As prom night fast approaches, teen girls should plan to get noticed for the right fashion choices.
A memorable impression, not a cringe-inducing double-take is easily achieved for Prom 2013 with just a bit of preseason savvy.
Got good legs?
“We are seeing beautiful hi-low dresses that show off your legs,” said Teesha Tyrrell, Deb Shops district manager for Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. “And these hemlines also showcase a great pair of shoes. Lace is another hot trend showing up in both full-length gowns and cocktail dresses.”
Kate Spencer at Dillard’s Mall of Louisiana echoes the hemline edict: “It’s all about hi-low in soft coral and mint.”
And, notes the official website of the International Prom Association (IPA), the timeless sparkle of sequins is joined this season by elegant hand-beaded accents. “Sequins, lace and form-fitting dresses,” Tyrrell said. “Those are big this prom season.”
Like cut-outs? Less is usually more, stylists say.
While flattering, cut-outs can veer out of control, according to stylist Sam Saboura, a regular contributor for such shows as “Good Morning America” and “The Tyra Banks Show.”
“You cannot have any tummy rolls or back rolls sticking out of that dress, so the athletic, boxy body types (think Hillary Swank) look good in this style,” Saboura said. “There’s a way to be sophisticated and sexy when you’re doing cut-outs, but if you go over the top, it’s going to err on the slutty side.”
Fuller figure? “Look for clean silhouettes that don’t accentuate curves too much,” said Saboura, “and go for details like flat pleating and ruching which will hide any bumps and bulges. As far as necklines go, look for a slimming V-neck that calls attention to the center line, but doesn’t bare the breast.”
It’s ruffles to the rescue for willowy figures.
“It adds volume to a small bust, they break up a boxy frame and they add a feminine touch to a boyish figure,” Saboura said.
Red carpet glamour should be the goal. “We’re seeing sequins on top and soft and sheer on the bottom,” Spencer said. “Above all, glamorous.”
Again, lace is key, according to the IPA: “If you like that whimsy of vintage or red carpet high-end couture, look toward the use of lace to make your style picture perfect.”
Harmonize with skin tone, and not only through effective makeup.
Saboura’s advice: “Find a celebrity who has a similar color and search for images of their red carpet looks. In general, women with warmer and darker complexions look great in peach, coral and earthy colors. And I think navy is prettier on African-American skin than black is. Girls that are pale can look to the big pastel trend.”
Sarah Fuentes, Toni & Guy Salons regional director for Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, stressed, “Bold eyes or bold lip color. Not both at the same time, though — one or the other.”
And while many fashion websites and magazines tout extra dark liner and saturated eye color, Saboura cautioned, “The most common prom mistake I see is overdressing and overstyling.”
Don’t forget, heavier makeup and darker eye colors can smudge and crease more easily.
Hairstyles are simpler and less structured, according to veteran stylist Meghan Rolfs at Salon Boheme in Baton Rouge. “Nothing is super tailored. Volume is key for achieving a crown bun or one at the nape. Soft romantic curls for a tousled Hollywood look are always a glamorous choice.”
Hair Rule No. 1: A hairstyle should harmonize with the dress, not clash with it.
Rule No. 2: It’s got to look lovely for several hours. An overly elaborate creation which is stunning for 45 minutes before wilting to a limp mass on the dance floor just won’t do.
And don’t overlook accessories. Always remember: the dress is the highlight. Jewelry should enhance, not detract from apparel.
“A fabulous pair of shoes or a great necklace can transform a really simple dress into something amazing,” Saboura said.