Classes are finally over and formal season is here to let us live before the impending doom of finals. As formals are classier than regular parties but still sloppy and awkward, we’re here to help you navigate the confusing week of legendary nights you won’t remember.

Bring a date

The easiest way to get a date is to just ask. Seriously, you don’t have to stage an elaborate promposal involving serenades or HUPD—just put those famed Harvard networking skills to use and shoot them a text to hang out. Also, as you’re probably bad at dealing with rejection, just chill out if they say no. Shockingly, you don’t have to pretend they’re dead to you when you see them around.

Look fly on a budget

If you’re not willing to drop some serious cash on formal wear (imagine how many Felipe’s burritos you could buy instead!), there are plenty of low-cost options around. For those of you who are into dresses, Amazon has many nice styles that won’t put a dent into your latte budget. If you're looking for a suit, wear your consulting interview blazer (we know you have one). Alternatively, shop around—you have hundreds of other wardrobes right in your building. If all fails, you can always loosely interpret “black tie suggested” and come in whatever—Securitas does not double as the fashion police (sadly).

Pregame

First of all, don’t get too lit. There is a reason we don’t have formals in fancy hotel ballrooms anymore (thanks Class of 2017 for not letting us have nice things), so don’t yak so badly that the next year formals will be held in Lamont. Also, if you really want to make the night (un)memorable, sneak your drinks underneath your clothes as your clutches and bags will be checked.

Crash a formal

Nobody knows why formal tickets are so pricy nowadays (are tents, fairy lights and mediocre DJs that expensive?). Shmooze a HoCo chair and find out how people are marked at the entrance then draw an X on your hand or tie a ribbon and pretend you left to go to the bathroom. Or just down a few for courage and sneak up from behind. And don’t forget to laugh at the fools who bought their tickets late off the email list for 50 bucks.

So have fun but don’t make a fool of yourself and remember that you can try again next semester if you finally get the courage to ask that Eliot cutie to Fete ;)