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3 tips to prepare for your Res College formal

By Kara 23 Jul 2019
Image of Res College students.


Once a year, a magical time rolls around at college when ball gowns are taken from the cupboard and suits become the dress-code... it's formal season! Now, when I first came to college I was unsure what to expect of these formals—would it be like high school all over again (not even close), a who-wore-it-best situation, or something else …?

These are my tips to help you prepare so you can make the most of the formal season!

Step 1: The outfit

For the lads, this means making sure your suit actually still fits. I have known many guys to just trust the suit they wore in high school will fit, and they were WRONG. Additionally, when you are trying on your suit, make sure it is clean and iron it if you need to.

Now ladies, you also need to check your dress fits and is clean. If not, I know we are all on a budget, it’s time to buy a new dress (or see if you can borrow one from a friend or sibling, or try op shopping!). If your dress fits but you’ve worn it to a few events already, you could also change things up with new shoes or accessories. Speaking from personal experience, you can never have too many shoes and accessories.

Step 2: Pick your table

When you’re picking who you want to sit with at these types of events, my recommendation would be to sit with the people you are going to have the best time with. These are the people you can be certain will switch a meal with you if needed, giggle with you at one of those classic college jokes and will be ready to take a million and one selfies with you.

Kara formal season blog image

Step 3: Ensure everything is ready EARLY

Formal comes in two parts: the formal and the after party. Most people require an outfit change between the two, so it is important to have everything planned out ahead of time. For the ladies, this might include doing makeup that is suitable for both outfits and picking shoes that will be comfortable the whole night.

For the boys, this might including having a clean outfit to change into and having your ID and cash ready. No matter who you are, it might also be a good idea to reapply deodorant at this stage, as often after-parties are quite hot and you could get sweaty.

Kara formal season blog image

Most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, remember: formal isn’t just an opportunity to dress fancy and have a special meal, it is a chance to celebrate your college graduates, to welcome the incoming RSC executive and to enjoy one last night of celebration before the struggle of exam block. So make the most of your formal season by following these tips and getting prepared in advance.

For more style advice, check out the Unistyle section of Social Hub.

Author profile image of Kara