How to get Bongo’d in style

The biggest weekend of the entire year is almost upon us and kicking it off is Bongo Ball! One of the most highly anticipated events, Bongo Ball is not only entirely in aid of Xavier Project but also ENCOURAGES dressing up.  The dress code is ‘Africa meets Black Tie’. Just in case this inspires you with nerves, rather than a wild excitement (pardon the pun), here is some inspiration.

1) The Black Tie

Black tie appears on the title, and therefore hypothetically you can just arrive in the normal dress/suit. Yes, you look good, yes your dress probably cost an absolutely fortune – but this is possibly defeating the entire purpose of the event. If you simply CANNOT pass up the chance to wear your fabulous new frock, then at least add a little of number 2…

2) The Animal Print

GENTS: The best way to add a little Bongo to your suit is via St Andrews’ own handmade Dodes’ Bows. They come in Leopard, Zebra and Tiger (as seen below) and will be adjusted to fit any neck size. At only £10, you really have no excuse.

LADIES: You cannot fail to have noticed the obscene amounts of animal print clothing sweeping the stores for a good three or four years now. If you remain one of the few still not in possession of anything remotely animal-print related, then get yourself to one of the many online sales at the moment (trust me on this one) and snap yourself up something quick. This look is a winning combination of being both easy and very, very Bongo (see last year’s pics)

3) The Rafiki

If you are feeling sympathetic towards Xavier’s ideas and extra-charitable, then why not buy some Rafiki shorts or trousers? This will solve your outfit dilemma and do some good for the world in one fell swoop. Made as part of the Xavier project in Kenya, colours and patterns vary and so this is a good manner of ensuring your outfit is entirely unique. This leads me nicely on to…

4) The African

Think bright, bright colours and fantastic materials. A piece of cloth (even better if actually originated in Africa) pinned into a dress works a treat (thanks to my Academic Mother for this one!). Rafiki Fabrics or maybe Charity Shops will be your friend here. Add scarves and large beads and you’re good to go.

5) The Onesie

The word on the street is that all committee members MUST come dressed in a onesie.  Try Kigu for quality and variance: they provide everything from a Frog to a Racoon. Team up with your friends and come as an entire zoo. (Caution: Sweating is a likely occurrence. Try to avoid exuberant dancing.)

6) The Safari

A popular spring/summer look of recent years, this is another one that you could pull of while looking like you have graced us from the covers of Vogue – ‘11, maybe. A khaki shirt with a belt, short shorts and sandals and pair with a hat or binoculars if you’re feeling especially keen.

7) The Tribal

Yet again, this look can be created from most high street stores. An Aztec-style dress from ASOS paired with some wedges and multiple pieces of jewellery, this look I fear will be all the more popular this year. Think geometric patterns mixed with bright colours and feathered earrings. To add a little je-ne-sais-quoi, why not try a tattoo? And don’t forget your facepaint! If you run out of time before (or just don’t have talented friends) then fear not, you will be able to get it done at the ball. 

Editor's note: Bonus Points to anyone who successfully pulls off the "Gap Yah" look.  

Photographs by Nina Zietman and Georgia Hughes.  All right reserved by Owl Eyes. Compiled by Katie Marston.