It's that time of year again. Your favorite magazines are filled with dress ads and style features, and everyone is abuzz about who is asking who. That's right, it's officially prom season!
My school's prom is relatively early compared to all of the other high schools in town. Ours is this Saturday. I had a dress (and a date!) all figured out before spring break, and I couldn't be more excited for my senior prom!
I had originally bought a navy one-shouldered BCBG gown last fall on sale, but then I took a trip to Bloomingdale's in early March with my mom and sisters. Upon entering the dress department, I saw the most perfect dress on a mannequin and just knew I had to try it on. I fell in love with it immediately and knew it was the one. After a few alterations, and visiting
raiding my mom's jewelry box, my prom ensemble is planned and ready to go.
What does the gown look like you may ask?
Well, I'm keeping that a secret until this weekend, but for now, here's a tiny preview:
I'm wearing silver jewelry and shoes. Tune in early next week to get pictures, a recap, and outfit details!
Did I mention I'm super picky when it comes to shopping for formal dresses? In this day in age, I think it is so hard to find cute and classy (ie: non-trashy) prom dresses. Our school does long dresses for prom, but the administration has gotten increasingly strict about cutouts and slits. This adds yet another element of difficulty in the prom dress search.
I have a few requirements I abide by when searching for dresses:
1. No prints (usually) - I been to several stores where animal print dresses or floral dresses adorn the racks. As a general rule, animal print almost always looks tacky. Floral prints, when done in an appropriate color scheme can work out. My friend Maggie, bought this dress and the soft color palette and similar color tones really work and make for an elegant look. Another example of pattern done right would be this Lilly Pulitzer dress worn by the College Prepster at her senior prom. (She lived in Florida, so it was easy to pull off!) Anything such as this dress, though, should probably be avoided.
Prints are less timeless than solids. In my opinion, you want to look back at pictures in twenty years, and still LOVE your dress. Prints go out of style faster. In addition, you will be saving money by not buying a printed dress. Many of the printed dresses sold by popular prom retailers are very expensive. A timeless solid dress could be worn for other occasions such as college formals, whereas a printed dress could probably not be worn again.
2. Minimal "bling"/sparkle- Personally, I don't really like sparkle on a dress. I prefer to add sparkle with accessories and jewelry. However, like I said, I am very picky. Sparkles and bling can easily be overdone on a prom dress, but it can also be done classily. Embellishment on the bodice or shoulder is always fun, but I would definitely stay away from all sequin gowns. I think that overdosing on bling definitely detracts from the most important feature: YOU!
Here's some dresses I've pulled that do sparkle the right way:
This dress is simple, and I love the soft color. The embellishment at the waist adds some sparkle, but it isn't distracting.
This navy number from JS boutique is a great dress for those who struggle with strapless (Me!) The embellishment is in such a cute little diamond shape. I'm such a sucker for navy.
AVOID a dress like this at all costs. The sequins AND the pattern make for a major distraction. Plus, it's almost guaranteed that you'll be tired of this dress by the time your college formal rolls around.
3. Don't Bare it All- As I mentioned earlier, my school has become very strict about dress length and how much skin can show in a dress. The rules for cutouts are pretty reasonable. A back cutout cannot come around to the front, and may not go below your belly button if you were to trace a line around to your back. Also, no plunging necklines. I think these are reasonable rules that every girl should follow when shopping for a dress. No one really wants to see a dress that plunges so far down your back we can see your crack. Cutouts around to the front leave little to the imagination, as do revealing necklines. Slits are normally ok, as long as they aren't incredibly high. Use your judgment and keep it classy!
WAY too much skin!
Have fun shopping for a dress and make sure it's "you!" Get alterations if needed to avoid having to pull your dress up all night! Spend time shopping for the right undergarments before the big day so you are all set and ready to go, and most importantly, comfortable!
Here's some of my picks for prom dresses:
J.Crew's wedding line is PERFECT for classic and timeless prom dresses. They offer several silhouettes and several colors. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but you will definitely be able to wear them again, and could even shorten them to make them more casual for future events. I love the color of this blue dress! Add some gold jewelry and heels and you have a sophisticated and elegant look.
I love the lace detailing on this green strapless gown.
Another green dress, I know. but I love the less structured feel of this Lauren Ralph Lauren gown. The brooch on the shoulder is a fun touch.
And in case you haven't seen enough green dresses, here is my prom dress from junior year:
Have you had your prom yet? If not, do you have a dress? What are your personal requirements when dress shopping? Comment away!
Have fun at prom, I'll do a recap post of mine next week.
Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative.