Guys in Ties & Girls in Pearls

By: The Costume King

On that rare occasion, everybody likes to get dressed up as if they’re about to spend the night on Broadway or they’re heading off to the Opera. Being a college student, though, there is both little time and reason to throw on Sundays best. Between studying and cramming for finals – okay, maybe more like all-night keggers and beer pong - getting gussied up just doesn’t fit into your schedule. What if you could take one of your all-night bashes and twist it into one of those fancier occasions? This party theme may be the outlet you’ve been looking for.

Setting Up

Since you’ll be catering a fancier affair than you’re used to, you may want to consider switching out the red plastic cups for plastic champagne glasses. Right off the bat, you know this is going to require a little more than a beer pong table and six-packs on ice. You’ll want to switch out those cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon with bottles of something bubbly – and since champagne can get a little expensive, consider sparkling cider with a splash of flavored vodka. This will set the initial tone for your affair, especially if you hand glasses of this fruity beverage out at the door.

You’ll want to create a certain ambiance with your space, so consider replacing bright fluorescent lighting with scattered candles (for safeties sake, use electronic). Any tables you have should have some form of fancy-ish tablecloth. You can get a decent looking cloth without spending any exuberant amount.

Since your guests will be in their best attire, you’ll want to amplify the mood with a little classical music. While the night may start off fancy, you can always keep a reserve of today’s hits handy for when the drinks start to get to your guests heads. To start, though, keep it light and let music be a background mood-setter rather than a focus for the evening.

What to Wear?

The name pretty much gives the attire away: Guys in Ties / Girls in Pearls. This is probably one of the few black-tie affairs you’ll ever attend while in college. Below, you’ll find an idea of what you could wear to this party.


  • Tie – either bow or standard
  • Button-up Shirt
  • Suit jacket
  • Dress shoes
  • Vest


  • Pearls (costume ones can be found at many department stores)
  • Cocktail dress
  • Heels
  • Flats

Think of it as either a wedding or an awards ceremony. When choosing what to wear, just be sure to factor in your comfort level. Sometimes, suit jackets can be a little tight and offer little room to move while high heels can be detrimental to even slow dancing.

Regardless of what fancy attire you throw on, be sure to use this occasion to its fullest. There won’t be many times on campus where you can impress the opposite sex with your mode of dress – so if you’re looking to score, here’s your opportunity to do it with style and class.

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