Zsanett Ritli

Having my third May Ball experience lined up on the last day of April. The ball organized annually by the Kate Kennedy Club is one of the most anticipated events of the St Andrews student social calendar. By marking the end of the semester, the event was a nostalgia fuelled rite of passage for many leavers.

May Ball is one of the occasions when you can finally change out of your casual library wear and suit up, so you can pretend for the night that you’re a sophisticated young adult. ‘I have nothing to wear for May Ball’ was perhaps the most commonly heard statement from my style-conscious friends, which provided the perfect alibi to procrastinate and browse online shops.

As I was hitting the fairground rides later in the evening, meaning we had to queue for 20 minutes, I had a chance to take a look at the showcase of garments. It is that time of the year again when Coachella fashion resurges, so many attendees opted for a fresh and summery look, while also maintaining a certain elegant integrity that fits with the dress code. Floral prints, pastel colors and knee length silk dresses were popular among those, who wanted to go for an effortlessly chic, cherry look that is easy to style up with some jewelry and bold makeup. I was happy to see that some girls were wearing the off- the –shoulder, 70’s style bardot dresses that flatter most body types and stand out in a very subtle way. Others slipped into the 90’s inspired, silky cami dresses, which are comfortable options due to their smooth and soft fabric. Instead of full gowns, semi-formal cocktail dresses were the leading style choices for most ladies. However, May Ball is not really a night when originality tends to be of a paramount importance, one attendee rolled up in a vintage, silk kimono with delicate, golden patterns on it. Paired with beige strappy heels, she managed to make a classic-looking style modern. Her dress absolutely won praise.

In terms of menswear, sorry to say but nothing unexpected happened. The traditional black tie look with white dress shirt and the occasional colored or patterned bow tie was a popular choice on Sunday night.  Some opted for a softer, navy colored tuxedo with satin collar, finished with pocket square, cufflinks and smart formal shoes. However, two attendees chose to ignore the idea of dress code and decided to wear a nonconformist attire with denim jacket, floral shirt and sneakers. I quite liked it.

Barefoot, ties askew, ball dresses stained and tattered; after enjoying a night of lavish entertainment, students queued up to return to town and to celebrate 1st of May by a refreshing morning dip.

I would definitely recommend giving the May Ball a go in the future. Everything was catered towards creating an enjoyable time for everyone there and I am sure I wasn’t the only one to leave with positive feelings about the night. This year, the Kate Kennedy committee had put together an exciting and really fun event, with an undeniably buzzing atmosphere from start to finish.