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The How to’s in Prom/Ball Dress Shopping

For any high school student, boys and girls alike, they all have the looming thought of big school dances; will they be invited, are they even going, who will they go with, and most importantly: what will they wear? With a few tips you can learn how to dress your specific body type and find your ideal Prom/Ball outfit, because the last thing you want is to not be in love with what you’re wearing on your big night.

Believe it or not but there is a way to compliment every body type whether it is dressed in a gown or in a suit; with girls there is by far a wider range of options due to the dress market compared to the options for boys but nonetheless there’s a way for everyone to love how they look in their formal wear.

The steps will be as followed:

1. Discover your body type/ fit

2. Style options

3. Color options

4. Accessories


Here we are looking for a Prom/Ball dress, something that gives you the most bang for your buck, compliments your natural figure, and has a color that perfectly suits you and your unique personality! First comes first, the identification of your body type, the main four are the following:

1. The pear/ triangle shape:

Characteristics include: Having a waist wider than bust, fuller hips, narrow shoulders in comparison to your hips, and a fuller back side

2. The hourglass/ curvy shape:

Characteristics include: You would consider yourself curvy, a well defined waste, your

bust and hip measurements are almost even, you may have fuller hips, bust and thighs.

3. The apple/ inverted triangle shape:

Characteristics include: Being generally proportional, shoulders being broader than

hips, no defined waist (if you do look at hourglass).

4. The athletic/ rectangular/ straight shape:

Characteristics include: Not particularly curvy, shoulders and hips have similar
measurements, waist is not well defined or rather straight up and down, your weight is evenly distributed throughout your body.

After deciding which of the following categories you fit into, the styles for each are more dependant on what you want to show off more, for example: your waist, legs, face, or bust. The accent’s (a belt, or a bit of bling) location can play a huge role on the location of the waistline whether it be an empire waist (directly under ones bust), A-line (fitted at ones natural waist), or a drop waist (sits on the lower hip), and they all contribute greatly to the overall fit of the dress and on how well it flatters the individual. The following dresses and styles are just some ideas to compliment your shape. In the end though, some of us naturally break the mold, so wear what makes you feel beautiful!

For the curvy shape: off the shoulders and a flare to enhance those curves!

1. The pear/ triangle shape:

The best direction to go is to focus on the upper body! Doing this would include emphasising ones waist and de-emphasising the lower body to create a balanced silhouette. A recommended course of action would include: a fitted open necked dress, strapless/ off-the-shoulder top, a-line skirt, a fit and flare dress, and dull shoes so you don’t draw attention to your lower half.

2. The hourglass/ curvy shape:

A good look for this body type is one that highlights the assets! The goal is to make the waist, bust and hips really pop. The best dresses would include: natural waistlines, accentuated waistlines, wrapped waistlines, form-fitted tops, V-necklines, open necklines, all of these options are to enhance your natural shape and show off those killer curves!

3. The apple/ inverted triangle:

The style that best fits this body type is vast, and whether you favor your legs or not, decide to show off some shoulder, or if you choose to flatter or hide your midsection is all up to you! The styles that can achieve this are: a dress with an empire waistline, embellished top, a full skirt, a dress accented with ruching, possibly expose your legs with a high-low, or shorter bottomed dress, off theshoulder top, and flowy styles make the ideal silhouette!

For the slender shape: a fitted dress with a cap sleeve to accentuate the lean shape and give the illusion of a fuller top half.

4. The athletic/ rectangular/ straight shape:

This slim form is best dressed in styles that make curves that aren’t exactly there apparent, or even accentuate the long, lean physique of the individual. Doing this would include: creating shape with an empire waist, asymmetrical neckline, belted waists, or a dress with a slit or opening. The goal is to add curves and dimensions to your look.

After choosing the style of dress that fits your body in all the right places, the next step, which is by far the easiest step, is the decision on color! The goal in color is to either compliment the person based on their individual features, or to compliment the season based on what’s in style and what your dress style offers. To highlight both options, the individual color options can accentuate one’s eyes, skin tone, hair, slimming colors or bold colors, and favoritism. Seasonal colors would include the colors for each of the four seasons, the current season for example would have: blues, pinks, yellows, florals, and black and white.

Lastly there are the accessories which aim to enhance the entire outfit. They can match the dress or match the shoes, the color can contrast to stand out or blend in to add dimension. A bold dress would need less than a simple dress, and an embellished dress would make up for the bling an accessory would add. Jewelry can be eye catching or subtle, a hand bag can be helpful or you could have a dress with pockets! Accessories have endless possibilities! In the end do whatever makes you feel beautiful and don’t forget to invest in pieces that you’ll wear again and again.


Here we are looking for a Prom/Ball suit, something that makes you look as formal as you so choose and meets the standards of the occasion. The options for guys are far less than the girls but the concept of different styles based on body type are similar; the end goal is always to make the individual look and feel as good as possible! The first step for finding the perfect suit is to identify your personal fit and the three main fits are as follows:

The Slim Fit

1. Skinny fit:

Characteristics include: slim lapels, jacket cut shorter in length, trousers cut very narrow on leg

Featuring slimmer lapels and narrow shoulders, the skinny fit suit is also made with a shorter jacket length and narrow legs. This suit is best for guys with a slight or slim build, it’s a great cut if you want to achieve an intelligent and ultra-modern look.

2. Slim fit:

Characteristics include: slim lapels, tapered waist, slim cut and tapered trousers. Defined by a close cut, narrow fit around the shoulders, chest, waist and sleeve, the slim fit is finished off with tapered trouser legs to create a sharp, modern silhouette. It’s a complimentary look that works with slim, slight and medium builds.

3. Tailored fit:

Characteristics include: standard lapels, cuts in at the waist, and tapered trousers. The tailored fit is made specifically to accentuate the natural shape of each body, while also leaving room to breathe. Defined by a inward cut waist, classic looking lapels, and  trousers that are tapered for a refined look. This fit has an appeal for all body types!

After deciding which fit looks best on you the next step is the style, and once again guy are limited to three main styles, all can also have multiple layers from one to three with a dress shirt, a waistcoat, and the jacket. Each style can drastically add formality, functionality or individuality.

1. Prom suit:

A smart and modern look for the big night, with options for layers, colors, and fit options. It has a fresh appeal with big and bold patterns or no pattern at all, and would look great with a pocket square that matches your date! With prom being simply just a night full of great memories the upside to the suit is the ability to clean it up for the next special occasion or job interview.

A classic 3 piece suit intended to draw all kinds of attention complete with tie, pocket square, and top hat.

2. Tuxedo

A vintage, old-school style defined by sleek satin lapels, a wing collar and bowtie. Like a suit it has tailored, slim and skinny fit variations meaning that men of all sizes and

tastes can pull it off. A pair of shiny black shoes, cufflinks and a sharp looking watch often get paired together to complete this polished look.

3. Blazer

Basically a suit-styled jacket, the blazer can instantly transform a shirt and smart jeans or dress pants combo into a prom/ball outfit! Typically available in a bolder range of

colors than a standard suit jacket, they also tend to be cut more casually. Colors are simple for the guys because the classic black and white combo are most commonly used with a color coordinated tie with ones date, and other colors are typically monotone and easy to pair with. Patterns seem to be making a come back so don’t be afraid to dabble with something bold and stand out this prom/ball season!

Lastly the accessories for boys are the ties, socks, pocket squares, shoes and the occasional

watch. The biggest decision out of all of these has to be the infamous tie versus bow tie debate, but that’s just a personal preference. Socks are the perfect opportunity to stand out because they aren’t widely appreciated or looked at so you can either make them bold or remain safe with dress socks. Pocket squares look sharpest when matched to the tie and/or your date, and lastly dress shoes are both comfortable and functional because any neutral color works and they can be reused until the souls give out! The most important part out of any of this is finding the comfort in looking your best this Prom/Ball season!

Cassandra Gates