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    (Original post by Quistis)
    It depends on the person. I attended one ball (the Hilda's Arts Fest Ball) in my first year, and two (Arts Fest again, and a Union ball at Blenheim) in my second year. Hoping to go to two again next year (subject society ball and boyfriend's college's Commemoration Ball). However, I have friends who go to two or three balls or other black-tie events a term. It depends on how much money you're happy to spend socialising (ball tickets can cost from around £25 for Arts Fest, to around £50 for Union and subject society balls, to £70ish for black-tie college balls, to around £150 for Commemoration Balls), and whether your friends go to balls or not.

    As for how many dresses you'll need in your first term - most balls are in the summer, but there are some in every term, so there will be balls in Michaelmas - the Union ball, a couple of college balls, and some subject society balls. But by no means should you feel you need to go to them - you'll have three years at Oxford at least, so there's no need to rush your Oxford experiences. :p: I see you'll be at Hilda's - I'm at Hilda's so I can be of some help with college-related events. There will be a matriculation dinner in first week in which you dine with your fellow Freshers and your tutor - I wore black pants and a smart top, though lots of the other girls wore dresses and I'd recommend one of your less formal black dresses. There will be a Guest Night Dinner in 5th or 6th week, and pretty much all the girls wear dresses to that - but by no means does the dress have to be formal; I've worn above-the-knee dresses to GND before! So again, one of your black dresses should be fine. Also, plenty of people dress up for our weekly Formal Hall, although black trousers and a pretty top is fine, and you'd look overdressed in a black tie-type dress. So I'd say just bring the dresses you have, and any smart tops and trousers/skirts that you have - don't buy anything else! If you have a couple of dresses and don't mind being seen in them more than once, that should be more than enough

    Taking the long view... maybe talk to Mum and Dad about hitting the post-Christmas or Easter sales in somewhere like Monsoon/Warehouse/Oasis (or if you're richer than me, somewhere posher :p:)? Sales really are wondrous things and make formalwear fairly affordable. I got a calf-length black-tie dress I wore to both the balls I attended in second year for in the Monsoon Easter sale - it had been £120, but was reduced to £40! Then Mum took me shopping in July, and I got: a prom dress for subject dinners/my 21st from Warehouse - which had been on sale for £120 but which we got for, again, £40; an above-the-knee black dress from Oasis - was £20, reduced from £60; and a black-and-cream geisha-front flippy-skirt dress of beauty and randomness, from some random concession in Lewis's, which was £10 reduced from £40. Okay, I'm going to stop bragging about bargains now, but eeeeee, so much pretty stuff!
    Thanks for all the info! Haha I'll definitely be shopping at cheaper places.. in fact I probably won't buy any new dresses since I probably won't even be able to afford to go to any balls! I can't believe some can be so expensive.. I mean.. we're students!

    A bit off-topic here, but how do you like St. Hilda's? I submitted an open application and I was a bit disappointed at first when I learnt where I'd be, but I'm really looking forward to it now :]
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    (Original post by Athena)
    Umm, you can if you like - I wouldn't worry too much though!
    Athena - fashion Goddess :cool:
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    (Original post by FathomThis)
    Thanks for all the info! Haha I'll definitely be shopping at cheaper places.. in fact I probably won't buy any new dresses since I probably won't even be able to afford to go to any balls! I can't believe some can be so expensive.. I mean.. we're students!

    A bit off-topic here, but how do you like St. Hilda's? I submitted an open application and I was a bit disappointed at first when I learnt where I'd be, but I'm really looking forward to it now :]
    To keep this thread on-topic, I'll PM you about Hilda's this afternoon - but don't worry, I love it As for affording balls... yes, the tickets to college and Commemmoration Balls are very expensive, and I couldn't afford to go to many of them. And on top of that, while it's easy to pick up bargainous black-tie dresses, it's a lot harder, in my limited experience, to find a cheap full-length evening gown... although eBay is definitely worth keeping an eye on. You will be able to go to a ball at some point during your time in Oxford, though, I'm sure - the Hilda's Arts Fest Ball is ony about £25, so easy to save up for, and if you join the Oxford Union (which if money is tight, I'm not sure I would recommend) then you can go to their balls, which seem to be about £40 a ticket. And some societies hold balls, which don't seem to be too expensive (relatively speaking, not absolutely :p:).

    (La la la, I wrote an article for Cherwell about this, about how it's hard to afford the Proper Oxford Experience unless you're from a privileged background, and most of my friends were like "omg noooo! this does not reflect my experience of Oxford at all!!11". Most of said friends, needless to say, are well-off enough to easily afford to pay £70 for one night's entertainment. One such friend is actually the son of a former head of GCHQ. :rolleyes:)
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    I paid for my Wadham ball ticket with all the dinners (£70 worth!) I signed out of in Hilary.
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    My college (Hilda's) doesn't let you opt out of dining in college - we have to buy £120 of meal credit per term, and whatever we haven't spent by the end of the year, the college keeps! The kitchen was refurbished before last term so college food is now very good, but in my first year I lost about £100 in meal credit I didn't spend (because I hated the food), but couldn't have refunded!
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    (Original post by Quistis)
    To keep this thread on-topic, I'll PM you about Hilda's this afternoon - but don't worry, I love it As for affording balls... yes, the tickets to college and Commemmoration Balls are very expensive, and I couldn't afford to go to many of them. And on top of that, while it's easy to pick up bargainous black-tie dresses, it's a lot harder, in my limited experience, to find a cheap full-length evening gown... although eBay is definitely worth keeping an eye on. You will be able to go to a ball at some point during your time in Oxford, though, I'm sure - the Hilda's Arts Fest Ball is ony about £25, so easy to save up for, and if you join the Oxford Union (which if money is tight, I'm not sure I would recommend) then you can go to their balls, which seem to be about £40 a ticket. And some societies hold balls, which don't seem to be too expensive (relatively speaking, not absolutely :p:).

    (La la la, I wrote an article for Cherwell about this, about how it's hard to afford the Proper Oxford Experience unless you're from a privileged background, and most of my friends were like "omg noooo! this does not reflect my experience of Oxford at all!!11". Most of said friends, needless to say, are well-off enough to easily afford to pay £70 for one night's entertainment. One such friend is actually the son of a former head of GCHQ. :rolleyes:)
    Hey! You tell him I want my brain thoughts back.
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    (Original post by Quistis)
    My college (Hilda's) doesn't let you opt out of dining in college - we have to buy £120 of meal credit per term, and whatever we haven't spent by the end of the year, the college keeps! The kitchen was refurbished before last term so college food is now very good, but in my first year I lost about £100 in meal credit I didn't spend (because I hated the food), but couldn't have refunded!
    Sick.
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    (Original post by Quistis)
    To keep this thread on-topic, I'll PM you about Hilda's this afternoon - but don't worry, I love it As for affording balls... yes, the tickets to college and Commemmoration Balls are very expensive, and I couldn't afford to go to many of them. And on top of that, while it's easy to pick up bargainous black-tie dresses, it's a lot harder, in my limited experience, to find a cheap full-length evening gown... although eBay is definitely worth keeping an eye on. You will be able to go to a ball at some point during your time in Oxford, though, I'm sure - the Hilda's Arts Fest Ball is ony about £25, so easy to save up for, and if you join the Oxford Union (which if money is tight, I'm not sure I would recommend) then you can go to their balls, which seem to be about £40 a ticket. And some societies hold balls, which don't seem to be too expensive (relatively speaking, not absolutely :p:).

    (La la la, I wrote an article for Cherwell about this, about how it's hard to afford the Proper Oxford Experience unless you're from a privileged background, and most of my friends were like "omg noooo! this does not reflect my experience of Oxford at all!!11". Most of said friends, needless to say, are well-off enough to easily afford to pay £70 for one night's entertainment. One such friend is actually the son of a former head of GCHQ. :rolleyes:)
    I will definitely be keeping my eye on ebay! I really hope I'm able to go to a few balls, I love dressing up and we never had any opportunities to at school except for the prom. If only they were cheaper though! That was an interesting article.. I'm sure you can have a great time at Oxford without attending fancy balls, but it would be a shame to have to miss out on such unique experiences. I don't think most unis have balls like these, do they?

    Question: For black-tie events is an above the knee dress seen as inappropriate?

    I look forward to your PM! I have so many questions hehe
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    (Original post by FathomThis)
    I will definitely be keeping my eye on ebay! I really hope I'm able to go to a few balls, I love dressing up and we never had any opportunities to at school except for the prom. If only they were cheaper though! That was an interesting article.. I'm sure you can have a great time at Oxford without attending fancy balls, but it would be a shame to have to miss out on such unique experiences. I don't think most unis have balls like these, do they?

    Question: For black-tie events is an above the knee dress seen as inappropriate?

    I look forward to your PM! I have so many questions hehe
    I'm a guy, so can't give a personal experience viewpoint, but I think it would look out of place yes, if not necessarily inappropriate.
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    I'm a guy, so can't give a personal experience viewpoint, but I think it would look out of place yes, if not necessarily inappropriate.
    Hmm. I don't really like wearing longer dresses you see, cos I'm really short, so my legs look really stubby :p: I guess I'll invest in some super high heels haha!
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    It depends how above the knee - I have two summery dresses I wear to formal hall, and a couple of skirts, that fall to just above or at knee level, and they're honestly fine. If you've got good legs, you can probably go a little higher... but not much.
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    On the topic of cheap formal wear, TK Maxx has some absolutely hideous dresses, but if you're there on the right day they have some absolutely gorgeous things for about £20- I know lots of people who got dresses from there for school formals this year and they were really lovely! Is there a TK Maxx in Oxford?
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    I second Athena: I wore a dress that came slightly above the knee to one black tie event (the science fiction society's annual banquet) and I didn't feel self-conscious at all, perhaps because the dress had a high neck and was quite fancy-looking otherwise - black with bows and lace and other such prettinesses. But I'd also say it depends on the event - don't wear an above-the-knee dress to a ball, or a very posh dinner, but if it's formall hall, or a society dinner, and you'll be with friends you feel comfortable around, then I'd say just above the knee is fine.

    Will PM you now, wee Hildabeast. This is a somewhat liberal interpretation of "this afternoon". I got distracted by watching X Factor. :p:
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    (Original post by FathomThis)
    Hmm. I don't really like wearing longer dresses you see, cos I'm really short, so my legs look really stubby :p: I guess I'll invest in some super high heels haha!
    I would have thought a longer dress would have hidden your legs? And yes, I assumed we were talking about a formal event - balls and so forth, if it was just a formal hall then I'm sure it would be fine.
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    I would have thought a longer dress would have hidden your legs? And yes, I assumed we were talking about a formal event - balls and so forth, if it was just a formal hall then I'm sure it would be fine.
    Thanks for the info :]
    Yeah a long one hides the legs, but I was meaning sort of between floor length & knee length. I look ridiculous in ones that sort of length!
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    For the sub-fusc it says we need a "dark suit".
    Can I use my dinner jacket (black tie) in this case? The store Ede and Ravenscroft sells this Men's all wool suit for £295 but I intend on getting a custom-made dinner jacket for hopefully a lot less. Could I use that one for matriculation?
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    (Original post by Siddhartha)
    For the sub-fusc it says we need a "dark suit".
    Can I use my dinner jacket (black tie) in this case? The store Ede and Ravenscroft sells this Men's all wool suit for £295 but I intend on getting a custom-made dinner jacket for hopefully a lot less. Could I use that one for matriculation?
    I think it's best if it doesn't look obviously dinner jacket - ie if it has tails and silk lapel etc then it probably wouldn't be suitable, if not then should be fine. It doesn't need to be an expensive suit, it's not like you'll be wearing it much.
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    (Original post by Siddhartha)
    For the sub-fusc it says we need a "dark suit".
    Can I use my dinner jacket (black tie) in this case? The store Ede and Ravenscroft sells this Men's all wool suit for £295 but I intend on getting a custom-made dinner jacket for hopefully a lot less. Could I use that one for matriculation?
    Some people use dinner jackets for sub-fusc. It'd be better to just get a cheap black suit as well as a DJ, tbh. A DJ might look out of place at a formal etc.
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    Don't wear a dinner jacket to matriculation- buy a suit as well, you'll need one for other things, too, and are generally useful.
    It doesn't have to be expensive- tesco, asda, primark etc. will all sell you a suit for less than £30.
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    Ok, thank you both for your response.
    On another note, I have this pinstripe blazer which is common outfit to wear when my friends and I go clubbing in Copenhagen or Helsingør, could I bring it to the UK and still wear it without looking out of place? What kind of clothes do people typically wear in clubs (without generalizing too much)?
 
 
 
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