Prom dress: Chic and sophisticated

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:13

    In shopping for a prom dress, high school girls walk the line between fulfilling the traditional fantasy and making their mark at what is often their first formal event. Traditional is synonymous with prom, according to Judy Fletcher, owner of The Wedding Store in Andover; and traditional means ball gown. But don’t be fooled: Traditional does not mean boring. “This year it’s bright pinks, oranges, yellow, greens like chartreuse. It’s wow; it’s fun.” Color isn’t the only domain where girls are stepping out. In the past few years details like beading and feathers, have become more prevalent on dresses. This year, while Fletcher said she was still seeing these elements, these kind of trimmings were increasingly being left to the accessories, and the dresses were more about unusual cuts. “The styles are simpler with less embellishment, but the cut itself is definitely a little more bold,” she explained. “It’s more sophisticated,” said Fletcher of the styles she is seeing this year. And with embellishment moving to bags and shoes, these accessories are becoming increasingly important. “Purses are really the statement. They’re just making some outrageous, fun little pocketbooks with spangles, prints and beaded handles,”she said. While girls strive to stand out with their dresses and purses, they have traditionally had less control over their flowers. Maria DeFelice, who owns both the Flower Box in Sparta and Petals in Franklin, said that usually boys pick out wristlets (corsages, which are pinned, are out, according to DeFelice), and the boys generally are cautious. “When guys order it, it’s three white rose wristlets,” she explained. But DeFelice said she had noticed that in the past few years, girls had commandeered control of their flowers, too. And with girls picking out their flowers, things have gotten a bit more complicated. “Everything has to be matchy,” said DeFelice, wristlet to dress and wristlet to boutonniere, if the couple has been together long enough. In the effort to match, roses may even have to be abandoned. “Since they’re matching, and there are no blue roses, we’ll suggest a delphinium” be added, DeFelice said. The choice of flowers has become more daring since the girls have taken over, and more expensive. “They used not to spend very much, but now girls pick any corsage they want,” said DeFelice. Lately, they have been leaning toward smaller roses, like tea roses or sweetheart roses. “Some make it into a mini-wedding,” said DeFelice. And why wouldn’t they? In buying dresses for her store, Fletcher said that no matter a girl’s age or the event she is attending, she still wants to turn heads when she walks in the room.