. The only exception was in the Red Sea, where the high temperature and moisture often made this physically impractical. Here, officers were allowed to take away their jackets in the wardroom, provided they added a cummerbund inorder to temper the somewhat casual look.

In his memories For King as well as Country, Nelson Albert Tomalin describe a rather home-made edition of Red Sea rig worn onboard the whaler Southern ocean in 1943 as white suits with epaulettes and lengthy blue trousers with a black duster as a cummerbund.

Because of its noticeable practicality, Red Sea rig was adopt by the civilian life, first by British ambassadors in the Red Sea town of Jeddah, and later on by the local British Business Group. It is now widely worn by lots of military and civilian organizations and is frequently the dress code of choice for banquet parties in British expatriate community in the Middle East and Far East.

Red Sea rig originate in the days before air conditioning as a merely practical gauge, but has now turn into a dress-style in its own right, even if the festivity or function is to be held at home.