Fashion Friday: A Little Formal (and Functional) Fashion アート・エンターテイメント

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Last weekend, I went to a date night (oooh look at me). The date night/formal phenomenon is an interesting one. I mean, generally the activities that occur before and after the actual “event,” be it a classy buffet dinner or a tab at a bar that has a dog (true story), are more significant and more fun, unless you really like Chinese buffets or something (which I hope you don’t). However, this night as a whole got me thinking: there are randomly a lot of opportunities to dress up at Cornell.
In the daily life of a Cornellian, vile but warm clothing dominates out of necessity — this is no revelation, as I have complained about this countless times before, and one can easily (and unfortunately) see it for themselves every day. When the weekend creeps, though, not only do many of us drop to our knees and thank God for the end of the work-week, but we also prepare for these formal fetes that occur rather frequently. There are the generic sorority and fraternity events, and also countless other events around campus. The Herbert F. Johnson museum hosts really random yet intriguing gallery openings and displays, as well as theme nights. Murder mysteries? Mad Men? Fun (I’d go if there was a Bravo-Housewives theme or something, for the record)! The Hotel school hosts formals, too, and there are always random “masquerades” and “balls” going on here, at least according to the Facebook invites I receive. So, I have decided to set a few ground-rules and offer some guidelines for nailing your dressy rendezvous: fun, fashion (duh) and functionality are key. I am myself no expert (shout-out to my friend Courtney who has legitimately attended TWENTY ONE date nights and formals. I myself would recommend calling her if you need a really entertaining date), but I still hope I can help you all have the best time possible in your best ensemble. Or, like, the best you can appropriately pull off while at Cornell.

1. Invest in an LBD: The Little Black Dress is of course the most important staple in any girl’s closet. It’s classically chic and can be dressed up or down (according to an event’s formality) with immense ease. Find one that fits you and makes you feel good and I promise you’ll love it forever. Or until it fades to gray (no, do not try to make the “LGD” happen. It’s not going to happen). Boys, investing in a pair of great, tailored black trousers or slacks will yield similar, safe results should that special girl hit you with a text inviting you to date night ... an hour before.

2. Try out trends: This may seem contradictory to rule #1. However, date nights, formals, balls — whatever — are not meant to be the Academy Awards red carpet. Of course, if an event is black-tie, I strongly advise you to stay away from a mini-dress with cut-outs. Most times, though the venue you’re at won’t be much nicer than a dive-bar or a semi-respectable restaurant. Therefore, as long as you look publicly appropriate, why not try out an outrageous trend that may not last longer than a season? The event itself is just one night and you’re all in college and you won’t regret it. Or, probably not. So girls, you have my permission to pull out the prints and vamp it up in V-cut necklines. Boys, maybe try a printed tie or a colored shirt or pair of slacks. Notice, though, I said “or;” you do NOT want to enrage/embarrass your date by looking like a multi-printed rainbow. Cringe.

3. Remember you will have to, like, move (Is this too obvious? I don’t think so). I had a legitimate crisis before I left my room pre-date night. I REALLY wanted to wear myprized pointed-toe pumps and not my platforms, but, alas, two feet of movement in the former left my feet aching; I predicted problems. So unless you’re a pro in pumps (in which case, I applaud you), consider choosing an equally appropriate and cute shoe that you can actually walk in over those beauties that batter your feet. Boys, I fear telling you to choose comfort in shoe selection will lead to an influx of Nikes with suits. Instead, I cautiously suggest finding a pair of nicer shoes that are moderately comfortable as well as dressy enough. But note: girls swoon for a guy in stylish shoes ...

These are my three simple rules to formal-fashion and date-night dressing. The formal events around campus are your chance to feel faboosh for a night (considering you probably feel homeless in your coats and sweatpants all day, every day), so take full advantage! Find functional fashion, dance in your mini-dress, belt along when someone’s iPod blasts that old-school Britney and have a ball (seriously, though, what is a “ball?” Can someone please bring me to one?).

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