Tag: party

Law School Prom – Barrister’s Ball

March 27

This past Saturday was a blur of preparation for our law school prom, the “Barrister’s Ball.” I had ordered a sequin dress in a “tall” size, so I spent Saturday morning trying to hem it shorter. Turns out you can’t cut or sew through sequins, so I improvised and hot glued (you read that right) the hem until it fell right at my ankle. Please don’t look too closely at the bottom of my dress!

Barristers Ball Harvard law school - black tie formal sequin gownBlack tie law school formal - tux and green sequin gownShimmery green sequin maxi dress for black tie formal galaDress: ASOS (on sale for $38) // Shoes: exact dupe here from Steve Madden ($42) // Lipstick: NARS // I’m also wearing a small black locket choker // Smokey eye done with the Balm’s Nude Tude palette // And I have to credit my trusty, 3-year old hair curler

Despite the rain, my friends and I were committed to taking photos outside the cathedral-like building nearby. We walked over in our overcoats, took the coats off to take a pic, put the coats back on to look at whether the picture turned out properly, repeat x 1000.

We were really good at smiling through the muggy weather (and I also filtered all the pictures so that our freezing red hands turned out normal colored). I always joke that one of the benefits of befriending me is that you’ll get free high quality photo sessions. I do take a lot of photos, so I might as well put that skill to use.

Barristers Ball - Harvard Law School black tie formal

Before the ball, we gathered at a seafood restaurant for a fancy meal just like how high schoolers do a fancy dinner before high school prom. The restaurant we went to (Oceanaire) had really fresh tuna and oysters, and I loved the “chicken fried lobster” that I ordered. I would have ordered more cocktails if they weren’t $14 a piece, because the Blackberry drink and the sangria were amazing.

Once we got to the hotel for the Ball, I will admit I spent a good half hour taking pictures with everyone I hadn’t seen in a long time. The venue was very classy and beautiful; even the bathrooms had amazing lighting.

Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel venue

The highlight of my evening was when my boyfriend and I taught another couple how to ballroom dance. I had no idea that my boyfriend was such a good dancer, and it was a lot of fun getting tossed around and learning the steps with another happy couple. I ended up with really sore feet (who knew that heels with only two straps would be uncomfortable, right?) but I woke up with a smile today having had one of the best experiences of my law school career.

Church of Christian Science - backdrop for our black tie formal pictures

Barristers’ Ball – What to Wear to Your Black Tie Formal Made Easy

March 4
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It’s almost time for Barristers’ Ball, which is a fancy formal that a lot of law schools (including ours) puts on at the beginning of spring. Our Barristers’ Ball invitation specified a “black tie” dress code, which is unusual to see nowadays.

“Black tie” is a great chance to wear a gown or fancy dress that you may not get to at any other time. Black tie usually demands tuxes from the men and a floor-length gown or a fancy dress from the women. Even cocktail dresses or shorter dresses are less appropriate for this type of event. Besides, you can wear a cocktail dress to any other kind of formal, so take the chance to go big on a ball gown!

I’ve rounded up some of the most stunning (and budget-friendly) dresses in several categories to help you pick your Ball outfit.

Tulle and romantic black tie Barristers' Ball dresses

This may just be me, but when I think black tie, I immediately want to pull out a ballgown with ruffles, lace, and all that jazz. I’m a romantic at heart, what can I say? And black tie is one of the only occasions (besides a wedding) when your dress can be as frilly as you want.

My picks below (scroll left and right using the arrows):

Red ball gowns for black tie Barristers' Ball

The natural choice for black tie attire doesn’t have to be black or white: bright red is good way to stick out. A bonus is that the dresses I chose also showcase spring’s hottest trends: the bell sleeve and the off-the-shoulder neckline.

These gowns are floor-length stunners (scroll left and right using the arrows):

Tall and petite black tie Barristers' Ball dresses

If you’re petite or tall, I’d recommend searching for gowns in ASOS’s petite and tall lines. ASOS’s price points are very accessible and they are much trendier than Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus petites (which seem to be targeting older women).

For petites: I also recommend dresses that can be hemmed easily, such as a pink column dress like this one. I’m tailoring my recs more towards petites because ball gowns tend to run long anyway, to accommodate most sizes, so petite girls need to hem their dresses most of the time. Look for silhouettes without a lot of ruffling on the bottom and zippers on the BACK (so that your tailor can take in the bust from the sides if necessary).

Of you can try searching petite versions of the same dresses that I’ve already featured. For instance, the red dress in the scrolling thing below is the same red dress from earlier, but in a petite-friendly size.

My picks below:

Black tie ball gown inspiration for Barristers' Ball

Black tie = black dress. Couldn’t be simpler (or more elegant).

My picks below:

Barristers' Ball bright dresses for black tie event

Ok, I didn’t need a whole section for this next dress. Spoiler alert: I bought the pink one pictured here. What? It’s $53, pink, and frilly. Don’t be so surprised.

Pastel black tie dresses for Barristers' Ball

It’s spring outside, even if the thermometer doesn’t show it. Be different and show up in something pastel pink or blue—or even a light metallic Grecian gown.

My picks below:

Jewel tones Barristers' Ball black tie gowns

And last but not least, for my bold sisters: jewel tones are a good way to stand out from the crowd wearing black, white, and red, while still maintaining decorum. You’ll be the star of the night—just check out those ruffles or that floral print!

My picks below:

Sparkly Green for New Year’s

December 30

Green glittery long sleeve dress New Year's Eve party outfit ideasGreen long sleeve shimmery body con dressGold silver glitter strappy heelsBackless green glittery long sleeve bodyon dress and crown braid bunDouble winged eyeliner and pearl choker

If you’re ringing in the New Year at a cocktail event, you can’t go wrong with a shimmery green metallic dress.

Dress: Charlotte Russe, similar Charlotte Russe green bodycon dress or this green glittery off-the-shoulder dress // Heels: DSW (old), similar silver strap heels here // Necklace: Primark, identical here from Boohoo // Earrings: F21, similar here // Lip color: “Cruella

This particular one has long sleeves (because I want to rewear the dress and Boston will be cold until April) yet boasts a slinky back that’s anything but demure. The deep V looks great with a simple choker, and to keep the necklace as the focal point, I swept my hair up into a crown braid-bun so the accessories could shine.

2016 has been a rough year for me (and the world), so here’s hoping that 2017 brings some new changes and new hope. Have a safe New Year’s Eve!

A Perfect Holiday Dress for Office, Family & Friends-giving

November 17
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Red bow sweater dress and leopard heelsThe perfect party dress for Christmas and the holidays

I love looking at holiday dresses but I hate spending money to buy them. There are so many options and so many different variables to consider that I end up getting 2-3 for all the different events I’m going to, only to wear each dress once and feeling like I threw money away. That’s because what I wear to a family gathering might be too boring for a fancy holiday party, so I cave and get multiple outfits.

Not this year! I’ve found the one dress that I will be using for my neighborhood potluck (the neckline and length is demure enough for my conservative community), any parties (the color is festive enough for Christmas and New Year’s), and Friends-giving (the waist seam is pretty loose and the skirt flares out—perfect for hiding turkey tummy). Best of all, the dress is under $40!

The perfect red holiday sweater dressLeopard Sam Edelman kitten heelsThe perfect holiday dress for office parties, family gatherings and Friends-givingDress: TJMaxx ($40) // Fur stole: F21 // Heels: Sam Edelman // Lip color: “Cruella

Wedding Kimono

October 22

Kimono over maxi dressMaxi dress layering ideas for fallVictoria's Secret sheer lace trim kimonoGold leaf headband

Dress: JCP (old, similar here) // Kimono: Victoria’s Secret, love this black sheer one here // Lip Color: NYX // Headband: Forever 21 // Heels: Ann Taylor (similar here) // Bag: F21 (similar here for $30)

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to attend a bridal presentation by Candice Wu, one of Boston’s most famous bridal designers. The presentation was a chance for the public to view the designs up close and interact with Candice. Knowing that I’d be surrounded by yards of chiffon and lace, I dressed the part in a lacy kimono and full-flowing maxi dress, topped off with a princess-y headband.

After my afternoon classes, I hopped on the T and made my way downtown to the hotel where the presentation was being held, just in time to snag a photo with Candice before the general public swarmed around her beautiful jeweled creations.

Candace Wu fashion presentation Fall 2016