The Medallion Ball, sponsored by St. Lucy’s Auxiliary, has been a Pittsburgh family tradition since 1963. Since the inception of the Medallion Ball, the formal dress code has been an important part of the long tradition, helping to create a most elegant and memorable evening. Please honor the tradition by following the formal dress code requirements as outlined below.

The Ball Dress

A floor-length formal dress is required for the Medallion Ball. The color of the dress must be pure white not off-white. To determine whether a dress is pure white, hold a blank sheet of white paper up to the dress. If the dress is not pure white, it is not permitted. No exceptions.

Dresses for the Ball are usually purchased from a bridal shop. If ordering a new dress from a bridal shop, please be advised that it may take several weeks or months to come in, and for a fitting to be scheduled. Alterations may take several more weeks to be completed. The girls will need their dress to be ready to wear, for a photo session, where photos are taken for the Medallion Ball program, the summer before the Ball. Pictures are taken from June 1st to August 31st. The program picture can be taken before the dress is hemmed, if necessary. When purchasing the dress, please advise the store, accordingly. Photographs will not be accepted for the Medallion Ball program unless the formal dress code is followed.

Unacceptable Dress Styles and/or Restrictions:

  • Halter dresses, backless dresses, strapless dresses, off the shoulder dresses, or dresses with spaghetti straps are NOT permitted.
  • The shoulders must be covered with wide straps that are minimum of two inches or two fingers width.
  • A strapless dress may be purchased, only, if the bridal shop will add regulation straps to the dress. Regulation straps are straps that are a minimum of two inches in width.
  • The dress’s hemline should be even to the floor. Dresses with trains are not permitted. Girls purchasing a dress with a train must have the train removed or modestly under-busted by a professional seamstress. No exceptions.
  • The front neckline of the dress must be modest and appropriate as the Medallion candidates are being presented to the Bishop, of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Exposed cleavage is not acceptable at the Ball, or at events leading up to the Ball.
  • Evening pants are not permitted.

Embellishments on the Ball Dress: Clear crystals and pure white pearl beading is permitted if it is modest and understated. Colored trimmings of any kind are not permitted. This includes silver, gold or colored beads, iridescent crystals (rainbow crystals), colored threads, and colored belts etc. Pearl beading is not permitted since the pearls are varying shades of ivory.

Slips, Crinolines, and Petticoats: A slip or crinoline petticoat worn under the dress is strongly recommended since professional lighting will be used on the Medallion Ball stage. Also, a bridal slip or crinoline can make the dress spectacular.

Shoes: Pure White (not off-white) shoes are required. Please select shoes that will be comfortable enough for walking and dancing. Pumps, peep-toes, sling-backs, ballet flats, sandals, flip-flops etc. are acceptable as long as they are pure white.

Gloves: White formal gloves are required. The gloves should be the appropriate length for the dress sleeve and must be made of a solid fabric without embellishments. Lace and/or net gloves are not permitted.

Jewelry And Accessories: Small earrings that compliment the dress are acceptable. Pearls or a small chain necklace is acceptable. Excessive jewelry and/or oversized jewelry are not permitted e.g. oversized necklaces and oversized earrings. Please consider that the Joan of Arc Medallion will be presented on a ribbon necklace and placed over the head, during the ceremony, at the Ball.

Unacceptable Accessories:

  • Visible body piercings of any kind are not permitted e.g. nose, lip, tongue, brow, or cartilage piercings may not be worn. No Exceptions
  • Hair adornments of any kind are not permitted.

Please feel free to contact the Credentials Committee regarding questions about the formal dress code or requirements. Thank you for respecting the traditions of the Medallion Ball and St. Lucy’s Auxiliary.