Your magical prom night fast approaches, and you want to be sure you'll be 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, district manager for Deb Shops. “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.”
Alana Williams at Dillard's Penn Square Mall echoes the hemline edict: “It's all about hi-low, soft mint or coral.”
And, notes the official website of the International Prom Association, 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.”
Less is usually more. While flattering, cutouts can veer out of control.
“You cannot have any tummy rolls or back rolls sticking out of that dress, so the athletic, boxy body types (think Hilary Swank) look good in this style,” stylist Sam Saboura said. “There's a way to be sophisticated and sexy when you're doing cutouts, but if you go over the top, it's going to err on the slutty side.”
“Look for clean silhouettes that don't accentuate curves too much,” Saboura said, “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.”
Need to enhance?
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 your goal.
“We're seeing strapless and lots of sparkle on the bottom,” Williams said. “Above all, glamorous.”
Again, lace is key, according to the International Prom Association: “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.”
Tips from top to bottom
Skin: Harmonize your skin tone, and not only through effective makeup. Saboura's advice is: “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.”
Eyes and lips: Sarah Fuentes, regional director at Toni & Guy Salons, stresses “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 cautions, “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.
Hair: Simpler and less structured is the look, said veteran stylist Hannah Goodman at Duncan Brothers Salon. “Nothing is super tailored. Not as many braids, instead lots of beachy (loose) curls for a rumpled Hollywood look.”
Hair Rule No. 1: Your hairstyle should harmonize with your 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, but that wilts on the dance floor, just won't do.
Accessories: Remember that your dress is the highlight. Jewelry should enhance, not detract from your apparel.
“A fabulous pair of shoes or a great necklace can transform a really simple dress into something amazing,” Saboura said.