Graduate In Style – What to wear to Grad Ball

Coursework complete, exams over… there’s only one more date in your diary before you head off into the big wide world – The Grad Ball. The traditional Grad (Graduation) Ball offers outgoing students the chance to celebrate the end of their university life in style at a glittering occasion hosted by their particular college. Are you ready for the big night?


Belle of the Ball

Depending on the university you attend, your Grad Ball will take place in May or June. Venues vary but are always lavish. You might party the night away in a castle, a luxury hotel or even under the stars in the college grounds. Invites are usually extended to graduates first before being subsequently opened out. So, whether your Belle (or Beau) of the Ball is a flirty first year or three years post grad, you should still be able to take them as your date.

One Ball to Bind Them All

After spending weeks crammed alongside your fellow students under exam conditions, you may just wanna get the hell out of Dodge.  It’s very tempting to jet off abroad for some fun or drive home for some hearty meals but remember, the Grad Ball is a great way to let your hair down and unwind after months of stress. More importantly, it could be the last time you get to see everyone together for a long time. You will reunite for your graduation ceremony but people often have families in tow for these and so are less likely to be able to socialise.

Ballroom Butterflies

The mere mention of a ball gives some of us the jitters. Balls equal dancing and not everyone can hold their own under the glitterball. Don’t let your fear of throwing shapes stop you from attending. The fun doesn’t start and end on the dance floor. Ball committees throw everything at the entertainment and you can expect a great evening. By the time you’ve mingled at the champagne reception, sat down to a sumptuous dinner and sampled the fairground rides, casinos, vintage arcades, cocktail bars and chill out tents, it’ll probably be dawn.

flying chairs in carnival

The Ball’s in Your Court

Don’t let the girls have all the fashion fun. Plan your look with care. These events vary greatly in terms of themes, so read on for style ideas to suit your do.

The Black Tie Ball – Many universities – particularly institutions like Oxbridge, Durham and Bristol, rarely stray from the tradition of a black-tie ball. To look formal without the fuss, choose from our Evening Collection. We love our Mayfair Black 1 – Button Regular Fit Dinner Suit worn with a pleated or plain dress shirt, black bow tie, dress shirt studs and cummerbund.

The Retro Ball – Your theme may well be era-based. For a nod to the 1960s grab a skinny fit suit like our Franco Plain Black 1-Buttton Skinny with Black Satin Skinny Silk Tie. For a palatable 1970s look you can bear to wear again, go double denim. Tuck our denim shirt into loose legged jeans and wear a bandana around your neck, or just throw a full length fake fur coat over a three piece suit and one of our floral ties. For an 80s bash, eschew Miami Vice for a slice of Gordon Gecko and pair a light blue button down shirt with sleeves rolled up with Navy Red Stripe Braces. Slick back your hair and accessorise with a fat cigar.

The Bling Ball – Popular themes are Vegas or Hollywood. Choose a sharp suit and accessorise with a pair of killer shades and a showy watch. To sport a Vegas heyday ‘Rat Pack’ look, partner our Fraser Navy 1-Button Slim Fit Suit white shirt, with a navy tie and Sinatra-esque fedora.

The Movie Ball – Eek! Your uni has picked a movie theme. Of course if they’ve gone Lord of The Rings, you’re probably going to have to high tail it to your nearest fancy dress outlet, but more popular are classic movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s or The Great Gatsby. For the latter embrace the tailoring of the 1920s. You could go uptown formal with a dress suit and our White Marcella Self-Tie Bow Tie, but why not go with the louche Long Island look? Pair tweed pieces such as our Rickman Tan Jacket with a plain white shirt, brown saddle shoes and a driving or newsboy cap.

The Masque Ball – At a masquerade ball you want your amazing headpiece to do the talking, so choose a suit which flatters your shape but keeps the spotlight firmly on your mask. We love our Palmer Plain Black 2-Button Slim Fit Suit with a white pocket square and black shirt.

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