Whitehall civil servants are able to pass the cost of hiring evening dress onto the taxpayer, it has been revealed.
Since 2008 civilian staff working for the Ministry of Defence have been able to put almost 16,000 worth of formal-wear on expenses.
The figures, uncovered in a series of parliamentary questions tabled by Tory MP Priti Patel, also show that in July 2008 the Treasury allowed one official to spend £75 for the hire of full evening dress "required to attend an official engagement".
Some departments, such as the Department for Transport and the Department for Education were unable to provide figures as they do not keep the information in their computer systems.
However other unlucky civil servants, including those working in the Cabinet Office, are not given an evening dress allowance.
Since 2008 a total of 80 MoD officials have been able to expense dinner jackets or formal dresses for official events - including the £3,001 spent on 14 staff in 2012-13.