Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pastels for spring

Nothing says "spring is here" quite like a soft, feminine pink or yellow. If you really want to embrace the season at your next formal occasion, go for a pastel dress that will evoke the freshly blooming flowers of spring.

If you've ever been to the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., during the springtime, you know that cherry blossoms are one of spring's most gorgeous flowers. They bloom in a soft, pretty pink that you can use as the inspiration for your next formal gown. Plenty of starlets have been seen in the rosy blush of cherry blossom - like Lea Michele and Taylor Swift, who've both sported pink gowns recently.

If pink's a little too traditional for your tastes, let citrus inspire you. From pastel lemons to bright tangerines, nothing says springtime like the cheery, happy hues of orange and yellow.

Of course, if there's one color that's ubiquitous during the springtime, it's green. From the budding leaves on the trees to the freshly-sprouting grass, green is the essence of spring itself, so go for a gown in a gentle lime hue to truly rock the colors of the season.

Wow! 2011 Prom Dress 2109

Le Gala 2011 Prom Dress 110544

 Le Gala 2011 Prom Dress 111529


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Belts and sashes

If you're looking for the perfect dress to show off your figure this prom season, aim for a dress with a fitted bodice and a long, flowing skirt. Gowns that feature bows, sashes or belts at the waist help highlight the skinniest part of you while glossing over any lumps and bumps you might have.

Whether you're naturally a skinny-minnie or more of a buxom beauty, a belted gown is flattering on any figure. Even if you've been enjoying a few too many donuts and can't remember the last time you went to the gym, you can fake a classic hourglass physique with a tightly-belted dress.

Consider the lavender dress that Kelly Osbourne sported at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Kelly hasn't traditional been known for her feminine fashion, but this former punk-rocker is embracing her girly side with a new blonde 'do and a ruffly gown with a flattering sash that highlighted her natural waist. In fact, Kelly recently dropped more than 40 pounds and is now down to a size 2, so the dress was the perfect way to show off her newly trim physique.

No matter what kind of figure you have, a belted dress is the perfect way to show off your best assets. Look for feminine bows and ties in bright colors!

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 3501

Jovani 2011 Prom Dress 153937

 Hannah S 2011 Short Prom Dress 27535

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pretty in pink

When it comes to prom season, young ladies of all shapes and sizes are excited about the chance to spend a night celebrating everything feminine - from complicated updos to smokey-eyed makeup, prom is truly a chance to let your girliness shine. If you really want to play the part of the ingénue, there's no better way to show off your feminine side than by slipping on a pink dress.

Pink is a surprisingly versatile shade. For a soft look, look for dresses in a pastel color, like blush or rose. Sometimes, the pink tinge can be so subtle as to be almost lost - but even the smallest hint of pink is sure to bring out the rosiness of your cheeks and lips.

If you want to make a louder statement, don't shy away from electric pinks! Bubblegum and hot pink used to be reserved for the front of a Pepto Bismol bottle, but no more. With appropriately demure makeup and a pair of neutral pumps, don't be afraid to go all the way with a bright, vibrant color that's sure to turn heads.

When it comes to jewelry, there are many ways to incorporate the most feminine of colors. Rose gold has a dusky pink hue that is the perfect subtle complement to any formal outfit, while rose diamonds and other pink gems can lend a bit of sparkle. 

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 8300

 Jovani 2011 Prom Dress 159764


Monday, March 28, 2011

Dressing for a wedding (that's not your own)

Plenty of us have our dream wedding gowns in mind from the time we're little girls, but how many of us have thought about what we'll wear to our friends' weddings? Unless you're in a bridesmaid's dress, picking out the perfect outfit for a friend's nuptials can be quite the challenge.

When it comes to wedding attendance, avoid going too formal. Don't wear a floor-length gown - anything that elegant should be reserved for the bride. You don't want to look like you're trying to show up your friend at her own wedding, so pick something demure and flirty. A knee-length gown with a modest neckline is the perfect semi-formal dress for all occasions, and you'll be sure to re-wear it to another social event before too long.

Additionally, you should shy away from colors and prints that are too attention-grabbing. A bright red frock or a lime green gown might look like you're trying to outshine the newlyweds, which won't go over well. If you know the wedding colors, try to pick something that fits the theme. If you don't, stick to tried-and-trusted neutrals, like pastels, champagnes and - of course - black. Don't wear white! That's for the bride only.

Whatever you wear, the bride and groom are sure to be glad you could make it to their special day.

Check out our Guest of the Wedding department. Some pretty suggestions....

Friday, March 25, 2011

One dress, two unique styles

You've been shopping for a prom dress for weeks or even months, and you've finally found it: The One. The perfect dress, the one you've always dreamed of wearing as you descend the stairs and your date's jaw drops. But now you've got another battle to fight - you have to make the dress your own. If you're worried that another gal at prom might be sporting the same gown, use unique shoes and accessories to set yourself apart.

Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Hudson share more than just a first name - they share fashion sense, too! These two beauties were spotted in the same tan Chloe dress (at different events, thankfully), but each managed to make the frock her own. Lopez used leopard-print boots to emphasize the sandy, earthy tone of the dress, while Hudson glammed it up with pink pumps and gold bangles. Each lady looked gorgeous in her own way!

To make sure your style stands out at prom, don't be afraid to select a bold pair of shoes or a massive piece of bling that's sure to be all your own. Necklaces, earrings, shoes, clutches and hairpieces are the perfect way to accent your gown and make sure your special style shines through on prom night.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wear white to your next formal event

We often think of white as a color reserved for brides, but actually, you can make this angelic hue work for just about any occasion. All it takes a little attention to the cut and the right accessories.

As long as you're not going to a wedding - where it's still pretty taboo to usurp the bride's color - white can be a great choice to show off your figure, bring a little levity with a crisp, clean hue and let your accessories pop. The trick to pulling off a white dress is picking a flirty cut that stays far out of bridal territory. Go for a daring hemline if you plan to wear white to your next social event, and don't be afraid to pick a unique fabric - it'll keep you from looking like you're late to your wedding.

Another way to make a white dress work for a social event is by pairing it with bright accessories. White is the perfect background on which to highlight a bold necklace, a vibrant bracelet or a bold cocktail ring. When you're wearing white, don't be afraid to go all-out with your accessories. Bright red shoes, hot pink lips and electric blue bangles will make a white dress actually look like an explosion of color.

If you do choose white, however, remember that the color gets dirty very easily. So don't forget to put your napkin in your lap, and always be careful when carrying a drink.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Modesty is still a virtue

It's a fact that many young women will show up to prom in daringly short hemlines and dangerously low-cut necklines, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's your night to shine, so you should dress how you like! However, if you're not quite comfortable showing that much skin, a more modest cut can be just as eye-catching and equally fashionable.

Let Leighton Meester be your style icon if you're looking for a fresh, modern way to stay relatively covered-up on prom night. Leighton opted for a Victorian-inspired gown at the Golden Globes earlier this year, with a high neckline, long sleeves and a hem that fell all the way to floor. Still, 24-year-old Leighton avoided looking matronly by expertly choosing a loose, flowing hairstyle, bright, clean makeup and modern accessories.

Plus, Leighton's dress has one very fun touch - a slit that ran up one side almost to her thigh. This little detail provided a little sexiness to her outfit, without asking her to actually bare anything.

The dress' form-fitting cut showed off Leighton's trim physique, but still left plenty to the imagination. If you're looking for a coy dress this prom season, pick one or two small, sexy details, but stay away from barely-there skirts and plunging necklines.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Saturday at TJ Formal

A glimpse into a typical Saturday during prom season at our TJ Formal Joplin store! Our customers were great at letting us take pictures and videos of them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Off the shoulder? Not entirely

Perhaps the most romantic thing about an off-the-shoulder look are the shoulders themselves, as every girl knows that showing a little collarbone certainly never hurt anyone. But who said that this was ever a style that was entirely cut and dry?

Strapless and spaghettis can also achieve a similar effect, and a one-shoulder look is the perfect combination of both. Need more convincing? Check out the number that Jennifer Aniston wore to the launch part of her signature fragrance in Mexico City.

The glittering champagne-colored mini was made from a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't sheer material, which hugged Jennifer's figure loosely and was supported by one twisted strap on her right shoulder.

Paired with her gorgeous complexion and honey-blonde highlights, the dress really brought out her overall glow, but ladies looking to mimic the style for prom will surely look wild in any coloration they choose.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Put some bling on it: Prom accessories for 2011

If you thought that the prom search ended with a hemline and a ruffle, think again - shoes and accessories count for a lot, especially when prom fashion dictates for as much bling as we're about to see this season.

The Beaumont Enterprise took dress consultant Jeanie Righter's advice when it comes to prom jewelry trends this year. "Anything goes with earrings and many are going big, bold and long," the news source reports.

Meanwhile, dress store manager Kari Robbins vouched for "blingier" accessories, especially prominent, sparkly rings. "The bigger, the better," Robbins told the news source. "But it depends on the girl's taste."

So, what's on the menu in terms of your bling this year? Many ladies will surely have fun decking themselves out in glittering strands, elegant cuff bracelets and statement earrings. You can go as bare as you want or be dripping in jewels - it's all up to you on your big night.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bring back the mini to prom this year

We know that floor-length ensembles are bound to be a hot-ticket item for prom this year, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the view from the other end of the aisle. Many prom dress boutiques are packed to the brim with short-hemmed gowns, and we're expecting that there'll be enough demand to meet the supply.

"There are more short dresses than usual and fitted gowns," dress store manager Kari Robbins told Beaumont Enterprise. And short dresses aren't always easy to pull off, so it's important to bear your unique height in mind. "If you have longer legs, the dress will be shorter," Robbins told the news source.

That being said, what's your ideal hemline like? If you're a leggy gal, a little skin can probably go a long way, but that doesn't mean you have to pack it in. If you want to really flaunt what your mama gave you, just keep the rest of you fairly covered up to avoid looking tactless. Shorter girls can benefit from exposing a fair share of leg, but a knee-length gown or A-line skirt can also be a darling alternative.

Whatever you choose, remember that it's most important to set yourself free in a dress that will really let you kick up your heels.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Your guide to straps

Dresses come with a lot of hemlines, but what really sets one dress apart from the next is the neckline. When you walk into a room, people are going to be paying close attention to your face - and, especially if you're wearing a lot of bling like necklaces and earrings, their eyes will be focusing on the top half of your body. Luckily, you have dozens of choices when it comes to picking the right neckline.

If you're well-endowed, you want to be careful that you don't pick a dress that shows off too much. You want to look classy, not trashy. That doesn't mean you have to stay away from flirty cuts and fun bodices, but your figure can support a little extra fabric. Go ahead, pick out that dress with cap sleeves, thick straps or even a halter. It'll look fabulous on you, and prevent an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction on the dance floor.

If you're a little more petite up top, a strapless look could be just the ticket. Sweetheart necklines look fresh and feminine, but they also help accentuate a small bust by creating curves. Show off your small frame in a fitted dress and leave your shoulders bare! If you want a little extra support, thin straps are a great compromise.

Women of all sizes can pull off fun and unique necklines, and the one-shouldered look has been especially trendy lately. Feeling a little bold? Go ahead and try on a dress with just one strap - it'll be sure to grab attention.

We have a fabulous selection of straps that hook onto any strapless bra to give you the extra support you might need. Or just to make a more simple dress more dazzling! 

We have crystals in clear, pink, purple, red, green, blue and more!

Exposed Envy Rhinestone Bra Strap - Modern Crystal


 Exposed Envy Beaded Bra Strap - Perfectly Pearl

 Stones and beads of all colors...

Exposed Envy Beaded Bra Strap - Bohemian

 Fabrics of all colors, with a touch of sparkle!

Exposed Envy Fabric Sparkle Bra Strap - Colors

 And MORE!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Have it both ways with a high-low prom dress

No, it's not a new gambling game that your high school hasn't had time to ban yet. The high-low is a rather enticing formal dress style that allows girls to have the best of both worlds - at least when it comes to short and long hemlines.

High-low styles most often feature a skirt that's short in the front and long in the back, and the discrepancy can vary from a lot to a little. Whether you go for a number that eases into this transition or flaunts a stark contrast between the varying lengths, you're sure to get a great opportunity to flaunt a little leg for your prom this year.

If you do end up going for a dress that exposes a good deal of thigh, it's best to make sure the rest of you stays fairly covered up. Opt for a boat-necked gown or a strapless sweetheart neckline (not too deep!).

Of course, choosing the right pair of shoes is crucial to pulling off a high-low. Go for footwear that complements your dress but has enough of its own personality - with a cut like this, your toes aren't exactly going to be fading away from the limelight.

Check out these high-low dresses in shades of green and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Tony Bowls Evenings 2011 Prom Dress TBE11069

 Blush 2011 Prom Dress 9213

 Jovani 2011 Prom Dress 71702



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The best ways to wear yellow to prom

Not every girl has something particular in mind when she goes prom dress shopping, but some ladies just know that it has to be a certain color. If yellow happens to be your prom fixation this year, we've got some inventive ways to wear the color that'll propel you into buttercup perfection. has singled out model Georgia May Jagger's marigold dress for its excellence in the realm of yellow formalwear. This Kentucky-Derby-meets-pinup-girl look was ravishing thanks to its carefree folds and Jagger's gold and floral accessories.

The news source also points out that folded circle hems are back, which is a great option for a short yellow number.

You could also choose to wear a floor-length silk cocktail dress with a split front apron chiffon layer, a slightly toned-down version of the classic gown immortalized in Beauty and the Beast. In a dress like this, you're destined to be the Belle of the ball.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reclaim your crown with a princess gown for prom

With a ball gown fit for Cinderella, who cares who gets to be prom queen this year? Everyone will know who the real royalty is when you show off your regal stature in a pretty princess ball gown.

Princess-cut prom dresses come in nearly every color and fabric, which is good news for all the ladies who wish to express their royal individuality. You can be as ballerina perfect as you want with a soft pink satin gown, or show off some blue-blooded spunk in a poofy dress featuring layers of multi-colored tulle.

Whatever design you choose to go with, these gowns in particular lend themselves to all kinds of accessories. It's almost given that you can flaunt a tiara - position it on the crown of your head for a poised, picture-perfect look, or tilt it to the side a little to show some attitude.

Elbow-length gloves may also be a winning touch, as would a strand of pearls or diamond earrings.

And of course, being a princess calls for a tiara!

En Vogue Accessories Tiara T1030

 En Vogue Accessories Tiara T1014

Monday, March 14, 2011

Embracing the return of the backless dress

We've all seen so many ways to show a little skin on a formal occasion. Be it the high slit up the side, the ultra short skirt, the plunging neckline or the strapless number, formal wear has always given us a great number of options to flaunt our best assets.

This season, word on the street is that the backless dress is back in action. Whether you interpret this trend in a cross-backed fashion or take it to its logical extreme, a backless dress is both sexy and sophisticated in a way that can't be matched by short-cut and low-cut ensembles.

Unlike the latter, which can bring a girl dangerously close to some fairly inappropriate exposures (hey Britney - need we say more?), a backless dress is a little less risque but can be infinitely more sexy.

This style will work best with a high neckline and relatively long skirt for prom, so look for loose, flowy fabrics that leave a bit of an elegant train behind you.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What to look for in terms of vintage wedding styles

Who would have thought that vintage would make such a comeback, especially in the department of wedding gowns? If you haven't seen the recent turn towards vintage headpieces, antique-style lace and debonair silhouettes, you're sure to notice it soon.

"Everything in bridal has been headed towards vintage and rustic," GTR Newspapers' Jennifer Thompson writes. "Vintage gowns in beautiful laces with rich colors under lace overlays make for a very traditional look with a modern flair. Three-dimensional flowers are going to be prevalent in the textured look of wedding dresses."

According to Thompson, brides are turning increasingly towards embellishments as well, including oversized brooches, vintage belts and ornate hairpieces.

If you or any future brides in your circle have been itching to break the mold for the big day, here's one spectacular way to do it. Look for wedding gowns that recall a Victorian style with lots of lace, embellishments and detail. This is one occasion where you might toss the bright white dresses aside, as a more aged, cream-colored gown may be called for.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dresses that flatter the less buxom

Conventional beauty wisdom favors the well-endowed woman who has an impossibly flat stomach and teensy-tiny waist. However, there's no need for expensive and risky procedures to achieve this impossible ideal. When you choose dresses that flatter your own unique body type, you can show off what makes you special and embrace your natural figure.

Many women are not as naturally buxom as they'd like to be, but there are many fashion trends that favor the flatter-chested among us, such as the sweetheart neckline. This style is usually featured on a strapless gown and creates curves by forming a contoured line over the chest with a small dip in the middle. This delicate style is elegant and girlish, and while it flatters all kinds of body types, it looks especially gorgeous on women whose chests are on the smaller side.

Another kind of a neckline that looks great on small-chested women is one that is gathered or ruffled. Details at the bust help accentuate the area and flatter thin tops. Small-chested women should embrace these kinds of dresses, since many more buxom figures would look overwhelming in such loud patterns and detailing.

Women come in all shapes and sizes. In order to accentuate your natural shape, you must embrace your body type - then look for formal dresses that will flatter it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Step into Spring with Floral-Inspired Gowns

The snow is finally melting, the birds are chirping and the sun is out! It's nearly spring, and that means it's time for a wardrobe upgrade. Gone are the heavy, deep blues and intense reds of winter - put the spring back in your step with bright, floral prints and details.

Pulling off a print or floral detailing is a little more advanced than Fashion 101, but there's no better time to try your hand at these exciting trends than the springtime. Botanic inspiration comes in many forms, from applique roses and whorls of fabric to flowery prints and floral pastels. However you choose to sport this trend, you're sure to embody the spirit of spring with flowing, loose fabric and soft designs.

When you choose a dress with lots of detailing or a busy print, be sure not to add clutter with clunky jewelry or elaborate shoes. Pair a fun frock with solid-color pumps, and stay away from rings, necklaces and earrings that are bursting with too much color. Instead, stick to a single metal - gold, silver, platinum, steel or another. Don't overload on the gems, but a peak of jade or the sparkle of a white diamond can take an outfit from daytime to nighttime in seconds.

Start preparing for the warmth and excitement of spring with a dress that's blossoming with color.

La Femme 2011 Prom Dress 15478
Tony Bowls Short 2011 Prom Dress TS11150

Shimmer by Bari Jay 2011 Prom Dress 59215