Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Important Word about Knock-off (counterfeit) Websites

You've been searching for a dress to order online for a while now. You come across a site that has fantastic prices - much less than what you've seen so far! They have the same photos as other sites and you see dresses you've seen on other sites from Jovani, Sherri Hill, Mori Lee, and more! And wow, they want so many measurements; that must make the dress fit perfectly!

Sound too good to be true? Well, it is. If you are thinking about ordering your dress online and the price is really cheap, think again! There are hundreds of knock-off dress websites popping up offering to make you a cheap knock-off version of the real designer dress you want, for a very low price. Except they don't tell you it's a knock-off. They lead you to believe it's a real designer dress. This is illegal and designers are notified when we find these websites so they can pursue legal action. 

The dress you receive from a knock-off site may or may not look like the picture on their website. Many times they use the designers' copyrighted photos and descriptions (which is also an illegal practice), but these counterfeit sites do not have the original patterns to make the dresses. They just try and duplicate them based on what they see in the photos. Which means, they are guessing on how the dress is made, guessing on what fabric is used, and guessing on what embellishments are used. Do you really want to leave your once-in-a-lifetime-event prom dress or wedding dress to chance?

Here's how to spot a knock-off site:
  • If designers are listed on the website, check the Store Locators on the designers websites such as www.sherrihill.com and www.jovani.com to see the if website is run by a store who is an authorized dealer for the designer. If the website/store is not listed, then beware that they are not selling true designer gowns. (See more information here: Ask TJFormal: Are your dresses originals or knock-offs?)
  • If there is not a designer name in the title, but just a description (i.e. Trumpet Halter Chapel Train Satin & Lace Bridal Gown), then it is not a designer dress. A designer's name will always be in the title of the dress product.
  • The Contact Us page should have a phone number and address listed not just an email.
  • There are claims that you can return the dress for a full refund--legitimate bridal shops cannot take returns unless the merchandise has a factory defect.
  • They request a large number of measurements. True bridal shops only use 3-4 measurements as provided on the size charts for their designers.
Before placing your order with one of these sites:
  • Do your homework before placing your order with one of these sites. Research their policies and check with online forums for reviews.
  • Do order very early in case the dress delivered to you is of inferior quality or fit and you have to shop for another dress.
  • Do not plan on getting a refund or returning the unwanted dress back to the knock-off company as most are located in Asia and the shipping is very expensive.
Some testimonials from customers who unfortunately got taken by a knock-off site:
  • "I am gutted I wasted money on the knock off site which is called fashionlande but also annoyed with myself for not doing proper research!  I am just glad to have found the genuine dress and although I have paid double for it, I am really looking forward to receiving your dress and wearing it."
  • "One of my other bridesmaid got her dress through another vendor.  However, when it arrived, it was a knock off and not literally a Bari Jay."  
  • "I have noticed a lot of chinese websites posing as american sites and stealing the same pictures you have on your site! But making cheaper versions of the dress! I don't want to wait all that time and then when it arrives will not be as exactly like the picture shown. I ordered the same dress from a chinese website, thinking it was an american one!"
Very Important! You will not get a designer dress unless you buy from a authorized dealer for the designer. These knock-off sites can duplicate the designer labels as well as the dress but the quality and style will not be exactly same ... you'll get what you paid for. Buyer beware!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Need a dress fast? Sherri Hill dresses!

Are you late getting a dress for prom? Check out these Sherri Hill dresses that we can get for you in just a few days!

In order on the video:

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2308

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2404

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2420

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2425

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2439

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2486

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2532

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2540

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2549

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2552

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2555

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2560

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2575

 Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 3701

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 3718

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 3729

 Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 3804

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 3827

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 5405

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 7201

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 7403

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 7409

Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 7419

A purse of a different color

A gal's gotta have a place to store her things, but the ratty old purse you drag around the grocery store probably isn't going to look too great with your brand new gown. You'll need a bag that complements your dress - while still giving you a place to stash your cellphone, lipstick and other feminine necessities.

Guys have it easy - their dress pants have pockets! But hey, in a way, we're better off. What's more fun than toting around the perfect purse that completes your fancy look? Your possibilities are virtually endless, too. From wristlets to cross-body bags, there's no end to the ways you can accessorize your gown! There's one bag that'll always have a place in our hearts (and hands), however: the clutch!

A clutch is always in style. If you're wearing a solid-colored gown, look for a fun clutch that has tons of detail and texture to add a little pop of intrigue to your outfit. A metallic clutch that matches your jewelry is another great way to go! You can't go wrong, as long as your bag of choice is large enough to hold everything you'll need for the perfect night on the town. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Long or short?

When it comes to prom, many girls want the total fairytale princess night - complete with the requisite ball gown. However, plenty of other young ladies are interested in showing a little leg in a minidress or an A-line skirt. Both styles are equally valid prom choices!

If you're looking for a magical night straight out of a Disney movie, a voluptuous floor-length number with tons of tulle and sparkles is sure to please. You can even go the whole nine yards and add on a diamond necklace or a pair of gloves - the night is yours! Prince Charming won't be able to resist you when you show up in this gorgeous, classic style.

For the modest gal who want something a little more understated, a sleek floor-length gown could be the way to go. Let the Greek goddesses be your inspiration as you search for a style that's elegant yet modern.

Finally, for all the party girls out there, you, too, can look just the way you want at prom! There's nothing wrong with showing off a cute pair of shoes - or a little bit of those toned legs! The minidress is always in fashion, but be careful not too choose anything too casual. Keep it fancy by opting for styles that fall near the knee, and obeying the "40 percent rule" - only show 40 percent of your skin at a time.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Take it down just a notch with a denim jacket

Going out on the town is fun and all, but what if you had the option to alternate between looking super jazzed up and appropriately semi-formal? If you're getting ready for a big to-do or a night-crawl in the near future, consider what a bit of layering can do for that chic dress you've got picked out.

Victoria Justice and Keira Knightley both layered denim jackets on top of their dresses recently, and the end result was something we couldn't resist commenting on. They were at once glammed up and casually chic, which is not a balance that's necessarily easy to strike but can be a winning look for that after-hours fete you've got coming up on your calendar.

This is a perfect choice to dress down any LBD, but it goes just as well with colorful minis and maxis. Just be sure to match the denim color to the overall mood of your look. You wouldn't want your layering to look all out of place - remember, distressed denim, not a distressed fashionista.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mori Lee Trunk Show at TJ Formal!

Please join us for our Mori Lee Trunk Show next weekend!

When: Friday, April 29 10:00am through Sunday, May 1 4:00pm
Where: 508 N. Range Line Road, Joplin, Missouri

Take a look at some of the dresses we will have for you to see and try on!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Sleeves have all but disappeared off the runways over the last few years, replaced by thin straps, halter tops and, more than anything, sexy strapless looks that show off collarbones and flatter busts of all sizes. But one special type of sleeve has been enjoying a renaissance in everything from wedding dresses to prom gowns - the cap sleeve.

Cap sleeves are a perfect addition to any style of dress, from an A-line to a sheath. They provide a little extra modesty while still looking adorably sweet and demure, and they're perfect for busty gals who may need a little extra support in the bosom department. Many cap sleeve styles still show off plenty of decolletage and look fabulous with bold necklaces and dangling earrings. For proof, just have a look at the dress that Alexis Bledel wore at the New York premiere of The Conspirator.

The former Gilmore Girls starlet, who's now a movie star in her own right, sported a sparkling sheath dress with a set of small cap sleeves that highlighted her tiny frame. Pairing her gown with cutout black pumps and an elegant black clutch, Bledel kept it simple with minimal jewelry and an elegant updo - letting the cut of her dress show off her shoulders and arms.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New line! VM by Mori Lee

We have a gorgeous new line of social occasion dresses - VM by Mori Lee. These are beautiful and sophisticated, and are perfect for mother of the bride or any special evening or event.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Purple is the crowning jewel of this year's prom

If ever there were a color that could take an entire prom season by storm and make even the royals turn a similar shade of embarrassment, purple, our friends, is the name of the game. From lilac to lavender to deep aubergine, this royal family of hues is presiding quite nicely over this year's prom trends.

"Purple is everywhere," Michaelene Coffee, of Place One Hollywood, told The Times Leader. "It doesn't matter if it's dark or light."

And right she is - just recall the swoopy fairytale gown that Mila Kunis wore to the Academy Awards, or the plum confection worn by her co-star Natalie Portman. Amanda Seyfried, too, recently made a red carpet appearance wearing a quite righteous eggplant-colored mini. Who wouldn't heed the example of three of Hollywood's most regal ladies?

Whatever shade constitutes your idea of the purple dream, know that you'll have the command of ultimate flattery behind you. This is one color family that is bound to liven up any girl's complexion and add a soft, dreamy veneer to her figure.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On the fringe

The hippy-dippy trend may be on the way out, but at least one vestige of this carefree look is here to stay - fringe. Nothing says happy-go-lucky like a nice fringe that floats and swings as you dance and spin on prom night, so don't be afraid to embrace this fun, fancy-free trend.

Whether it's on a dress, a handbag or even a pair of shoes, you can't go wrong with a little bit of fringe. For inspiration, have a look at what Rihanna wore to the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards, where she was the surprise performer. The runway version of this Versace frock featured splashes of bright color, but Rihanna opted for a white style when she sang alongside Jennifer Nettles. Of course, she kept the most exciting aspect of the form-fitting dress - its fringed bodice - totally intact, letting the little strips sway as she moved her body to the rhythm.

If you plan on tearing up the dance floor, fringe is your best friend. Embrace this grin-inducing style, and you'll be sure to look hippy-chic at prom this year.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Glasses are a prom 'do'!

If you've been wearing glasses since you were a kid, no doubt you're familiar with all kinds of taunts, from the classic "four-eyes" to several more inventive torments (we feel your pain!). But ladies of the lenses, it's your time to shine! Go ahead, rock those specs at prom - you'll look all kinds of sophisticated.

Ever since Tina Fey started sporting a pair of plastic-rimmed frames (which she doesn't even need, by the way), ladies have been realizing that the perfect pair of glasses can actually do wonders for their style. Glasses don't have to be a downer - they can be a fashionable part of any ensemble, casual or formal!

Just have a look at what Anne Hathaway wore to the Los Angeles premiere of her new movie Rio. Sporting a gorgeous amethyst-colored gown from Gucci's spring 2011 collection and a pair of matching shoes, Anne's look got a boost of sophistication from her oversized pair of specs. Anne proves that glasses can be just as charming an accessory as the perfect pair of earrings or an adorable headband!

So embrace your inner geek and sport those specs to prom this year - if you dare.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Brides-to-be: Will you be inspired by the royal wedding?

Famous wedding dresses have inspired brides throughout the centuries. Will Kate Middleton's dress influence what you wear down the aisle? Even if you're not directly concerned with the soon-to-be princess' wedding attire, odds are, some of her style will find its way into wedding dresses for years to come.

Kate is hardly the first royal whose fashion choices will launch a thousand designers. After all, it was her royal predecessor, Queen Victoria, who started the bridal white tradition - before her, brides simply got married in their best gowns (and black was a popular color choice!). Princess Diana, who wed Prince Charles when she was just 19, inspired millions with her dreamy, romantic gown - a perfect design for a princess.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis is another famous bride whose dress influenced the fashion world. Since her fashion choices were the subject of much praise all throughout her public life, it's no surprise that the fashion world was abuzz over the gorgeous gown she wore to wed Aristotle Onassis. Grace Kelly also launched a wedding trend when she got married in a gown with a gorgeous lace neckline. And Ivanka Trump, who wed in 2009, single-handedly brought sleeves back into vogue for wedding styles!

So, brides-to-be, keep an eye on the royal wedding - you might just see a style you like!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pump up the volume

Sleek dresses are always in, but if you're interested in making a - shall we say? - bigger statement, you'll need to be thinking about volume!

No, we're not talking about '80s-inspired hairdos. We're talking about dresses with all kinds of fun details that add some serious heft. From bubble hems to ruffled skirts, feathered bodices to layers of tulle, there are millions of ways to pump up a prom dress and take it from drab to fab. If the last thing on your mind this prom season is blending into the crowd, then a volumized gown might be your best bet.

For the bold, no dress is too big. For inspiration, reflect back on Demi Moore's Atelier Versace gown from last year's Oscars ceremony. Moore kept the original gown's cascade of ruffles, but toned down the color - originally a tangerine orange - to a more neutral blush. In fact, that red carpet was veritable smorgasbord of volume. Jennifer Lopez rocked a silvery Marchesa number with a serious side ruffle, while Amanda Seyfried choose a similar dress by the same designer.

If you want a more measured look, consider looking to a single detail to add some volume where you want it. Maybe you'd like a giant bow on the dress' back, a bodice with lots of detailing to add to your bust, or a train that's as big as Cinderella's.

No matter what you pick, you're sure to stand out in a dress that's as bold as your personality.

Jovani 2011 Prom Dress 159221


Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to truly be a bundle of roses for prom

Despite the rapid evolution of prom dress variety, there is one thing we can scarcely escape when it comes time to don our finest and step out onto the dance floor. Flowers have been an integral part of these formal soirees since who knows when, taking the form of wrist corsages, boutonnieres, hair accessories and floral prints.

Maybe you've already considered wearing a floral dress and tossed that idea aside, but was that before or after you saw Blake Lively's dress at the Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremony in Las Vegas?

Miss Lively looked positively rosebud-like in a scarlet Marchesa minidress made of red velour curly-cues on sheer material. The dress gave the effect of having tiny roses scattered across her bare torso, culminating in a poofy red tutu that showed lots and lots of leg.

This is one super unconventional way to evoke a floral theme, challenging all of us to think outside the box. Forget a standard floral print dress if that's what originally had you yawning. Look for textures, accents, bows and details that offer an abstract representation of the blooms you seek.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Graduate in White!

High school and college graduations are just a few short weeks away! Many girls choose to wear the traditional white dress under their graduation gown. White is the perfect color to wear beneath a gown since it won't show through if your school has light-colored gowns. We have a great selection to choose from, many in stock and ready to ship it out if you are shopping last minute.

BLACK Cocktail Dress C002

 La Femme 2011 Prom Dress 16037

 Sherri Hill 2011 Prom Dress 2532

 Faviana 2011 Prom Dress 6405


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Modesty is key for the mother of the bride

Once we pass a certain age, many women tend to assume that their days of fabulousness are over. Some of us even sink into a state of couldn't-care-less, walking around in sweatpants and clogs without even brushing our hair. It seems, however, that someone forgot to tell Dame Helen Mirren that ladies over 55 are supposed to be frumpy, because she's looking as gorgeous and fashionable as ever!

For many women, attending a daughter's wedding is a passing of the torch, in a sense. The word "family" will have a new meaning for your daughter after her special day, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't show up looking drop-dead gorgeous. Hey, what better day to remind your husband of 30 or so years that you're still the lady he fell in love with? The key to picking out the right mother of the bride dress is choosing a design that won't take away from your daughter's dress. And guess who showed off a perfect style? That's right - Helen Mirren.

Mirren doesn't have any children, but the gown she wore to the premiere of her new movie Arthur in New York City would make an excellent mother of the bride dress if she did. Its grayish-blue color is different enough from your daughter's white wedding dress, and its high neck and long sleeves are perfect for women who are past their days of showing off the goods. Plus, its dreamy, floaty fabric will help hide any areas that might not be as toned as they once were.

If you're attending your daughter's wedding, a dress like this could be just the ticket. Just be sure to keep the makeup simple - we know you'll be crying, and you wouldn't want to get mascara smears on the gown!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

When to wear earrings, when to a wear a necklace and when to wear both

So you've got your prom dress all picked out - all that's left is deciding on the perfect accessories. Maybe you're thinking of wearing an eye-catching cocktail ring, a thick sparkling bracelet or series of stacked bangles. We say pile it on, because prom's the time for decadence! But when it comes to more traditional jewelry - your earrings and necklaces - there are a few rules to follow. First, pairing dangling earrings with a big statement necklace can be a little overpowering. Instead, opt for long, luxurious earrings and go bare-necked, or throw on a pair of simple studs and let your necklace be the focal point. For ladies planning on going bare-shouldered to prom, a strapless dress is the perfect canvas for a glittering necklace, so pick a short strand of pearls or jewels - or a single dangling pendant to complement your ensemble. Of course, you could also leave that flawless d├ęcolletage bare and opt for earrings instead - the red carpet has been rife with bare-necked gals lately. The decision is yours! When it comes to high-necked gowns, earrings are usually the gold (or silver, or diamond, or pearl...) standard. If your dress has a detailed neckline, don't overwhelm it with a big necklace - stick to smaller jewelry, like earrings and rings. So those are the rules, ladies - but then again, rules are made to be broken...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tony Bowls Lines

We carry 3 Tony Bowls lines here at TJFormal.com - Le Gala, Paris Prom, and Tony Bowls Evenings. Take a look at some of the dresses that we can get you now, before it's too late!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lady in Red

Crimson, scarlet, vermilion, burgundy, cherry - whatever you want to call it, it's been proven that red is the color that men associate the most with sexiness. If you're looking to turn a few heads at your next social occasion, red is just the color for you!

Whether you pick a Grecian-inspired gown, a flirty minidress, a girlish frock or a sexy sheath, every gal can pull off red. January Jones showed off her assets while sporting a daring red dress at the Golden Globes that featured cutouts all along her torso. Anne Hathaway took a more traditional approach in a red gown at the Oscars that featured gathering at the hem and a classic strapless neckline. Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson pulled off a bold tangerine gown that complemented her body perfectly.

No matter your coloring, red can work for you, too. For deep brunettes, bright, pure crimsons are the best choice. Fair gals can opt for colors with a hint of pink or orange to bring out their soft tones, while dark-skinned ladies should glow in garnet colors that bring out the natural gold in their complexions.

If you want to be the talk of the town, you can't go wrong with red.

Be sure to use our new filters in the left-hand column when wanting to narrow down your choices. Looking for RED dresses? Just click on Red in the Color box!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rocker-chic prom looks

You don't have to be a delicate princess or a shy little flower at prom this year. If the whole damsel-in-distress isn't really your scene, there are hundreds of alternatives to the traditional Cinderella ball gown. Rock out this prom season with a dress that's a little less girly and packs a whole lot more attitude!

We promise, it really is possible to combine the glamor of prom with the kind of dark inspiration that many young ladies are loving these days. Whether you're inspired by the recent obsession with vampires (True Blood and Twilight have featured their fare share of Gothic fashion), or more classic influences like Ozzy Osbourne and the punk rock of yore, there's a way to dress up your unique style for prom.

Look for gowns in dark colors like black, burgundy, navy and purple. Embellishments are big - and nothing evokes dark fantasy like black lace, so keep an eye out for gowns that feature this eye-catching detail.

To really seal the deal, accessories are your best bet. Studded bracelets and chunky necklaces are the perfect way to communicate goth-glam and be true to your style while evoking all the pomp and circumstance of prom.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Go wild with animal print

If you've got a big social occasion coming up, why not take the phrase "catwalk" literally? That's right - we're talking about leopard print.

You don't have to be a certified cougar to look great in prints inspired by big cats. Just ask Chloe Sevigny! This popular actress is known for her eccentric fashion, and her appearance at the Target Go dinner was no exception. Sevigny didn't disappoint in a leopard print dress, thigh-high stockings, blazer and black bow tie. Of course, you don't have to go quite so buck-wild with the accessories to pull off this trend. Ladies who aren't quite as, um, self-assured as Sevigny can still look great in safari prints.

When it comes to animal print, remember that a little bit goes a long way. A dress made entirely out of leopard print isn't appropriate for many occasions, so it might be best to hold off on that purchase. However, a leopard print clutch or cheetah print shoes can be the perfect complement to a trusty LBD! A skinny leopard print belt is a great way to cinch a cardigan or turn a flowy dress into a form-fitting gown.

A touch of animal print - whether it's leopard, zebra, cheetah or giraffe - is a great way to take an outfit from sober to flirty, but be careful not to overdo it.

Paris 2011 Prom Dress 111701


Friday, April 1, 2011

We have the dresses the IDOLS wear!!

If you watched American Idol this past Wednesday night, you saw some gorgeous dresses worn by the girls. Jovani was the big hit that night!

First up, Pia Toscano...

Wearing a stunningly sexy dress by Jovani.

Lauren Alaina sings in a Jovani dress also!

Lauren wears the black version of this dress: Jovani 2011 Prom Dress 1530110