Wear of the Decorations of the
1. Insignia of the orders is worn in its full size only (except where noted here) and only in the form intended for the grade. For example, the holder of the Grand Cross of an order wears the insignia intended for a sash only on the sash, never on a neck badge. This applies regardless of the level of dress.
EXCEPTION: Those who hold the grades of Commander or Grand Cross of an order that is superceded for wear by a higher order may wear that insignia mounted on a medal bar in the usual manner.
EXCEPTION: The insignia of the Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle is distinct and is permitted to be worn from a neck ribbon rather than a sash when superceded by a higher order with a sash.
2. The Aquiline Order of Christ and the Bailiffs of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle have distinct insignia that is only worn at the neck, even if the sash is not worn.
3. The Pontifical and Imperial Orders are not worn in miniature. The full size insignia is always used. For Knights, regardless of level of dress, the insignia of the order is worn in full size. If, with evening dress, a bar of miniature medals is worn, the knight's cross of the order is worn from its ribbon drape underneath the miniature medals.
EXCEPTION: The Pontifical Order of the Eagle and the Aquiline Order of Christ have distinct miniature eagle insignia. It may be mounted on a bar of miniature medals or worn separately in the manner prescribed by the statutes of the order.
4. The miniature eagle insignia of the Aquiline Order of Christ and the Bailiffs of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle may be worn from the appropriate ribbon at the neck in addition to the left side of the chest. The miniature eagles of other grades of the Order of the Eagle are never worn at the neck.
5. Clergy holding the Grand Cross of an order may wear it with the clerical habit either on the sash or on a ribbon about the neck.
White Tie and Full Dress (court and evening)
Full size insignia of the orders is worn. Other decorations may be worn in miniature, mounted on a bar in the customary manner. If a Grand Cross of an order is held, the sash of the order should be worn. With a tailcoat, the sash is worn under the coat and over the waistcoat. (Sometimes it is worn underneath the waistcoat as well.) Most sashes are worn over the right shoulder, terminating with the bow and badge at the left hip. Of the P.I. orders, only the sash of the Religious and Military Order of Saints Anne and Alexander Nevsky is worn over the left shoulder, terminating at the right hip. For wear underneath a jacket, sashes may be cut and finished with small ribbon ties or buttons that go through a loop or buttonhole on the waistcoat. This permits the sash to be worn lower and at a more aesthetically pleasing angle. With uniforms and clerical dress, the wear of the sash is similar and is governed by the regulations pertaining to the uniform.
If more than one Grand Cross is held, up to three sashes may be worn, with the highest in precedence on top. The exception is that if the highest order is the Order of Saints Anne and Alexander Nevsky, which is worn over the left shoulder, then it can only be worn alone. If that order is held along with the Grand Cross of a higher order, then the sash of the Order of Saints Anne and Alexander Nevsky may be worn underneath the higher order, but over the right shoulder.
Up to four or five stars may be worn, in order of precedence. If two stars are held, then that of the higher order, even if of lower rank, is worn above the other, frequently with the two stars forming a vertical line. However, the line may be skewed as deemed necessary for practical or aesthetic purposes. Sometimes two stars are worn in a horizontal line, though this is more common on uniforms than with white tie and tails.
If stars of three orders are held, then they are commonly worn in a triangular formation, with one above two or two above one. If four stars are worn, then the fourth is typically worn below the line of the second and third with the four stars forming a general pattern of a diamond.
One neck decoration may be worn with civil dress. More may be worn with clerical dress or uniforms according to their regulations.
A grand collar / chain of an order may be worn according to the occasion.
With an evening gown, the sash is worn over the gown and often is affixed to the gown by a brooch at the shoulder or on the back. Sometimes the specific course of the sash is altered according to the gown for aesthetic purposes. Usually the lady's variant of the sash is more narrow than that of a gentleman, though the same full-width version may also correctly be used.
Neck decorations are rarely worn by ladies with an evening dress for aesthetic reasons. Similarly, the bar of miniature medals as worn by gentlemen is not generally worn. Rather, decorations are typically worn on the left side pendant from a bow of the ribbon of the order/decoration. Usually only one or two decorations are worn in that manner, though this varies according to circumstances and preferences.
Ladies wear stars in the same manner as gentlemen, pinned to the evening gown. If the sash passes over where a star will be pinned, then the star is pinned over the sash. Typically fewer stars are worn on an evening gown for aesthetic reasons and weight of the insignia.
On particularly formal or ceremonial occasions, a grand collar may be worn. The specific wear of the collar is typically given in the rules of the order. Typically they are pinned in the middle at each shoulder so that approximately half of the collar is in the front, and half is in the back.
Full Dress (Day and parade)
With uniforms, wear follows the regulations of the uniform. With clerical habits, it is identical to white tie above, except that full-size medals are worn instead of miniature.
With civil dress, if medals are worn, then they are full-size. The miniature/informal badge of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle or the Aquiline Order of Christ may be worn pendant from the buttonhole of the left lapel, provided that no medal bar is worn. The miniature or greater eagle of the Aquiline Order of Christ and the Bailiffs of the Pontifical Order of the Eagle may be worn from the appropriate ribbon at the neck; or else the greater eagle may be optionally worn from its chain.
Sashes generally are not worn, but are on occasion. If used, they are usually worn underneath the coat with civil dress.
With civil dress, usually only one neck badge and one star may be worn, but depending on the circumtances, as many stars as may be worn with white tie and tails may be worn. This also varies for uniforms and clerical dress according to regulations.
The specific decorations and number of decorations worn with morning dress should correspond to the formality of the event. One rosette or other similar miniature informal insignia may alternatively be worn in place of all other decorations.
Miniature medals are not worn. Large medals, if worn, should be mounted. These are usually on a single bar, but this various by country. On a single bar they may be swing mounted (each medal hanging from its own ribbon drape and left to swing free), court mounted (each medal from its own ribbon drape attached to corresponding backing ribbons covering a rigid board; the medals are then sewn to the board to prevent swinging), or pontifical court mounted (as swing mounting, but with the ribbon looped behind and brought down to the top of the medal and finished in a point, without a rigid board; the medals are then sewn to the backing ribbons to prevent swinging).
Decorations, if used, follow the customs pertaining to ladies' evening attire.
Black Tie (Smoking)
As given for white tie, except that sashes usually are not worn. If the occasion warrants usually only one sash is worn. Also, usually no more than one star is worn, but this may vary according to the occasion. With civil dress, one rosette or other similar miniature informal insignia may alternatively be worn in place of all other decorations.
As described for ladies in white tie, with the modifications given for gentlemen above regarding formality, number, and type of decorations.
General Dress (Lounge or Business Suits)
As given for morning dress, but sashes are almost never worn, and usually no more than one star is worn. With civil dress, one rosette or other similar miniature informal insignia may alternatively be worn in place of all other decorations.
Identical to the customs described for gentlemen.