The Ballgoer’s Guide to Style

My first Opening Ball was memorable for a myriad of reasons. For a start, my flat-mate went from drunk to sobbing in zero to sixty and it was the first time I learned what the power of a few Apple Sourz shots too many can really do (I suppose I was a bit Disney-naïve before I hit Fife). It was a rude awakening as to what was to come in the next four years, but was an even ruder style awakening: I spied tartan trousers and Chanel handbags side-by-side and I swiftly clocked that this was going to be a whole new sartorial world (see what I told you about the Disney thing?).

So, since Opening Ball has come around again, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to put together a few fantastical ensembles to get you feverishly excited for your big fashion debut of the year.  If you’re a fresher, choosing wisely is worthwhile, because one day you’ll be showing those pictures to your children (academic or real – who knows how long Facebook will last) and muttering sentimentalisms like, ‘Back in my day…” And if you’re in any other year? Well, schweffing, quaffing and all those other St Andrews-specific actions are most effective when you’re looking your best.

LOOK 1: What Kate Would Wear

Once upon a time, in the fairytale seaside town of St Andrews, lived a Prince. He was a big deal and all, but post-Royal Wedding happy ending, we’re way more obsessed with Kate’s quintessentially St Andrews sense of style. The best bit is that the ex-Sallie’s resident’s style translates pretty perfectly to the St Andrews social scene: pick a ladylike Reiss dress and a pair of her signature nude LK Bennett Sledge pumps, add glossy locks and an ever-so-subtle spray tan and bippity, boppity, ball! You’ve got yourself a winning, Ms Middleton-worthy look.

‘Marilyn’ Dress and ‘Daria’ Clutch, both Reiss (

Sledge Patent Shoe, LK Bennett (

Glisten Court Shoe, Topshop (

Chiffon Diamante Bracelet, Kitson at ASOS ( 

LOOK 2:  Swan Style

Every girl dreams of their Tchaikovsky tutu moment, but unless you’re the Darcey Bussell that gave it all up to pursue the Royal & Ancient rather than the Royal Opera House, it’s unlikely you ever got your Noal Streatfeild moment. Well, thanks to the success of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan earlier this year, dressing like Odette/Odile is totally à la mode. Replace ballet shoes with Kurt Geiger diamante platforms and trade in the tiara for a dainty Alice band and you’re ready for your moment in the style spotlight.

Tutu Dress, Rare Opulence (

‘Isabella’ shoes, ‘Humbug’ wallet and ‘Fara’ headband, Kurt Geiger (

LOOK 3: Mermaid Magic

Take your style cues from two different (and equally sexy) kind of sirens: those of the screen and the sea. This midnight blue, bejeweled beauty of a dress hits the mark in its Old Hollywood glamour: it’s oh-so-modern, almost-maxi hemline is both totally on trend and has all the curvaceous allure of a mythical mer-person.

Add some retro drop earrings and a pair of killer heels (we reckon magpies will be working on their muscles, so that they can fly off with these Topshop babies) and then all that’s left? Some Diane Kruger waves, a bold red lip and a touch of Mac Strobe Cream for that superstar shimmer, and you’re ready to make your big (screen) impression. Just stay away from the Apple Sourz.

‘Mermaid’ Dress, ’Swagger’ shoes and ‘Double Star’ drop-earrings, all Topshop (

MAC ‘Wild Colour?’ Lipstick in Fushion Pink, and MAC Strobe Cream.

Main image sourced from Skorver1.