Prom perfection

Dress length, jewelry, purse help make a look entirely yours

April 13, 2010|By LAKIN THOMAS / Pulse correspondent
  • Dress length is something that should be considered when choosing a prom gown.
Photo illustration,

Prom season is when the frantic search begins to find the right look and to create an ensemble that impresses.

You have to go beyond the usual expectations, and start thinking outside the box. Besides looking for that dazzling dress, you have to find jewelry, shoes and possibly a small clutch that helps the ensemble pop. There is so much to think about, it can be somewhat overwhelming.

Let's start off with the dress, obviously the most important part of the ensemble. If your prom has a theme, it may make the shopping a little easier. If not, then you have an abundant amount of choices.

First, you need to decide whether you want to go short or long. If you know that the prom venue is a tight space and that it can get pretty hot, then you might want to go with the shorter look. It will keep you cool and will not stick to you when dancing. However, if you know there will be plenty of room, then you might go for the long, flowing look. Long dresses look more elegant and sophisticated.


Dress designs are important to the selection, too. White dresses are easy to match accessories, but colorful dresses also give you a little flair.

Next is jewelry. For me, jewelry adds a personal touch. You can get it in all shapes and sizes, and mix and match colors to add some life to your outfit. Finding the right jewelry might be a struggle, though.

Last year, when I was shopping for homecoming jewelry, it took me a couple stores to find what I was looking for. I kept imagining what my dress looked like, and what would match up with it.

I had bought a black-and-white zebra-print dress with hot pink trimming. I think at some point I might have even taken the dress into the stores with me. It helps when you have the actual dress to hold jewelry up to and see what matches.

When you are looking for jewelry, make sure you don't match two contrasting patterns with each other. It may confuse the look and make it more complicated to find other accessories. For instance, I matched by zebra-print dress with a silver bow necklace that made the dress look a little fancier.

OK, so I know everyone loves shoes. Every girl has at least 10 pairs of shoes to her name. Honestly, how could just one pair of shoes go with every outfit you have? I think not. So we need to decide which pair of shoes will match with which dress you have selected. Let's go back to my dress again. Because my dress had a distinctive pattern, a patterned set of shoes would not go well with it. I chose to wear shiny black flats, which added to the fanciness of the look. An alternative would be silver or black heels.

However, if you want to go with a plain dress, then you can find a set of shoes that has some pattern in them. However, be careful that you don't mix colors that don't match with the color of the dress. Simple colored dresses are the best choice because they give you the most options to mix and match with.

Another accessory you may consider is a clutch purse. I don't suggest these because they tend to get in the way of your dancing. Some proms may have a place where you can put them, but they may not. If you are thinking of taking a clutch, then try using one that has a simple strap and blends in well with your dress. It keeps your hands free, and lets you enjoy the dance more.

Hopefully, your prom is a success and you can create a look that's all your own.

Lakin Thomas, 16, is a sophomore at North Hagerstown High School. She enjoys fashion and looking for ways to add a special touch to her outfits.

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