Looking Glam, Looking Fab - But With What Money?

The academic parties, or sitsit, are wonderful events to get together with your student friends and to meet new people from your faculty. It's also a great chance to sing your lungs out and, of course, look fabulous! But there's the annoying issue of spare cash in these dark times of financial crisis: Who can afford to spend almost 100 euros for a new gown everytime there's sitsit? It's not affordable, or ecological for that matter...  One solution is to try to aim for a wardrobe that has a few stylish core elements, which don't need to be changed annually. I've tried to list some basic things that could help you put together several sitsi outfits (but which you can use in all sorts of partays)!   That Little Black Dress   I know, the LBD is a cliché but it's also a timeless classic! A neat black dress should be in the basic wardrobe of every classy lassy. The material of the dress should be of good quality, and I recommend that you check the washing details and consider your own needs: it might be easier if you can wash the dress yourself, and don't need to get it dry-cleaned! Little details are also important: remember to check the sewing carefully, the stitches should be tiny and dense. Demand quality for your money, the more cash you invest, the more years your dress will last!

The style of the dress is naturally up to you, but I would recommend a model that's classic and easily altered with different kinds of accessories. Of course if you're sure that you want to wear puff sleeves next year too, go for it! The color is only a recommendation, but black suits everyone and it goes well with your changing hairstyles and other knicknacks. Plus the usual Finnish paleness looks very classy with black, just remember that the final touch is all about…   Accessories, accessories, accessories!

Purses: I would say that you need two kinds of party purses: one of classic style and color, which you can use on formal occasions (other than sitsit too) or even with jeans and a sequined top. The other kind can be much more fun - go crazy with it and bring in some color and personality to your outfit! Find your favorite color, a purse covered with feathers or pearls or even with cute pictures! My favorite of tiny purses is adorably in the shape of Hello Kitty's head. You can find cute purses for example from flea markets, Accessorize, the Urban Outfitters website, Monki and of course from your mother’s, grandmother’s and sister’s (if you’re living on the edge…) stashes! If you want to invest more money on purses, try shops like Helsinki10, Minna Parikka and so on.

Scarves and jewelry: There are no guidelines to where you should go and find scarves and jewelry, just follow your instinct and try to find personal things you like. Try something different and go check Secco and Lux-shop for marvelous pendants and charms! Or remember when you were a kid and you could borrow some neat thingies from your friends, like plastic kitsch rings and necklaces, Barbies or pencils? Why not try something similar now? If one of your friends has an accessory you would love to wear, ask nicely to borrow it! Just remember to be careful with things you borrow. If you're talented with arts and crafts (which I myself am not...) try to make your own jewelry! Go hipster and put an old music-cassette to a silver chain or go cutie-anime and hang some Hello Kittys (*gasp*) FROM (*whew*) your neck. Shoes: What else could be more important and interesting than shoes?! Well, because apparently not everybody shares the same feeling, I’ll just sum it up: Find comfortable shoes that have heels you can walk with (or at least look cute when sitting down…) and that feel instantly yours. A beautiful pair of shoes can give your outfit the finishing touch of glamour and change your style completely. So instead of buying shoes, which are in fashion or look great on your best friend, be sure to select fun, cute, original and bold shoes that match you.

And a little hairy tip… Trying to put together a hairdo can be a painful process, especially for those of us who are about as skilled with hairstyles as lumberjacks are with trimming gardens. Luckily help is close at hand! YouTube is filled with great step-by-step hair and make-up tutorials that should get you going.

Prepare your bobby pins ladies and type “how to do a classy up-do/party curls/wave etc.”!

I hope this article has been helpful, please feel free to tell me if you think that I’m completely out of my mind or if Hello Kittys never were in fashion (prepare to die). However if you’re one of those gals who think that neon-colored elastaine tank-tops are still cool, I’m warning thee, thou shalt be severely mocked.

Kaisa Leino and all Better Than Sliced Bread wishing you great parties and awesome fun times.

I say HUMANIST,you say potato! March 2011

The Gentleman's Guide to Table-Party Etiquette