Who, What, Wear? Opening Ball 2018

Isabelle and Maiah give us some handy fashion advice for Opening Ball 2018

With the first ball of the season fast approaching, it’s time to start scouting the end of summer sales and the new collections from the fall season!  Whether it’s your first St Andrews ball, or you are a seasoned black tie veteran, know that everyone will be dressed to impress on October 6th.  Here are some autumn trends perfect for the changing season and the first black tie ball of the year.

Calf-Length Dresses

Look out for dresses which hit just above the ankle, for a look that is surprisingly practical while remaining elegant.  The hem won’t get scuffed on the dance floor, but still maintains the floor-length look.  This is a style that is simple and fun, but won’t get lost in the crowd.

Loud Prints

From polka dot to leopard, prints can be a scream for attention or a subtle way to stand out.  They are a statement while remaining fun and stylish.  If rocking a cheetah print dress may not be your vibe, shoes and accessories are alternatives that can be just as chic.  Even as it begins to get colder, prints are a great last ode to summer.


Necklace Layering

Multiple necklaces are a great way to jazz up an outfit, and do not require purchasing new jewellery.  Regardless of whether you choose gold or silver, they look great in contrast to a fading tan and are a stellar addition to any outfit.  This really is a look that is entirely customisable to your taste.


A wonderful alternative to the full-length dress, and just as elongating and sophisticated, jumpsuits are easy to move in.  The huge variety of styles means finding one that fits your personality is easy.  Whether you go for a bold print or just a simple colour, wide leg or tuxedo pant, you are sure to make a statement in a jumpsuit!

So get out there and be sure to put your best foot forward at Opening Ball this year!  Whether you go classic gown or an alternative print or pant leg, the marquee at Lower College Lawn gives everyone the chance to impress at Kate Kennedy’s first event of the academic year.  Don’t miss out on what is sure to be an evening of fun and daring looks for the ladies!

Source: (ASOS)

And of course, we should never forget the guys when it comes to black tie events!  It seems as if it is always the ladies that get the most attention or fashion tips when it comes to balls.  After all, there always seems to be an unspoken rule (which should be banished) among girls that we really cannot wear the same dress twice.  On the other hand, for the gentlemen, it’s alright to rewear the same black suit or black tux because they are classics and are meant to be reworn to multiple events.  But, there are so many more options than just a simple black tux for guys that are great to show at Opening Ball.


Changes in formal wear do not have to be drastic.  It can be as simple as finding a new suit jacket with a pattern or different fabric.  From tartan to velvet, from navy blue to forest green, Opening Ball has seen an array of unique and even colourful suit jackets paired with simple black trousers.  Fabrics can also change up the shirts worn underneath your suit jacket.  Pair a classic black jacket with a fun gingham button-up, or subtle paisley print.


From colourful bowties to patterned pocket squares, changing up an old accessory is another simple way to jazz up your old suit or tux.  Whether it is a paisley tie, a simple black bowtie, or even a daring cravat, there are an array of choices available that almost always match a classic black tux.  Another smart addition to any black tie outfit is the addition of glasses, whether they are metal or tortoiseshell.  This accessory is sure to amp up a simple formal outfit, and makes you look sophisticated no matter the occasion.

Photo: Ampersand

Kilts & Tartan

Opening Ball has seen an array of kilts rather than tuxes or suits, and the results are daring yet traditional at the same time.  Kilts bring a certain sense of nostalgia to a formal event and classic tartan is never a bad option, especially at Scotland’s first university.  And if you don’t want to of all-out in a kilt but want to sport some tartan?  You can find a variety of tartan-themed accessories to match a classic black tux in town, from bowties to suspenders to pocket squares.


Loafers or Oxfords? Brogues or laces?  Tassels or buckles?  Like the suit or tux, you may think that options may be limited to simple black shoes as formal wear, but in reality, there are so many options you can try, and what better place than Opening Ball?  Formal shoes for men come in endless styles, colours, and materials, from suede to leather.  But above all, (as for any kind of shoe), make sure they are comfortable!

Whether you are classic or daring, Opening Ball offers the opportunity for many a gentleman to look their best and step out of their comfort zone at one of the most popular events at St Andrews.  For any student, especially the new freshers who are just getting accustomed to life at St Andrews, Opening Ball 2018 will surely be a magical, fun-filled night to be introduced to life in our favourite coastal town.



105 thoughts on “Who, What, Wear? Opening Ball 2018

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