Formal fashion tips: What to wear

The students’ union’s winter formal has a masquerade theme this year. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza on Queen St. for the first time. (Tom Bateman/AQ)

You know it’s exam time when sweat­pants are the universal student dress code. But this Thursday, leave your stretchy pants behind and pick up your dancing shoes.

The St. Thomas University students’ union’s winter formal masquerade is on Thursday from 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza on Queen Street.

“I love the theme that they have this year,” said first-year St. Thomas student Amber Basque. “I have my own hand­made dress, black and white striped, that’s just been waiting for this dance.”

The concept of masquerade balls may be centuries old, but the wardrobe op­tions certainly aren’t dull. Clothing pat­terns can be offset by a plain-coloured mask, or a black outfit can be jazzed up with an elaborate mask.

Masks can vary in price depending on where you shop, or if you’re looking for an especially glamorous one, business­es with costume rentals are the ticket. If you have a specific idea in mind, head to the Dollar Store, Wal-Mart and Mi­chael’s for craft items like feathers, se­quins and glitter. If you chip in on sup­plies with friends, the cost will be lower and you’re provided with a creative and social study break.

Not in love with the idea of toting a mask around all night? Basque, a resi­dent of Harrington Hall, has a solution.

“Some people may not want to fidget with a mask on their face all night, so it’s just easier for some to have it painted [on] and forget about it,” she said.

Basque volunteered to paint masks on students before the formal rather than purchase one. She said she’s been drawing for as long as she can remem­ber, and besides being a lot of fun, face painting would mean one less thing to worry about in preparation for the event.

“I know that some people may not be able to find a mask they like, if they find one at all,” Basque said. “Aside from that, it gives people freedom to be complete­ly individual and come to me with their own ideas, which I can translate into a face-paint mask for them.”

Basque said her fellow Raiders could have their masks painted on free of charge. For other STU students there will be a cost of $2, and Basque said to con­tact her on Facebook to arrange a time.

And while a mask allows for some imagination with your wardrobe, it isn’t necessary to wear one – nor do you need to take a date. Winter formal is a chance to get together with friends, get classy, and be serenaded by the sound of The Thomists.

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