Prom Dresses Decoded

Published: 27th January 2012
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Whatís not to love about being a girl? All the glitz, glamour, and of course the fashion! Getting dolled up is just another fun part of every girlís life, especially for prom. Prom is the main event of your senior year and a sort of reward for all your hard work. Whether your senior prom is more low-key or on a grand scale, you need a hot look that will make you stand out! With so many different options of dresses, it may seem pretty overwhelming when finding your perfect prom dress. The silhouette, the bust, the bodiceÖbut wait what does all that even mean? Before your headache increases, look over this guide to help you wean out the perfect style of prom dresses.

Letís start with the neckline of your dress. The neckline is the uppermost part of where your dress begins. The most common types of necklines on prom dresses can be defined as strapless, halter, one shouldered, V-neck, square neck, cowl neck, scoop neck (or circle neck), and the most common, sweetheart. The sweetheart neck is named after the top portion of a heart, accenting your bust. It is flattering for both larger and smaller chested girls. It is mostly seen on a strapless bust. In the case that you have a larger chest, more support can generally be found in a halter or one shouldered neckline bust. If you want to accentuate your smaller chest, cowl necks and sweetheart necklines work wonders.

Speaking of necklines, busts are also known as the chest portion of your dress. They can either be form fitting or one streamlined silhouette connecting the top to the skirt. The bust is commonly decorated with sequins, beading, ruffles and other accents. Ruffles, ruching, and decorative waist belts on the bust draw attention and add a feminine touch for smaller chest girls. For larger chested girls who may want to divert attention away from their bust, simple decorations and sequin trim may work out better. Belts also help to accent the waist of curvier girls.

Now to the actual bodice (or body) of the dress, also known as the silhouette: there are generally either fitted or flowing. The fitted silhouette is mostly indicated on the mermaid silhouette. The mermaid silhouette is a curve hugging style that contours to the body from the chest to the knee and flares out and up at the hem, creating a floor length bodice. This is a vintage style of prom dress that has recently come back in a big way. Trumpet gowns are similar to mermaid gowns, but instead of the hem of the skirt flaring up, it flows out instead, creating a dramatic train. Mermaid silhouettes typically work best on tall, slender frames, as the tight form of the dress is unforgiving on any slight description on your body.

The most dramatic of all the silhouettes is the ball gown silhouette. This style pairs a fitted bodice with a full, large skirt. Not reserved for just Disney Princesses, ball gown silhouettes work well on any body type and are very bold and attention grabbing. The only downfall of this style is the volume that can tend to swallow shorter girls and make some girls seems larger than they actually are.

Another very popular style of silhouette is the A-line bodice. On this style the bust is generally fitted and the bottom skirt of the silhouette flares out on both sides of the body, creating an uppercase ďAĒ shape. This silhouette is probably the most versatile of all because of its accommodating form of different fabrics, designs and lengths. It is also figure flattering to any type of body because of the uniformed flow of the fabric that doesnít cling to your frame, which is especially great for curvier girls. Empire waist skirts that define the waistline and accent the bust are largely seen on A-line frames as well. Similar to the A-line silhouette, the straight silhouette is streamlined on both sides creating a sleek, slim bodice. This style is usually highlighted by a leg slit adding even more sexy appeal to the look. The look generally works best for petite, slim frames.

If you fancy a shorter dress, baby doll dresses are very common for prom and homecoming. Baby-doll silhouette dresses derive from 1950ís mini dresses for young girls and of course, baby dolls. They are often sleeveless and mostly include a short, A-line skirt that rises above the knees. Baby doll dresses are a fun, flirty style that is great for any girl that wants to accent her long legs. If youíre not quite blessed with the height of supermodel Heidi Klum donít worry, tall heels can help. There is no specific body type that works best with baby doll dresses. Due to the innocent appeal of the actual shape, all different body types are encouraged to wear this style. It can hide the imperfections of a larger frame and accent the slim frame of smaller women.

Another type of a short dress is the cocktail dress which is defined as a popular style of formal and evening wear at after five events for women to match their husbandís business suits. While a baby doll dress can also be categorized as a cocktail dress, generally cocktail dresses are more classy and refined than a short mini dress. The skirts of the dresses are mostly fitted to the body and are knee length.

Now that youíve picked out your desired style of dress from top to bottom itís time to go out there and get shopping! Keep in mind that this is merely a suggestion guide to break down the most common types of prom fashions for most body types. If you are a curvier girl who wants to try out a fitted, mermaid silhouette or a petite, small frame who wants to rock a strapless ball gown, that is perfectly okay! If you have the right amount of confidence you can wear anything you want! Thatís the best thing about fashion: you decide what works best for you.


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