Prom was a big deal when I was growing up, but I know it’s an even bigger deal now. We had the limos and the dinners and the dresses and the corsages, but I’m hearing about the “correct” way to ask people to prom, the after parties we didn’t have, and the stylists creating the updos, plus oh so much more. It’s fascinating to me how much has changed from the bow-festooned dress I wore to today.
So of course when I have an opportunity to attend a prom fashion show at Macy’s and get paid to write about it, you know I’m going to. There were many dresses the girls wore that I loved and would either wear myself or be happy to have Little Miss wear. And of course, there were some that pushed the line. The shoes were amazing, although I don’t know if Little Miss will be comfortable walking in shoes like that when she’s in high school – I know I wasn’t!
Macy’s has so many prom dress offerings, and the fashion show, featuring Pretty Little Liars costume designer Mandi Line who has an amazing sense of style and is an absolute hoot. She was emcee for the show and provided her thoughts and insights into what is trending and what works well together and what doesn’t.
Mandi focused on four different styles from preppy to classic to far more trendy and dark. One thing she focused on that applies to everyone is that matchy-matchy is just not in. Instead, focus on a color palette and pull out bits and pieces as accents. You don’t have to go dye your shoes like I did (and they’re still somewhere in my closet, along with my dyed-to-match purse) but instead find a color within your dress and pull it out.
The dress in the middle is a great example. The red from the dress is perfect for the necklace that she’s wearing, and the shoes were a bright blue that wasn’t a perfect match with the dress itself but instead went with it beautifully. The dress on the far left was one of my favorites of the day. I love the overskirt that makes it so much more fun – and modest – but yet the dress is gorgeous and fashionable. On the right is a trend we noticed frequently with the poofy skirts and fitted bodices. Again, the jewelry isn’t bought to match the dress but instead plays off it.
Again, the dress on the far left is more futuristic (and admittedly shorter than I will allow my daughter to wear at 17 or 18), and I love the light green color. Her bracelets are simply bangles that Mandi stacked up and aren’t anything fancy – better yet, they can be worn with other outfits. In the middle was another of my favorites, as I find asymmetrical cuts flattering and fun. There was a lot of glitter in many dresses, as well as the almost neon colors featured in hers. The 80s are coming back! On the right was another dress, and one I would wear. The skirt provides so much texture contrast and layering, something that again is in right now. The simple necklace shows yet again how easy jewelry is, even for formal affairs.
The far left dress is the closest I saw to what was popular when I attended prom in the early 90s. The skirt at the hips reminds me of what we have in what was a cute, more classic pink dress. The far right was another classic style with the blue mermaid dress something I can easily see a high schooler wearing – so long as she doesn’t worry about it falling down, the never-ending downfall (pun intended) of strapless dresses. In the middle is a different and more funky solution that does have straps but has essentially no back or sides. The patterns are so fun in it, though, something we saw a lot of.
Going monochrome was something we also saw frequently. This was an example of a peach dress that kept the coloring in the background and let the dress speak for itself. There was also a gold dress that had a gold belt, gold necklace and gold bangles, but none of it was the same. It wasn’t meant to match and be a solid gold from head to toe but instead play within the family.
The girls were gorgeous, and I loved seeing the dresses. In fact – don’t laugh – I tried on a few dresses myself after the fashion show was over. And I even found a few I considered purchasing for formal affairs I need to attend from time to time. What do you think? I may be lacking jewelry and the right shoes, but I loved the jewel tones and the fun of the skirts.
One part I don’t remember from my prom was the after party outfits. Yes, we had parties after prom, but we wore our prom gear. Apparently this has all changed. I know our high school now has an overnight cruise in Chicago for kids (and I can only imagine what the parties are like for those who have their own), but I had assumed that kids wear what they wore to prom. Not quite!
The idea is to create something that you’re comfortable in that is maybe a little more dressy than you would wear on a regular basis but nothing too fancy. I’m guessing something that doesn’t wrinkle so you can easily change before heading to that party would also be key. Funky definitely seems to be par for the course, however.
The more classic look is on the left, and I actually really love the jacket over the sweater. I don’t know that I would wear high heels to an after party, knowing my feet are probably aching, but the platform sneakers on the right? Those are totally up my alley, and I’m searching for a pair for myself right now. I absolutely love them. The middle outfit I think is way fun, although a bit edgier than what I usually wear. And on the far right? That one feels most to me like something the girls would be able to wear again after prom.
As a parent, there’s enough expense on prom as it is from the dresses to dinner to limos to hair and makeup to shoes and jewelry and the cost of the post-prom party and outfit. I know the prom dress will never be worn again from personal experience, but I have my fingers crossed that whatever the girls choose, it won’t sit forgotten in their closets.
There were so many looks and options from Macy’s available for prom – and after prom – and there were definitely some I wish I could have worn to my own prom instead of the dress I wore. Looking forward in time, I’m sure the girls in high school will say the same thing in 10 or 15 years, but for now – they’re gorgeous. What prom dress(es) would you choose?
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Everywhere Society. Everywhere provided me with compensation for attending the Macy’s Prom event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.