Penny Pinching: 6

BOPS! Big, open parties, if you weren’t aware of the acronymic origin of the word, are all about having a carefree alcohol-laden night in with your college mates, with the added dignity-free fancy dress, but all too often they turn into yet another drain on that increaasingly fragile student loan. Hitting the predrinks hard is an essential step, not only to save money, but when you’re planning on hitting the bar nothing but hot pants and a crop top (and that’s just the boys), when it comes to Dutch courage you’re going to need a whole lot of Amstel.

 

The next port of call is your themed outfit, for which you have several options:

1. The ‘too cool for fancy dress’. In your head it was a great idea – rock up to the bop in some casual gear (why not try chinos, shirt and tie adn pretend you’ve just come from some sporting function), and you’ll be coolect kid in the room. In reality, most people won’t care/be able to see your sweet outfit, but you’ll certainly know about it when someone spills red punch down your fresh chinos. Anyone who does notice your the effort will almost certainly be thinking something along the lines of ‘what a knob.’ 

2. So little effort I’m not sure if it’s a costume or you’re just weird. This covers girls painting on cats whiskers with eyeliner, and then just wearing a regular slutty outfit, and anyone turning up with simply a mask, which will swiftly become tiresome to wear (can’t see/drink/schweff), and soon you’ll just be another douche in the aforementioned category.

3. Moderate amounts of effort. Boring 

4. Silly amounts of effort. When it gets to the extent where you’ve been planning your costume for weeks, often involving great personal expense at shipping in a ready-to-wear costume, or meticulously handcrafting your garb, it’s never going to end well. Remember, no one likes a try-hard, and that delicate macaroni, gold leaf and spun glass is going to shatter likea  frozen liquid Terminator. Oh, and your expensive, pre-ordered costume? That’s getting the red punch treatment too. 

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5. Fully costumes, yet, well, barely. Having amde the effort to get yourself down to Primarni, rather than thinking of an original and witty take on the theme in question, you took it upon yourslef to find the tightest fitting ladies garments in the most garish colours possible, coupled with maximum skin exposure. Ladies will be repelled: blokes will pretend not to know you-you know you’re doing it right if a few people scream when you make your entrance. Your only hope is to get blasted and hope everyone was too drunk to remember (they weren’t; they will). 

At the end of the day, not going all out on a costume will save you time and money but at the expense of social acceptance. Try to find multi-use items-an orange top with brown tights can be a tiger (B.C. bop/Jungle bop/ Animals bop/ Down at the farm bop), a pumpkin (halloween bop/ Fruit that should-be-vegetables) and, borrowing some brighter tights, the done-to-death Tight n’ bright bop. Some colleges are also starting to introduce ‘Bop Boxes’, a ‘box-based swap shop’ in your very own JCR. 

There, some genuinely good advice, for once. Don’t get used to it, I’ve a load of washing to do and I can see a rant coming up…