I’m coming to the end of my time at Swansea, and in my three years here I’ve planned my fair share of outfits for a variety of events. Summer events are always a lot of fun to dress for, because you don’t have to worry so much about the weather. Here’s my best advice – a combination of personal experience and predictions. If you’re still not sure by the end of this article, use the SU’s Facebook and Flickr to get inspiration from photos of previous years.
Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend
If you were lucky enough to get a ticket for this highly popular event, then you’re an inherently organised person and may have already started thinking about your outfit. There’s no standard for what to wear here, but as the weather will hopefully be brightening up by the end of May, my most important advice is a sunhat, sunglasses and suncream. Think about what bag you’re bringing – a bum bag is a great option because it’s small and unobtrusive, and easy to keep safe. However, you might also want to opt for a backpack to carry larger items like a water bottle and warm clothes for later in the evening. As this is a festival-style event, I’ve been taking notes from the most fashionable festival of all: Coachella. Crochet, sheer lace, hoops, classic denim shorts, side stripes, body chains, glitter, sequins, and metallic and neon colours are all recurrent festival styles that you might want to keep in mind if you want to be the best dressed in Singleton Park that weekend.
Although this is technically a ‘ball’, the dress code is definitely more casual than you would expect, and people tend to dress in summery, playful outfits. Most guys choose to wear a shirt, whether that be a formal white shirt or a floral hawaiian shirt. Ties are entirely optional, but about half of students choose to wear one. Whether you dress down with denim shorts or go for braces and a blazer, you won’t be out of place because there’s always a huge range of outfits. Dresses and playsuits are popular for female attendees, often in fun prints like floral patterns and bright colours. You might decide to mix it up with a co-ord or trousers, but my best advice is to wear flat pumps or sandals rather than heels, because the grass of the abbey is not the best terrain for stilettos. If you really need the height, chunky platform shoes are a good compromise.
This event definitely has a more formal dress code than any other this summer. The most important part of the graduation outfit is the academic dress (the gown and cap), without which you won’t be allowed on stage to accept your degree certificate. Swansea have stated that Ede and Ravenscroft are the approved supplier for our graduation, and you can go to their website to rent the correct items for £45 to £58, depending on your level of study. So bear in mind whatever you wear will be partially covered, but you still need to dress formally. That’s a suit and tie for men, and women usually opt for a dress and heels. If you do wear heels, however, make sure you’re comfortable walking in them because the last thing you want is to trip on stage. The dress code is similar for the graduation ball too, but whereas the dresses will tend to be midi length and simple for the ceremony, you’ll see more full length dresses at the ball, with more experimentation in pattern and style.