Just imagine the scene: a ball dress, floor length, streaming to the ground in waves of silk or chiffon or taffeta; it’s been dry cleaned; the shoes and bag have been meticulously matched; your hair has been teased into flowing curls. And then, some oaf stumbles past, their DJ tacky with the lurid stickiness of VKs, and suddenly your perfect dress is suffering from a large splodge of Mission burrito right on the chest, and your dress, like the rest of your night, is ruined.  Yes, ball season is upon us, but Cherwell have some tips for making the most of the food and drink on offer, while avoiding spending the night in the loos with the hand soap.

It’s unlimited alcohol, so it would be a travesty not to get your money’s worth.  Stick to clear alcohols and mixers – not only will they give you less of a hangover the next day, but gin and tonic, vodka and lemonade and the majority of shots dry quickly and aren’t going to leave a whacking great mark on your clothes.

 Red wine is always going to spell danger for a light coloured dress.  However if you do succumb to the call of a little vin rouge, there are ways to lessen the stain.  Immediately cover the patch in salt to absorb the wine, and washing should do the rest (use cold water, hot water sets stains).  Alternatively, follow the old wives’ tale of dousing yourself in white wine to get rid of the red.  We can’t honestly say whether it works but either way you’re going to stink of wine for the next 7 hours.

There’ will be lots of food on offer to line your stomach: Mission, The Big Bang, Dominos, Noodle Nation, G&D’s etc taste delicious in an inebritated stupor but these greasy delights are a disaster for clothes. Be careful is stupid advice when drunk so, wipe the stain away as quickly as possible, run cold water over it and dab.  If you’ve hired a dress, it might be an idea to bring a stain removing stick or spray as leaving it to dry makes it harder to remove. If, inevitably, you overindulge, the same rules follow for sick as well as food.

Maybe keep some perfume and a few mints to hand.And if your dress can only be salvaged by dry cleaning, the one thing left to do is keep drinking. Having a permanent drink in your hand which you can hold in front of the stain works well, or alternatively, if the situation is really desperate, steal and attach a gaudy decoration to cover it up.

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