Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

Life Divided: The case against black tie

Anoushka Kavanagh formally disagrees with the formal attire

It’s midnight. Your feet feel as though an elephant has trodden on them – or, if you are lucky, are now totally numb – from the heels your toes are sticking out at unnatural angles from. And you’re groggy and chilly as the effects of weak alcohol have worn off. The black tie ball that started out so beautifully is no longer so beautiful.

After a long cloakroom queue behind likeminded sufferers, you welcomingly snatch your sneakers like the lifeline they are and head back to the dance tent. Only your gown is now far too long for you minus the artificial six inches, and you accidentally step on the trail, snagging it. That perfect dress you spent *literally months* searching for on Asos, instead of writing the essays you should have been writing, is now ruined. As a saving grace, you remember you couldn’t possibly wear it again anyway, because, oh god, it would be social suicide to be seen in the same dress at a black tie event twice.

Not only are you drunkenly tearful about this minor wardrobe disaster, but you’re also now cold. Shame you didn’t think about how chilly British May nights are when admiring your own cleavage. You look enviously to the boys prancing around in their waiter-like uniforms, complete with warm jacket. Black tie’s probably not so bad if you only have to throw on a tux.

One of them takes pity on you standing shivering and staggers over inebriated to offer you some warmth. What a gentleman! Until… “You can have my coat if you sleep with me” he slurs. What a prick. You come to the conclusion that he must be a member of that stalwart of misogyny, the Bullingdon. Why else would he look so good in a tux – you’ve heard that’s an entry requirement. Besides, you remember reading it in Cherwell, so he must be, right?

Support student journalism

Student journalism does not come cheap. Now, more than ever, we need your support.

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles