A common belief about going to the Prom is that once you find your ideal prom gown everything else falls into place. Whether that's true or not is open to debate but it is true that what is ideal for one person is probably not ideal for another.
Almost every Prom gown shopper has their own unique fashion personality which is tied to their individual likes, dislikes and how they like to express themselves to the world.
Favorite Prom Gown Colors, Lengths, Styles
Most people have a favorite color or handful of colors they enjoy wearing as well as certain styles. Some prefer long flowing classic gowns while others go for the more revealing style.
Your fashion likes and dislikes can often be summarized into a defined category. Sometimes your preferences may span more than one category or type, but generally speaking there is usually a predominant category you prefer.
While fashion personalities can be arranged into a myriad of categories, this article focuses on some of the commonly recognized fashion personality types.
As you shop for your Prom gown keep these in mind. Once you find the gown of your dreams you can match your hairstyle, make-up and accessories to the fashion style.
The definition of romantic includes imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized.
Indeed, almost every great romance includes a stunning heroine with long flowing locks wearing long and flowing gowns sometimes embellished with soft bows, ruffled sleeves or necklines and soft necklines.
A true heroine usually has a gorgeous glowing complexion, large beautiful eyes and rose bud lips with the perfect pink color.
Whether the heroine is kidnapped, suffers through wartime challenges, physically carried off on a horse or is a more modern version, she has lush, abundant tresses which seem to be perfectly coiffed into place.
When most people think of romantic colors they often lean towards red. Red is definitely the clear choice for any romantic holidays such as Valentine's Day or Christmas.
It was also the color used to add romance to Julia Roberts in her classic heroine role in Pretty Woman with Richard Gere.
Studies have actually shown that red illicits physical responses from both men and women. Red is the color of the heart and blood which flushed the face of a man or woman in love.
It is also considered to be an appropriate color to summarize the complexities of love. Although red is defined as romantic, it is also considered sexy.
Red Gets You Noticed - Pink Says New Romance
Red will get you noticed, but a gown completely done in red can make some people look heavier than other hues.
Other romantic hues include gentle pink which is the color of romantic love and affection although more innocent than the red variety. Pink is the perfect color for new romantic relationships.
Peach, apricot and pale colors in the orange family are often included as romantic hues along with soft blue tones, creamy lavender, light purple, soft pastel yellows and soft greens.
Although I may not have included all the colors traditionally considered romantic, the key, except with red, is to find shades which are more soft then hard. A pastel peach would be romantic but a vibrant orange would not.
Other general romantic fashion trends include soft floral print, lots of fancy frills, lace and pretty embellishments.
Romantic hairstyles usually follow the tradition of long soft curls, waves and tons of lush volume. Although hair can be worn up or down, there is always the element of softness and touchability.
Classic fashions are truly timeless and consist of styles which span the ages offering a flattering line and fit to just about any figure. Classic styles are defined by clean simple lines, sleek silhouettes and never trendy or over the top.
The idea behind a classic gown is that it is not designed to draw attention to the garment, but to redirect attention to the person wearing the gown.
Classic gowns are never embellished with over the top bows or attention getting adornments. They are designed to elegantly fit into any current fashion trend with their simple, understated focus.
Jennifer Aniston is considered to be a modern day classic fashionista with truly refined taste. Jen often wears a version of the Little Black Dress known as the LBD.
The renowned fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld has been quoted as saying “one is never over or underdressed with a little black dress.”
The classic colors are as basic as the fashions and include basic black, navy or deep blue, crisp white and rich brown. In some circles gray is also considered a classic along with dark silver and dark green.
The materials utilized for classic designs usually include natural materials such as cotton, silk and leather or materials designed to give a similar appearance. Synthetics are less often utilized to create classic fashions or gowns.
Classic hairstyles usually follow the tradition of either long sleek well polished down hairstyles like Jennifer Aniston wears, or traditional sleek and simple French twists, coiled nape neck chignons or a beautiful but tight Ballerina style bun.
If long curls or waves are worn, they should be classic hairstyles to match the signature of the gown.
The advantage to wearing a classic gown is that you can add a little personality either with trendy hair accessories such as a jeweled hair clip, crystal encrusted simple headband or jeweled hair pins.
Less is more when it comes to minimalist fashion trends. Streamlined silhouettes and precision clean line tailoring combined with solid, monochromatic shades of white, gray and black are key to this pared-down fashion signature.
Minimalist fashions contrast romantic fashions due to their simplicity and stark, covered-up, carved-out silhouettes with signature monochromatic palette.
It's easy to be confused by Classic and Minimalist differences. The minimalist look takes the classic look to a more pared down and austere look.
There is a difference between strong, well crafted basics and the aesthetics and principles of minimalism
Neutral colors are a definite signature of the minimalist fashion look. Signature colors include stark white, classic gray and black.
The hair can be worn up or down, but with minimalist texture and definitely no frills.
Bohohemian - Boho
Bohemian fashion sprung up from the life of the celebrated Bohemians whose goals were devoted to undermining mainstream culture and fashion. This included showing defiance through dress combined with the fact they had extremely limited budgets.
As a result, Bohemian Fashion is something of a contradiction in terms, because Bohemians dressed themselves in whatever they could scrounge up at the time. Not only did they have little or no money to spend on fashion, they often dressed in outdated styles and colors.
Bohemian fashion was more tied to providing protection against the weather and elements, but also to make a statement against traditional dress. Known also as Boho fashion, the most important element of this movement is individuality.
When it comes to Boho fashion this means embracing your own personality and expressing it through your fashion choices. Boho-chic isn't limited to just billowy peasant skirts, flip flops, sequins, glitter and messenger bags. Mary-Kate Olsen and Sienna Miller are famous for their ability to pull off modern Boho fashions with a wide range of fashion pieces.
When it comes to boho-chic colors the basic building blocks include black, brown, cream white, khaki and olive green.
After starting with their colors are the layers that go on top of the basic colors and these are usually bright and vibrantly bold hues of gold, silver, gray, yellow, purple, vibrant blues and shades of red.
Accessories are key with boho-chic and very special attention is paid to the jewelry, hair accessories, bold belts, vests and shoes.
A Prom gown would obviously be just the starting point for building a Boho-Chic look which means you would buy the basic color and then accessorize appropriate with ballet flats or even cowboy boots, belts, long layered necklaces, lots of bracelets and even a head covering ranging from a scarf style bandana or headband to a sequined beret.
Boho hairstyles follow the same individualistic trends of the fashions which means honoring natural hair texture.
If your hair is naturally wavy you should amp up the waves and let them flow. Boho hairstyles would also follow heavily tousled tresses, whether coiffed up or down.
The biggest benefit with classic styles is that they're never trendy. Trendy styles are meant to push the boundaries and draw attention to the garment.
A trendy look is meant to make a bold statement and never slips gracefully into the fashion parade.
sweet florals and long-line cardigans
Wild Child Colors
Wild child fashionistas often rock flowing hipped hair which consists of soft flowing waves which are one part hippie, part rock-chic.
Wild Child Hairstyles
Wild child fashionistas often rock flowing hipped hair which consists of soft flowing waves which are one part hippie, part rock-chic.
The definition of ladylike fashions are those which are "proper" while embracing shapely silhouettes and celebrate a female figure. Think prim Librarian who morphs when her glasses come off and her hair is unpinned.
The fashions worn on the hit show "Mad Men" are representative of Ladylike fashions.
Ladylike fashions resemble the classic signature and often feature pencil skirts which definitely showcase a woman's shape and form.
Also in this grouping are cropped jackets, fitted shirtdress style garments and high waists.
Suits are a chic choice, rather than a stuffy solution, with silhouettes that allow for creative dressing. Layering is also key with long-sleeved blouse worn over a cropped jacket, belted blazer or cardigans with tie-neck blouses.
Mixed textures (satins, chiffons, silks and tweeds) and colors (neutrals matched with bold brights) allow the look to continually be re-invented. Contrast is a key feature of ladylike fashions with hard and sharp being mixed with soft and bold.
Even a gray or navy tweed dress can be mixed with a vibrantly hued fuschsia blouse in a sensual satin or chiffon fabric.
Color is used as a true accessory. The basic pieces consist of shades of gray and other subdued hues such as neutral tones, charcoal, taupe, black and navy infused with hot vibrant hues in hot pink, bright turquoise or similar.
Ladylike hairstyles are sometimes associated with a classic short or medium length bob with elegant side partings. Long face hugging fringes and bangs which punctuate the cheekbones are also popular. Other classic ladylike hairstyles include chin length flips, short spiky bangs paired with flirty ponytails, big bouffant bonnets and poufs.
Betty Draper on Mad Men is a classic example of ladylike hairstyles.
Thrill Seeker Fashions
Thrill seekers go beyond the boundaries of Boho-Chic and go for shock value. Thrill seeker fashionistas might mix and match a number of fashion trends from Romantic or Classic with Punk, Emo, Space Age, Futuristic or similar.
With thrill seeker Prom attire, anything goes starting with a retro or Vintage gown or dress that is accessorized with everything from fingerless gloves to fans, faux furs, and bold jewels.
Thrill Seeker Colors
Metallic golds, silvers and bronze are good starting points. Gold lame might be matched with shades of violet, purple or plum.
Thrill seekers both seek the excitement of building an attention getting Prom outfit.
Thrill Seeker Hairstyles
Whereas it used to be that you could count the number of celebrity hairdressers on one hand starting with Vidal Sassoon, nowadays anyone who can afford to hire a PR firm can instantly transform into a celebrity hairdresser, whether they've working with "real" celebrities or not.
Once they have assumed the mantle of celebrity hairdresser the next step is to start hawking hair care lines, hot tools and whatever else the consumer hair care market might bear.
While professional hairdressers might find this practice appalling, in reality it is eating into the amount of money hair consumers normally might have invested into visits to their own professional hairdressers.
As the Curly Girl Movement which preaches Love Your Curls took hold, hair consumers with natural curls who used to flock to salons for chemical straightening, relaxing and styling to manage their frizz, learned to love their curls right out of the salon.
Websites which promoted curl power also promoted DIY curl treatments, managements and styling. Consumer based talk forums bred like rabbits as fellow natural curlies shared tips on how to care for their own textures with minimal visits to the salon.
When they do venture out to the salon it's curl approved professionals who provide specialized curl cutting techniques. Even still, many curly haired consumers minimize those customized cut visits to stretch for extended periods of time.
Similar to the Curly Girl Movement has been the rise of the Natural Care subculture which is very prominent on the Web. YouTube is jam packed with DIY videos on every imaginable hair care technique from how to apply at-home relaxers to creating perfect rag roller sets.
Natural hair care services which used to be doled out at the local hair salon has become a casualty of blogging, talk forums and consumer to consumer (C2C) hair advice and support.
Although the basic fashion styles and personalities have been covered their are sub groupings that may or may not fit with a Prom gown.
In some cases a fashion look can cross lines or be redefined by the accessories which are worn. These accessories can range from hair accessories to gloves, belts, shoes, earrings and jewelry.
When you have a clear definition of your own fashion style you will be able to match the Prom gown you select to your basic personality, sense of style and individual fabulous style. Remember that there is never a right or wrong fashion personality. It's about what you feel best wearing.
- Revised Date: 04/01/12
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