Dance Ads > What does Formal Mean? (MIT August 14 dance)

Discussion in 'Dance Ads' started by Chris Stratton, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    In honor of MIT holding a "formal attire requested" late summer ball this Saturday August 14 ( I'd like to ask what members of this forum think this term means in a ballroom social context?
  2. jon

    jon Member

    I think it means they should have had a footnote specifying what level of dress is required for entry. "Formal" to an undergraduate is likely to be several notches down from "formal" to a tenured professor.
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    It definitely does not hurt - to have the footnote. I know places where there is dress pants and long sleeved shirt; coat and tie; waistcoat, coat and tie; tuxedo; tuxedo with cummerband and accessories...other gradations but I forget since I don't go to many formals. For a college/university setting I would normally consider the following:

    1. Formal - coat and tie
    2. Semi-formal - dress pants, long sleeved dress shirt, and tie
    3. Between semi formal and casual - dress pants and long sleeved dress shirt.

    I have 2 and 3 because depending on the semi-formal event one or the other or either is usually acceptable.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Women have it easy. A little black dress works for almost everything -- formal, semiformal, dressy casual, business casual. Accessories dress it up or down to suit the occasion.

    I like a simple sheath, which is a straight, dress with minimal ornamentation. Knee length works best for me, because it's classic and doesn't go out of style. If it's altered to actually fit your shape, a sheath can be a knockout every time. 8)
  5. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    When the words "formal attire" and "ball" appear in the same sentence, I expect men to be wearing at bare minimum a suit and tie with a completely ironed (not just the front) dress shirt. A black tie (rented) tux is also acceptable.

    Women can wear anything from the LBD (little black dress) to a full skirted "ballgown" (read: prom dress) and be OK.

    When I go formal, I usually wear my killer jewelry (courtesy of the inlaws) with a black skirt/top ensemble from Max Studio (a div. of Max Mara as I recall - courtesy of Ross Dress For Less). If it's a formal ballroom event, I wear my stoned shoes. 8)

    Nothing makes you feel more formal than really GOOD jewelry and an awesome pair of shoes.
  6. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I would too... except that in the context of ballroom dancing in a younger community, the only suit many men own that has a jacket they can actually wear while dancing would be a competition tailsuit...

    A business suit or black tie tux is going to have to have the jacket removed while dancing, which makes it questionable if it's even worth bringing a jacket at all.
  7. DancingMommy

    DancingMommy Active Member

    Well, I've seen people ballroom dance in regular tuxes before. If they do own a tailsit and it's comfortable enough (and assuming no food is being served), a tailsuit is perfectly acceptable for a "formal" event.

    Hence the need for a COMPLETELY ironed dress shirt. 8) If you MUST remove the jacket, then the shirt must be ironed WITH starch - thank you very much. AND make sure that the shirt FITS!!! It needn't be custom tailored, but the "european" style shirts are cut in a bit at the waist (a curve) so that you don't have this big blousant thing happening. And if you are a SKINNY guy - you better make sure you have one of those shirts. Nothing looks worse than a guy with a 28" waist wearing a shirt that is "athletic cut".

    In fact, I may be so bold as to say that in the absence of "formal" wear, even dressy clothes that fit WELL are far more preferred than "formal" clothes that do NOT fit well.

    Fit & Function before Fashion in my book.
  8. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    I'll be wearing tails - but then, I'm doing part of the show. I'll change to a dance tux afterwards unless there are others in tails.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Woohoo! :banana: Break a leg, Warren. Figuratively, of course. Good luck. 8) :D

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