One of the signature events of Hibanacon will be the Cosplay Ball. This is a chance to dress up in your biggest, puffiest, pinkest dress - or your shiniest, swankiest duds - or an unholy amalgam of them both, break out your poshest accent, and cut a dashing figure as you sweep across the dancefloor.
Now, in case you're worried about not feeling welcome among all these posh folks with their fancy outfits, I'm here to reassure you: the ‘dress code’ isn't about keeping the riff raff out, it's just about making the night special. Basically any cosplay is welcome, or anything resembling a formal or military outfit, or anything else that’s sufficiently fabulous. As long as you make some sort of effort, you'll fit right in.
There’s one thing I'd like to make a special point of talking about, though: shoes.
You might be wearing a twelve-foot dress with a four-foot collar, held up by three tons of whalebone, steel and rivets, and accompanied by a steam-powered backpack (Vice President's Note: No active boilers on the dance floor please, we don't have the appropriate insurance), and that’s cool… but unless you have decent shoes you’ll just be an ornament. You’re there to dance, so don’t let footwear stop you!
There’s a balance to strike between shoes that are pretty and shoes that are comfortable to dance in. Too many people try to wear something intricately beautiful that prevents you moving at all; or in the other direction, trainers or boots may be comfy but they’re as ugly as an elderly orc’s backside. If you don't want to be stuck on the sidelines wishing you could join in, you'll need shoes that look good and that you can dance in.
You should look for:
A thin, smooth sole that can slide across the floor
Enough heel to lift your foot off the floor and point your town down; but not so much heel that you have trouble staying upright
A firm hold so the shoe doesn’t slip around or go flying off
No bits poking unpleasantly into your foot from anywhere
The rules are the same whatever your gender, or the gender you're dressing as today. Yes, men can wear heels, and women can wear sturdy shoes. So go shopping and make sure your feet are happy.
Next week I’m going to be talking about the dancing lessons and how you can learn to "cut a rug" as I believe the kids say.