Prom is a memorable time for students, but the bill for this special night does need not to wipe out a college savings fund. Find affordable attire options so you can dance the night away without having to start paying off your expenses the next day.
Contrary to what you might expect, thrift stores offer more than powder blue suits and dresses from your mom's prom. Many thrift and consignment stores pride themselves on their modern selection and discounted prices. Some stores specialize in reselling never worn or gently used dresses for occasions like prom. Whether you find a bargain item or not, sell your dress to a consignment store after the event to get some of your money back.
If you are determined to have a new dress, start shopping early. Find out when stores in your area offer their blowout sales and get on their email lists to receive coupons and special offers. Many stores will also slash prices when prom season is drawing to a close, but it is a gamble to wait so long because options will be limited. However, if you are willing to take the risk and have found multiple options, you may be able to hold out until the price drops.
Finding the right dress is the hard, but selecting matching accessories is simple. Jewelry, shoes and hair accessories do not have to be pricey to look great with your outfit. Borrow nicer items from friends or family, look online or search bargain stores and large chains for the best prices.
You should remember prom, but the price you paid should not be stuck in your mind years later. Celebrate prom in style without going over budget by being a smart shopper and following these tips.
Forget prom queen . . . go for prom goddess!Let your personality shine because prom fashion this season offers wide-open choices.
A ball gown is the most classic style of formal wear. Its signature features are a billowing skirt and a fitted waist or corset style top. This gown heals the incurable romantic so get ready to create your own Cinderella adventure. Look out Prince Charming!
A cocktail dress is for you if you are cute, flirty and fun loving! It is versatile, sexy and suitable to wear for all types of special occasions, including graduation and homecoming. This retro-inspired dress is all about being feminine.
An A-Line gown is a sophisticated option. The gown skims the waist, and then picks up fullness as it glides over the hips. This is a fabulous choice if your goal is to look smart, confident and stylish.
Is your personality bold and sassy? A mermaid gown requires shameless self-confidence to pull off. This form fitting dress hugs your body all the way down to mid or lower calf, where it flairs out at the bottom. Movie stars understand the attention this dress demands!
Are you an artistic soul who would get more pleasure from creating your own dress than scouring the mall? Go vintage! Raid your mother's clothing trunk and update a gown from the 80's by adding sequins and altering the sleeves and length.
Your dress should be as special as you are. Make sure the dress you wear expresses nothing less than your true personality.
The perfect prom dress is hanging in your closet complete with glam accessories -- you're almost ready for your big night! Now it's time to get down to the beauty basics for your complexion, hair and nails.
A Radiant Complexion
Forget what the girl at the beauty counter told you because she works on commission. Don't make the common mistake of focusing on color cosmetics and foundation to make your skin glow. Make-up cannot create a radiant complexion. Wash your face before you go to bed each night, and once again after you wake up in the morning. Use a gentle soap and don't scrub or over wash your skin. Moisturize after washing with a lotion containing SPF to protect your skin from harmful rays. Use a moisturizer appropriate to your skin type (normal, oily, dry or combination). A healthy diet and eight glasses of water each day does more for you skin than all of the magical lotions and potions combined.
The secret to great lather is more water, not more shampoo. Too much shampoo strips your hair of shine and decreases volume. Also, don't pour more conditioner than the size of a coin into your palm, and apply the conditioner to the ends of your hair, not your whole head. Just like your complexion, the best treatment you can give to your hair is a healthy diet, including protein and vitamin B. So substitute a green leafy salad for a couple of orders of fries this week, and you'll be on your way to a great hair day for prom!
Beautiful nails also rely on good nutrition. Fragile nails indicate a lack of calcium, vitamin A and protein. Vitamin C and folic acid will help reduce hang nails, and vitamin B will strengthen fragile nails. External factors can affect your nails as well. Always use a non-acetone remover to take off your polish. When you file your nails, move the emery board at a 45 degree angle from one side of the nail to the middle instead of sawing back and forth. This will avoid cracking and peeling your nails. After you wash your hands, apply hand lotion starting at your fingertips and massaging toward your wrist.
Practice these basics in the weeks before prom, and you will not only see a huge difference in your complexion, hair and nails, you will also be way ahead of the crowd on prom glamour!
Let's face it. There's more to prom fashion then the dress, even though it took you months and dozens of fashion magazines to find it. Accessories can make or break a gorgeous prom gown and are must-haves for finishing off your red carpet look. But no worries . . . this year's accessories offer simple yet defining options.
A small beaded bag or an Asian print clutch will both compliment your prom gown and give you a stylish option for carrying essentials like lip gloss, bobby pins, spray, breath mints and extra cash. Purses should be simple so you are not drawing attention away from your dress.
Jewelry should also compliment the dress, not distract from it. Simple pearls worn close to the neck (choker style) work well for girls with athletic builds and those with hourglass or curvy figures. Shorter strands (a bit longer than choker style) compliment pear shaped figures and longer strands that drop down into the bust look great on fuller figures.
Bracelets work for any body type. Just avoid clangy metal, cheap plastic or wood designs and stick with gemstones or small beads. If you choose gloves, wear your bracelets over them, but not your rings (and always remove your gloves during dinner).
Choose medium to long earrings (especially if your hair is up) with geometric designs, delicate stone clusters or sparkling rhinestones. Avoid clunky earrings and save the heavy hoops to wear with your jeans and after prom t-shirt. Brooches are also a hot item this season. A jeweled brooch pinned to your waist or dress strap will help you make your glam entrance.
As you saunter toward your limo in your high heeled sandals, wear a light shawl draped around your uppers arms for a flirty look. And don't forget your most valuable prom night accessory . . . your gorgeous smile!
When it comes to prom dresses, one style does not fit all. A prom dress should highlight your best features and downplay your worst. It pays to evaluate your body type before settling upon one style.
For long and lean types, a sheath dress(straight line, fitted from shoulders to ankles) or a mermaid dress gives the “wow” factor. An empire cut dress with its high waistline and seam just under the bust is also a fabulous option if you are thin and small busted.
Classic pear shapes can't go wrong in an A-line dress. This dress is forgiving around the hips because the skirt flares out and accentuates your shapely waist. And go strapless . . . a strapless gown will draw attention to your delicate upper torso features.
For fuller figures, a ball gown will accentuate your beautiful arms and shoulders. If you are big busted, a v-shaped top will give you extra support and make you look well proportioned, as will a strapless dress with a corseted top. Resist the urge to cover up! You will look thinner if your dress fits well and you are showing a little skin.
With this information, you are well-armed to walk confidently into any boutique and let the sales assistant know what style works with your best features!
On prom night, you want a dress that not only dazzles but also feels comfortable and moves with you. You don't want to be wondering how to breathe when you sit down to dinner or tugging at fabric that won't keep you covered on the dance floor. Prom night is a time to feel relaxed, confident and focused on nothing else but having fun.
So getting the perfect fit is serious business and takes a bit of planning. Before you leave home to try on dresses, put on the right undergarments, including a strapless bra. Take sandals in the heel height you plan to wear to prom. If you have a glam pair of earrings or necklace, wear it to your dress fittings to find the perfect match.
View the dress from every angle in a full length, three-way mirror and pay special attention to:
If the dress needs adjustments, use the seamstress associated with the boutique or formalwear shop because that seamstress will be familiar with the fabrics and styles sold there. If you are buying a dress off the rack of a store that doesn't have a seamstress, make sure the adjustments are minor enough that they will be simple for any seamstress to handle. If the dress needs major adjustments, keep looking for one that works better with your body type.
And don't forget to bring a trusted friend along for a second opinion. Remember, your prom dress isn't perfect until it feels as amazing as it looks.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|