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Discounted White Tie Hire


This year, Magdalene May Ball are delighted to be working with James of Ely to provide White Tie suit hire at a heavily discounted price of £80 (compared to the high street price at Moss Bros of £149.95). The full package will include evening tails, dress trousers, white marcella waistcoat, white marcella shirt, white marcella bow tie and white pocket square.

Suits will be delivered during the week of the Ball. Subsidised formal attire will be available for all current Magdalene students in receipt of the Cambridge Bursary. Please note that guests failing to adhere to the dress code may be refused entry to the Ball.


Please email with any dress code or accessibility queries. 

White Tie

Essential: ‣ Black evening tailcoat ‣ White Marcella stiff-fronted shirt with a wing collar ‣ White Marcella bow tie ‣ White Marcella waistcoat ‣ Black dress trousers (traditionally, these have two rows of black braid down the outside of the leg). ‣ Shirt studs and cufflinks. ‣ Black leather formal shoes - strictly no trainers. Optional: ‣ Black silk top hat ‣ White gloves ‣ Black ebony cane with a silver or gold knob. ‣ Patent leather court pumps or patent leather oxfords.

Highland Dress

Essential: Black coatee (Prince Charlie, Montrose and Sheriffmuir jackets are suitable), accompanied by a black or white waistcoat, kilt, white pique shirt and vest with white studs and matching cufflinks. Black or white bow tie or a white lace jabot. Black Ghillie brogues are worn with a tartan, or red and white, red and black, or blue and white diced kilt hose. Flashes are worn with the kilt. Optional: Traditionally, sporrans are also worn, formal ornamentations of the pouch consist of a metal-mounted cantle top and fur pouch or a full fur and animal.

Ball Gown

Essential: ‣ Full-length, formal evening dress. ‣ Evening bags, if brought, should be small and elegant. ‣ Sleeveless gowns, if worn, should be paired with a shawl. ‣ Formal dress shoes - strictly no trainers. ‣ Please note that heeled shoes are NOT mandatory for this event. Optional: Gloves are traditionally worn, but should be removed when eating. Very long or very short gloves are worn with short-sleeved or sleeveless dresses; with three-quarter length sleeves, gloves should reach the sleeve which, in turn, should overlap them slightly.

Officer's Mess Dress

Essential: Please refer to the uniform regulations of your service branch.

Equivalent National Dress

Essential: Vogue describes White tie as being traditionally the most formal of all the dress codes, the ultimate formal outfit for only the fanciest affairs — think, the Met Gala, Oscars, or an extra special wedding. Therefore, please wear your national dress that is of the equivalent level of formality.

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