Thursday, March 25, 2010

Body Styles Part 2 - Hourglass

Today we are discussing the body style Hourglass. An Hourglass shape is very curvy with the bust and hips being about the same measurement and a very defined waistline. Many, many dress styles look great on this body style, with just a few things to avoid.

Best features for an Hourglass shape:

  V-necklines with Spaghetti Straps or Strapless

 Low waistlines with Mid to Very Low backs

  Wrap skirts

This TJ Formal Exclusive 2010 Prom Dress BB1556 has a strapless v-neck and mermaid skirt and would is just the type of dress someone with an hourglass style should be wearing.

Features to avoid if you have an Hourglass body Styles: Gathered, Scoop or Square necklines. Circle or Ball Gown skirts.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hannah S for Prom 2010

Great selection of short, affordable dresses for prom or any special occasion - Hannah S!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Body Styles Part 1 - Rectangles

Did you know TJFormal has experts on making you look the very BEST in a dress from us? Between our fashion designer Rachelle and our owner who is formally educated in fashion, plus our decades of experience, we can teach you how to choose wisely when picking out a formal dress.

This week we are going to discuss body styles and what looks good on each one. Also, what looks...not so good. Finding your perfect dress means not only finding a style you like, but also a style that looks good on your body style and fits you well.

Any terms you don't understand can be found in our Fashion Glossary.

Today we'll talk about the Rectangle body style. This body style means your waist is a little larger and more inline with your bust and hips. If you are finding as you check size charts on dresses that your waist measurement (always be sure to measure correctly!) is consistently putting you in a larger size, then this could be your body style. There are lots of great styles that would look great on you!! Choose an option from each of the attributes below, for example a dress with a halter neckline, empire waist, and ballgown skirt.

The best styles for a Rectangle body style:

Necklines (with Spaghetti Straps or Strapless):

Waistlines (with Mid to Low backs):

  Ball Gown

Sherri Hill 2010 Prom Dress 1043 has a sweetheart strapless neckline, empire waist, and ballgown skirt, in short version. This would be perfect for a Rectangle body type.

CirĂ© by Landa 2010 Prom Dress P109 has a halter, v-neckline with empire waistline and low back, and a circle skirt - again a perfect style for a Rectangle body style.

Styles you want to stay away from for a Rectangle body style are Scoop or Round necklines and Mermaid, A-line and Trumpet skirts.

Stay tuned this week for more body styles!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oscar-inspired gowns from Faviana!

Faviana is well-known for making celebrity-inspired dresses. This time they took a look at the gowns worn at the Oscars on March 7 and chose 4 dresses from the stars to make available to all of us!

First up is a gown inspired by the one worn by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Faviana 2010 Prom Dress 6605 is a strapless, printed chiffon gown.
Faviana 2010 Prom Dress 6606 was inspired by Miley Cyrus' dress with a corset bodice and full skirt.
As mentioned in a prior post, Kristen Stewart walked the carpet in a dark navy strapless ball gown.

Faviana 2010 Prom Dress 6604 mimics Kristen's dress.
 And last, but not least! Queen Latifah's dress inspried this gorgeous pink gown Faviana 2010 Prom Dress 9244.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Prom Dresses by Panoply

Panoply Prom Dresses for Prom 2010 are a truly stunning collection of designer prom gowns! Beautiful prints, skin-baring cut-outs, and fitted skirts with high slits are just some of the sexy elements you'll find in these Panoply prom dresses.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ask TJ Formal: How can I make my feet more comfortable in prom shoes?

Q: Prom shoes and strappy sandals hurt my feet, is there any way to make them more comfortable?

Trendy shoes styles now have heels up to 4 inches high, featuring multiple straps and platforms. Those can be very painful to wear if you are used to flip-flops, flats, and tennies. We've got some ideas for you to make those sexy shoes more comfortable and easy to wear.

Be sure to buy your shoes well in advance of prom or your special event. A few weeks before is not too early. It sometimes takes hours to break in a pair of shoes to make them tolerable, if not comfortable. So walk around in your shoes every day, increasing the time each day, until you are able to wear them comfortably the same amount of hours as the event.

To help that process, TJ Formal has a line of products called Foot Petals"For those of us who have a love/hate relationship with our sexy shoes". 

Do you have flat feet? Foot Petals Amazing Arches are perfect to reduce the fatigue on your feet. Foot Petals Killer Kushionz is the first full insole that can be worn with open toe shoes. They come in several colors and even Lavender-scented!

Worried about slipping and falling (how mortifiying!) in those new shoes? Foot Petals Sole Stopperz are a MUST-HAVE to void those embarassing moments.

Do your shoes have multiple straps that are cutting into your feet and ankles? Foot Petals Strappy Strips cushion those straps to keep them nice and comfy. No more red marks!

Check out the other helpful shoe accesories to help ease that shoe fit at Foot Petals.

Once you get your shoes just right, you can walk with confidence and dance the night away! But just to play it safe, you might want to tuck a few blister bandages into your handbag. ;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

TJ Formal Exclusive Dresses

We have a large collection of prom dresses that are hand-picked for you and carried only here at TJ Formal. Exclusive styles and exclusive colors! TJ Formal Exclusives are limited edition gowns - when they are sold out, they are gone for good!

Some of our favorites!

And of course, don't forget the dresses by our exclusive designer Rachelle Rose! You won't find these dresses anywhere but!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day? Attending a parade? Going out on the town? Eating corned beef and cabbage? We are celebrating St. Patrick's Day here on the TJ Formal blog by showing you our favorite lucky GREEN Gowns that are in-stock and ready to ship...

Whether you are wearing a fancy gown like these, or not, be sure to wear something green, so you don't get pinched! And underwear does not count.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bethie and Savannah in the SAME DRESS!! Oh NO!!

You spend hours and hours pouring over magazines and websites to find that perfect dress. You are SO excited to wear it and show all your friends! In fact, you've kept it a big secret what you are wearing - not giving out any clues as to what color your dress is, if it's long or short, strapless or, not a thing. Your friends will be so amazed when you walk into prom that night! They will love it!

That's what friends Bethie and Savannah did and thought too...only...this is what happened on prom night when they met up in the hallway...

Bethie and Savannah learned the hard way how it feels to walk into prom and see the same dress across the room, worn by someone else. Now you can learn from THEIR mistake by registering your dress at the National Prom Dress Registry. It's totally free! But it doesn't work until ALL your friends and classmates register their dresses too.

So tell everyone to JUST DO IT! Spread the word! After all, isn't giving up the surprise of what you are wearing better than having to stare at YOUR dress, on someone else, all night?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getting to know dress fabrics!

Our dresses are made from many different fabrics, including chiffon, satin, taffeta, charmeuse, silk and others. Each fabric has unique characteristics so cleaning and alterations differ for each one. We know you want to care for your dress in the best possible way! So turn to our Fashion Glossary on Fabrics for help. Learn about fine fabrics used for prom and wedding dresses. Find out what they're made of, their best uses, how they fit, how to care for them, plus alteration tips and expert advice.

Here's a little peek:

Follow this advice to take the best possible care of your dress so you will be looking your very best at prom, weddings, and other special events!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ask TJFormal: Are your dresses originals or knock-offs?

Q: Are your dresses originals or knock-offs?

Sadly, there are many websites that sell copies of designers' dresses. They see the dress, then recreate it with their own fabric and patterns. For a cheaper price. This is an illegal practice and as designers find out about these sites and companies, they most times can get them shut down for the theft of their designs.

Here at TJFormal, EVERY dress and product on our site is an original. We are an authorized retailer for every brand we sell here! And we only sell new, authentic items that come straight from the manufacturer, so you can rest assured that you are receiving genuine merchandise.

Look for our retail store (Tuxedo Junction) or our website ( to be listed on our designers' websites. You can also sometimes search by state (Missouri) or zip code (64801). Here are some examples!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shimmer by Bari Jay

Just up on the site, some really pretty, flowing prom dresses: Shimmer by Bari Jay. Most are very reasonably priced!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dakota Fanning in an architecture-inspired dress!

Do you like a more tailored look for a prom dress, without ruffles, flowers and bows? Take a cue from Dakota Fanning's cool pleated Red Carpet dress with architectural elements.
Architecture inspires clean lines and angles in dresses, as well as some strong embellishments. Look for bold, solid colors and stiffer fabrics such as taffeta, satin, or silk shantung. Sophia Tolli Bridesmaid Dress BY11020T is a similar style to Dakota's with the asymmetrical pleated bodice.
This very popular Blush 2010 Prom Dress 9083 shows pleats as well as tailored fabric roses for a sleek, sophisticated look.
This short prom dress by Hannah S 2010 Prom Dress 27504 has stand-up pleats on the bodice and comes in bold, strong colors that match the bold, strong design.
TJ Formal has dresses to fit every style of prom girl, whether you like flowing skirts with lace and flowers, or sleek styles with strong shapes!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The History of Prom

Did you know...

• prom has been around since 1811?
• the term “prom” is derived from the late nineteenth century “promenade ball?”
• proms are inspired by debutante balls, which are events that formally debut teenagers from prestigious families?
• in the United Kingdom, “prom” is actually an entire season of classical concerts, held between July and September since 1811?
• in the early 1900s, prom was just a simple tea dance for high school seniors?
• proms thrived in the 1950s due to a post-war economy boom?
• if you don’t get your fill of prom in high school, some universities have proms?
• the very first reference to prom is from the journal of an Amherst College student who gave a lengthy description about his experience?
• that girls never purchased new clothing for proms—dress codes found on invitations simply called for “your Sunday best?”

The Prom started in the 1920’s in the US and is the classic American rite of passage for students from all walks of life. One of the functions of the prom, planned from almost the very start, is to bring together people from all financial standings and heritage.

The word “prom” comes from the French word promenade, which means walk or stroll. In the Deep South, early in the twentieth century, it was considered inappropriate to dance with men that you were not married to, so the girls would take short and heavily-chaperoned promenades around the block with their dates.

By the 1930s, proms were common and the popularity of “prom stories”, sharing both good and bad memories, were published in school papers all over the country and added to the mystique. Other schools would acquire and distribute other school paper’s stories so these circulated from state to state and were taken very seriously. It was implied that participation in proms meant you were a good citizen and supported your community.

As proms became a passion two people attempted to suggest a way to plan them. Marietta Abell and Agnes J. Anderson’s 1936 book called “THE JUNIOR-SENIOR PROM, Complete Practical Suggestions for Staging the Junior-Senior Prom” suggested that proms could be money-savers and should not be planned in less than four weeks. Of course things have changed since some couples today spend thousands and proms are often planned a year in advance. Conde Nast estimates an average 17 year old spends $638 on the prom, more than $1200 per couple.

The 1950’s brought about heavy competition for the titles of Prom King and Queen as a popularity contest. Usually going to the best looking and best dressed couple it has been shown that today, people not from the popular crowd can win when the focus is also shifted to creativity and intellectual appeals for votes to look beyond just appearances.

The format of the prom today varies from place to place but a traditional prom usually involves high school students in tuxedos and gowns, dancing and music, combined with decorations and a theme. There are some professional event planners but it is usually the product of the hard work of a student prom committee. The era of selecting popular song titles, as themes for the prom, began in the late 60s and early 70s. All of this includes corsages, limousines, photographs (high school yearbooks did not start covering proms and including prom pictures until the 1930s and 1940s), and in many cases post-prom parties. Proms are held in school gyms and cafeterias or in hotels, country clubs, and banquet halls. Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Proms occur but are usually not considered as important as the Senior Prom, which is the final formal dance and gathering of the graduating class.

Boys usually dress in black tie (a dinner jacket and bow tie), sometimes with brightly colored cummerbunds or vests, though any sort of formal wear can be worn. Traditionally, girls gave boys matching boutonnieres to be worn on the tuxedos. Girls traditionally wear formal gowns or dresses adorned with a corsage given to them by their date. Many boys also match the color of their tie to their date's dress. Often, boys and girls will dress according to the theme of the prom - e.g. pastel suits for a Miami Vice-themed prom.

Common prom activities include dining, dancing, the crowning of a prom King and Queen, and socializing. In some cases, high school students accumulate funds for their class prom through fundraisers over the four years they attend their high school. High schools in or near large cities may rent ballrooms at expensive hotels or, to be unusual, venues such as a pleasure cruise boat. Many students group together to take limousines to their proms. Often costs are cut by using the school gym, which challenges the decorating committee to somehow mask the gym odor and drab surfaces. Music played during the dance portion of the event is normally the genre(s) most popular with the attendees.

Prom night is one of the most important and anticipated nights of a teen’s high school life. Beautiful dresses and handsome tuxes are just the beginning of a wonderful night to remember.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ask TJFormal: Here’s a picture of a dress I saved – do you have it?

Q: Here’s a picture of a dress I saved – do you have it?

Many times a customer will send us a picture of a dress they have saved either off our site, or a different site and ask us if we have it. We have thousands of dresses on our site and unless it’s a very popular dress, we may not recognize it or be able to find it on our site. We usually ask around the store to see if anyone else recognizes it, and sometimes that works, but not always.
If you want to save a dress on our site to see later, our recommendation is to create a Wish List and add it to that.

If you do save the picture, be sure to also save the manufacturer and style number because we need that (plus your size, color choice, and wear date) to check availability.

If you are saving a photo from another site, please also remember to write down all the information if you want us to check on it. It’s much easier for us to find a dress with the information than with just a picture of it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dresses on the Red Carpet for the Oscars!

How many of you watched the Oscars Sunday night? I like to watch just to see what everyone is wearing. Some of the dresses are gorgeous and some are...not. It's interesting to see what dresses are similar to ones we carry. Here are a few I noticed...

Demi Moore and Elizabeth Banks wore similar layered-skirt dresses. In fact, I thought they were so similar, maybe they should have called each other first.

I found a couple of prom dresses we carry that are pretty close. Blush 2010 Prom Dress 9047 has the dropped waistline and layered skirt. This dress is very popular this year! And Le Gala 2010 Prom Dress 110511 is a darker version of that layered type of skirt.
Kathryn Bigelow made history by being the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director of "The Hurt Locker" - her dress immediately reminded me of this gorgeous Alyce Designs JDL Boutique Dress 29049 

Several stars, Kristen Stewart, Mariska Hargitay, and Giuliana Depandi wore dark, strapless dresses that looked very similar. Maybe stars need a dress registry just like prom girls!

Examples of dark, strapless A-line dresses we carry are Jovani Evening Dress 710003275 and Jovani 2010 Prom Dress 15132  .

Next time you are watching a big show with the Hollywood crowd, pay attention to what they are wearing. Chances are, you can get that same look right here at TJ Formal! 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ask TJFormal: Is it OK to wear a short dress to prom?

Q: Is it OK to wear a short dress to prom?

Are short dresses formal enough and acceptable for prom? Absolutely! In fact, this year, short prom dresses are even more in style for Prom 2010. We are selling many, many short dresses and some have already sold out in our store. Of course, some short dresses are more formal than others and you probably don't want to look you are wearing a bridesmaid dress instead of a prom dress. So we are here to show you some great examples that are perfect for prom and will make you stand out in a crowd!

Sherri Hill is one of our best sellers for short prom dresses. Her designs are fun, flirty, yet filled with beautiful and unique embellishments, which makes them formal enough for a prom dress.

Sherri Hill 2010 Prom Dress 1212 - this dress has beautiful lace appliques and is made in several colors

And here are a few more with the same type of style - strapless with full tulle skirts:
Sherri Hill 2010 Prom Dress 2212
Sherri Hill 2010 Prom Dress 1043
Sherri Hill 2010 Prom Dress 1002

Jovani has some gorgoeus dresses with sequins, beading and more.
Jovani Homecoming Dress 14125

Tony Bowls has a new line of short dresses just out that are fabulous for prom!

Paris 2010 Prom Dress 19765

Once you've selected your dress, you can accessorize it further to make it a more formal outfit. Choose sparkly shoes like Helen's Heart Shoe "Festive" FS-7942-1 which comes in lots of colors!
Try some very dressy jewelry, Added Attractions Necklace Set 7251 
Then finish it off with the perfect handbag like Special Occasions Handbag DP60075 
Have fun finding your perfect SHORT prom dress!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chelsea Hobbs wears Jovani!

On an episode of "Make It or Break It" Chelsea Hobbs is seen wearing this beautiful Jovani prom dress
Jovani 2010 Prom Dress 8632