troodon
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So on my first night at Oxford my college is hosting a formal dinner with the fellows. The dress code is described as black tie and it says girls wear cocktail dresses and I'm generally unsure about what kind of thing girls wear for this and how fancy you would be expected to go for this type of event? Also tips on formal wear in Oxford in general would be really helpful.
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aguyapplies
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Oxford formal wear really isn't too bad when you get the hang of it. For women, black tie means a smart dress - a bit smarter than you would wear out clubbing, but not floor length, and not a ball gown. Or women's tux, that's cool too. Heals tend to be the norm, but I wouldn't say you'd be out of place in nice flats. Enjoy
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ETbuymilkandeggs
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If it states that the dress code is 'black tie', it means you'll need to wear a dinner jacket and a black bow-tie.

Like this: Image

Oh, and patent leather shoes, if possible.
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BJack
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(Original post by ETbuymilkandeggs)
x
Preferably not quite like that....
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ETbuymilkandeggs
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(Original post by BJack)
Preferably not quite like that....
What do you mean?
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mishieru07
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(Original post by ETbuymilkandeggs)
What do you mean?
OP is asking about what females would wear to a black tie event. Obviously, a tux is absolutely fine, but I don't think most females would wear one!

OP, I think this would give you a good idea re the variety of dresses that are acceptable as black tie: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/s...k-tie-dresses/

I think strictly speaking, heels are part of black tie attire but in practice, you probably can get away with some nice flats. I used to walk/ cycle to events in flats because walking around Oxford in heels is a real pain, and carry my heels in a bag. That might be an option worth exploring, and I recommend keeping a pair of flats on hand if you're going to any event that requires you to stand for some time (eg balls)

More generally, I would say bring at least one black tie dress when you go up so that you don't have to rush around looking for one in your first week! I brought 3, and that suited me just fine for 4 years (rewore them quite a few times lol), but YMMV. I also have 1 white tie dress, but it isn't necessary since white tie events are relatively uncommon, and you can probably rent a dress for those occasions. Finally, I would recommend bringing perhaps 2-3 more formal-ish but not black tie dresses since some events require the female equivalent of a suit and tie (eg formals at certain colleges).

If you need to buy clothes, Oxford does have a decent range of shops where you can get pretty much everything, and in any case, there's online shopping (eg ASOS).
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BJack
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(Original post by ETbuymilkandeggs)
What do you mean?
Oh, I wasn't objecting to women wearing dinner suits. My objections to the pictured outfit would be that the jacket doesn't fit and doesn't have nice lapels, the shirt collar is the wrong style and doesn't fit, and tying your own bow tie is actually really easy and looks so much better.
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