Oxford life involves a lot of formal occasions. Just being a student requires white-tie attire (which along with the cap and gown constitutes sub fusc) for matriculation, examinations and graduation (as well as less savoury events like being summoned before the domestic bursar). Beyond these requirements are lots of formal social functions like college balls and dinners which are all either white tie or black tie affairs.
My own social calendar includes the following formal events in the near future:
- Matriculation, 16 June, sub fusc. I have to go to the Convocation House and promise not to bring a naked flame into the Bodelian or herd my cattle in Christ Church meadow.
- OUANZ Dinner, 22 June, black tie. My kiwi friend Shailen wanted a crew of us from work to go to the Oxford University Australia-New Zealand society dinner. Their mailing list is "firstname.lastname@example.org".
- Green College Ball, 16 July, black tie. I missed the BNC ball this year and Green (an all grad college) always has the last ball of the season. Another group-from-work type event, which should be quite fun.
- Caryl's wedding, 31 July, black tie. Well, technically I'm sure a suit would be fine, but why not live it up?
So in light of all this I decided to buy a dinner jacket and trousers so that I'd be properly attired. This is also a good time to mention one of my favorite Oxon anecdotes to date. There's a store around the corner from my house called PRONUPTIA which I always parse as PRON UTOPIA. It makes me giggle every time. Even when I looked carefully I pronounced it in my head as prawn-up-tee-ah and I couldn't figure out what the hell it was supposed to mean. I didn't even know what they sold until Laurie asked and I looked in to see formal wear. I still didn't get the name. Then it dawned on me that it's PRO NUPTIA, as in "for the wedding". Heh.
Anyway, I did not go to PRONUTOPIA to buy my suit, because they're expensive and have a stupid name. I went to a place called Ballroom that has an extensive array of 2nd hand items on the first floor (by which I mean the second floor—the UK is 0 offset) I managed to get a matched set that fit me perfectly for only 70 quid. I'm quite pleased. Pictures of all the aforementioned events will be forthcoming when they happen.