The full court dress is made with gold braid. It consists of a black button-down high-collar jacket with leafy golden embroidery on the chest, cuffs and long tails; black breeches with golden piping at each side; and a cocked hat with white ostrich plumes. The full dress version is (or more usually was) worn by British officials, ambassadors, governors-general and the like.
The uniform was worn mainly by governors and other colonial officials within the British Empire. In the 20th century it became popular among the Governors General, Lieutenant governors, ambassadors, and even Prime Ministers of Commonwealth Realm countries. Similar uniforms were worn in numerous other (mostly European) nations, and became the standard uniform until as late as the 1960s. Today the uniform is rarely seen. Court Dress is to be distinguished from Court Uniform. It is worn by all men not entitled to Court Uniform or military uniform on all occasions of state where such are customarily worn. Court occasions include Courts, State Balls, and Evening State Parties, and Levées. Courts are for the presentation of men, levées for women.
Peers' robes were worn over normal dress, which gradually became stylized as the court suit. It was only from the late eighteenth century that court dress became fossilized. By the early to mid eighteenth century velvet was largely confined to court dress. Court dress was obligatory in Westminster Abbey for all not wearing official or lordly apparel, an effective method of utterly excluding the general public.