Every year Grad Ball holds itself as the best dressed event of the Loughborough calendar, as hoards of lush ladies and dapper gents celebrate the end of an era. After at least three years of hard study and countless nights out at the Students Union, how better to celebrate than a night out with great music, old friends and a fantastic, yet sophisticated theme.

This year is no exception. As the generation that has seen Harry Potter through their teens and early twenties, it seems only fitting that this year’s ball should be themed as such.

Dilemma 1: Long or Short Dress?

Either works at Grad ball.

You will not feel overdressed in a longer gown-style dress such at the SAFIA Maxi (£39, Want Her Dress) which fits right in with the Harry Potter theme in its rich Gryffindor red hue.

There is also the pricier MOLINA maxi (£180, Coast), which is a mystical turquoise colour.

If you want to strike a balance, why not try a midi-length dress, which are very on-trend right now. The BELLA ballerina dress (£33, Want Her Dress), will give you a perfectly practical and flattering dress to party in.

 Alternatively the shorter SEQUIN CUT OUT BODICE dress (£60, Rare @ Topshop) is definitely eye-catching, and is perfect for anyone who wants to make a statement.

 The SANA sequin skater dress (£30, Want Her Dress) gives you something a bit more practical and formal, yet the sparkle still makes it special.

Just remember to dress for yourself. Everyone is different, and some people suit long dresses, whilst some look much better in short. Shop around, and take your time choosing. Getting it right is all about looking great, but also feeling great.

Dilemma 2: Bow Tie, Tie or Open Collar?

This is definitely down to personal preference. Grad Ball is one of the few occasions where wearing a bow tie in the union will not be for comedy purposes.  

To keep it smart – stick to the ‘black-tie’ dress code and go simple in a plain black one.

For something a bit different, there are some great colourful and patterned ones out there including the Pink Velvet Bow Tie (£8 Topman) or Blue Spot Bow Tie (River Island Man £8).

Both Topman and River Island Man have a wide range of different thickness and colours of ties, including the current trend of the texture tie. Alternatively, you could interpret the theme literally and get a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin tie from as little as £2 on Ebay.

Dilemma 3: Wedge or Heel?

Flats being mostly out of the window, comes the age old debate of wedge versus heel. This is most difficult in the summer, when there are great ranges of both on sale.

The wedge has comfort and support in its favour, whereas heels can be more flattering with some styles. Wedges often work better than heels with a floor length dress (though this is not always the case), where heels can make legs look endless when worn with a shorter dress.

 My top pick is the FRANKIE floral wedges, (£30, Want Her Dress) which offer both support with the ankle strap and wedge heel, but still come in the beautiful fuchsia pink floral design.

The WONDERSTUFF wedge in Bright multi (£85, Office) mixes a rainbow coloured wedge with a metallic strap for a unique touch to a plain coloured dress.

 There are endless amounts of heels out there, the Black STUDDED SLIPPER Heel (£24.99 from New Look) will ensure that you are the belle of the ball with a quirky twist.

The PORTIA peep toe court shoes (£29, Want Her Dress) come in the same beautiful lavender colour that Hermione wore to the Yule Ball, and the demi-platform will ensuring comfort all night long.

Whatever you choose, make sure you wear them in before the ball to avoid rubbing!

Beckie Griffiths, co-founder of Want Her Dress shared her tips for getting it right at Grad Ball 2012. She told Label Style that:

 “Candy and pastel colours are bang on trend this season. Anything from mint green to lilac will be seen everywhere- ice cream heaven! Neon shades will also still be strong for SS12, especially with accessories and even shoes. Also, the use of strong prints will not be forgotten this SS. Whether large floral patterns or aztec and tribal, these will be hitting everyone's wardrobes- a must have!”

We teamed up with the girls at Want Her Dress and Browns Loughborough to bring you two exclusive deals to make Grad Ball 2012 extra special. Entering discount code GRADBALL15 at the till on the want her dress website will get you 15% off any item (excluding sale items) and is available until the June 28. You can also get £5 off of the £25 MAC make up application at Browns Loughborough when you quote ‘Label Style’ when booking. 


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