Heather Monroe: Prom Dress Shopping Decoded

Finding that perfect prom dress can be a nightmare.  Having to go to all of the different stores to try on a million dresses and then end up not liking the color or the fit can be so discouraging.  Don’t stress out about a dress! Prom dress shopping should be a fun experience not a bad one.  All you need to know is the color and fit that works for your skin tone, eyes and body type.

Wearing a dress that works well with your skin tone is really important.   Everyone either has a warm skin tone or a cool skin tone.  One way to figure out which tone you are is to check your veins.   Push your sleeves up right now and look at the veins on the inside of your wrist.  Are they blue or green? If they look more blue, you likely have cool undertones. If the veins look greenish, you’re warm. It’s worth noting, warm girls, that you’re veins aren’t actually green—they look that way because you’re seeing them through yellow-toned skin.  Another way to figure out if you have warm or cool skin tones is to check the jewelry you wear.  If you always wear silver jewelry and you believe that looks best on you, then you, most likely, have cool skin tone.  If you believe that you look best in gold jewelry, then you have warm tone skin.

Now that you know if you have warm or cool skin tone, you now have to find out what colors work best for you.  Obviously, cool skin tones look best in cool toned colors.  Cool tone colors are colors like white, black, royal blue, navy and lilac purples.  If you are thinking about metalics, go for silvers.  Now, if you have a warm skin tone, you should go for earthy colors.  These colors include burnt orange, cream, yellow, browns, dark green and burgundy.  Yellow and rose golds are your go to’s for metallic shades. Some colors that work for every skin tone are a deep purple, a true red, teal, blush and smoky quartz.  These colors work on all skin tones, they make every undertone look great.

Color isn’t the only thing that is important in finding the perfect dress for you.  Finding the perfect dress means that it needs to look great on your body as well as looking good with your skin tone.  If you have a pear shaped body, you should show off your back and arms.  A pear shaped body just means that you carry more weight on your bottom half than you do on the top.  Getting a dress that has an open back and is sleeveless will look the best on your figure.  Another popular body shape is a rectangle figure.  This simply means that you don’t carry any more weight on the top of your body than you do on the bottom. The best dresses for this body type would be more fitted ones that give you more curves.   Paula Coughlan, IHS senior, was asked what body type she thought she was and what dress she would normally wear.  “I’d describe myself of more of a rectangle.  I would normally wear a long fitted dress.”  When asked what color she thinks looks best on her, she said “I like blacks and purples because I have cool skin.”

Deb Bannister is a seamstress at the Classic Couple in Haverhill, MA.  The Classic Couple is a boutique that sells prom and formal dresses.  I sat down with Deb and asked her some questions about this upcoming prom season.  I asked Deb about the trends for this season. Deb told me that “Mostly floor length gowns with a small sweep train.”  When asked about the most popular colors, she stated that, “There are a lot of light colors this year.”  Lastly, I asked Deb what she thought was appropriate for a high school student to wear to prom; she said, “A classic style, and less boob show.”

Knowing what dress really works for your body type is really important in finding the perfect dress.  Knowing what colors look good on your skin tone is also a great thing to know when looking for a dress.  Picking out a prom dress should be a fun occasion, so use these tips and take the stress out of shopping for this great event.

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