Teens today are so individualistic that the perfect prom dress for them may be long or short, new or from a vintage store.
But as high school girls in Charlotte turn their attention to spring prom this year, theyll find many dresses focusing on a feature that has not received much attention in past years: the back.
Backless or dresses with backs that have straps, sequins and cutouts are whats in, says Brittney Howard, the special-occasion dress manager for Dillards at SouthPark mall. Last year it was high-low hemlines.
At the Dillards prom fashion show held recently at the store, teen girls walked a red carpet showing off the trend. Among them was a mint green Sequin Hearts cap-sleeve lace gown that was demure from the front, but showed off the back with a large triangular cutout above a sweet bow. Another mint green Sequin Hearts gown had a back covered in sequins except for a small cutout below the shoulder blades.
At Belk SouthParks prom fashion show, a white Nightway gown had an open back crisscrossed with a star burst of wide straps studded with sprays of sequins. A dramatic navy and gold Betsy and Adam gown was almost completely backless except for a wide strap with sequin and bead trim.
Arlene Goldstein, vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction for Belk, describes the trend as back drama.
A secondary trend is a gown with a peplum, a reflection of the current popularity of the retro style thats a short overskirt attached at the waist. A model at that show looked chic in a bright red strapless gown with a peplum.
Whatever the style, Goldsteins advice to prom gown shoppers? Be open to newness, but put fit first, she says. And comfort is key. Its going to be a long night if your dress is pinching or pulling!
Your hair is so Pinteresting
A casual survey of area hair stylists reveals that Pinterest pages and the hairstyles of celebrities, including Taylor Swifts sweet-yet-sophisticated ponytail at the 2014 Grammy Awards, are inspiring prom hair trends. And forget the days of girls bringing in pages ripped from magazines. They just hold up their smartphones to show the perfect prom tresses theyre hoping to achieve.
When it comes to makeup for prom, many girls want an amped-up look of their everyday preferences. If shes used to wearing makeup, she wants something more dramatic and maybe a smoky eye, says Diane Andersen, manager of the Clinique makeup counter at Dillards SouthPark. If shes not used to wearing makeup, she wants just enough to enhance her features. The day of prom, Andersen says its not unusual to have girls coming by her counter to get their makeup done. Its good because at that age theyre concerned with how their skin looks, so its a chance to talk to them about taking care of their skin, and if they end up buying a product, thats great.
Your night to sparkle
As with dresses, the style of shoes girls choose for prom can range from sneakers and flat slippers or sandals to platform heels. Amani Dooley-Wilkes, the womens assistant buyer for Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, says whats most popular for prom are heels with intricate and sparkling details. (Teen girls) love sequins, glitter and beading and are open to a platform or single sole, she says. When it comes to color, theyre gravitating towards iridescent silver material, Tiffany blue, pinks and gold. I think these trends are popular because theyre very flattering on the foot and give her some coverage at the same time, and they compliment any dress.
Boutonniere or not?
There was a time when teens wouldnt dare show up to prom without a date. Now groups of girls and boys who are friends often go together in packs.
Does that signal the end of the once-ubiquitous boutonniere for the boy and wrist corsage for the girl? Not according to Connie Proctor of the Blossom Shop. In her six years working for the florist, she hasnt noticed a decrease in orders. Mothers drive this trend they still want the flowers that match the dress, so theyre the ones who call in the order.
What is new is the shunning of the white elastic band on wrist corsages. The trend now is to build the corsage around a bracelet a single strand rhinestone bracelet or a larger cuff bracelet and then the girl has a keepsake from the evening that she can wear, says Proctor.