Key trends to help teens dress to impress at the prom

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This year's crop of prom dresses offers a girl a chance to create a look that reflects her personality, whether that's princess, punkster, sexy, classic, retro, fashion-forward, Hollywood glam or something else.

Several street-level windows in the Downtown Macy's -- which feature full-length, Hollywood-inspired prom gowns in vivid colors -- are inscribed with the reminder: "The world is your catwalk. Dress to impress."

No wonder SydneysCloset.com founder Phyllis Brasch Librach surveyed her Web site's vast array of plus-size gowns and concluded that 2007 "is the year to wear a dress that gets you noticed for its individuality."

You can't impress, however, with a frock that's bland, boring or so-five-minutes-ago. To help girls navigate all the choices, here are some of the key trends this year:

Dresses inspired by red-carpet divas. These are knock-offs, or affordable imitations, of the slinky styles celebs have been spotted in at the Academy Awards and other special events.

Romantic ball gowns and "pick-up" dresses with trains, or with skirts featuring gathered fabric tufts and a jeweled pin.

Halter necklines, which were seen at the recent Oscars and divert attention from figure flaws to a flawless face.

Shorter, cocktail-length dresses that show off legs. They are even hotter now that day dresses have been such a huge category over the last year. Your statement can be sweet, sassy or sexy.

Rich, bright and bold colors, from tangerine, raspberry and lime to turquoise, purple and poppy pink. Say farewell to pale pastel colors in formal gowns.

Metallic. It is major, especially in gold, silver and copper and to a lesser degree in colors.

Chocolate brown and black-white combos. They are simple yet dramatic and can allow fabulous accessories to take center stage.

Ruffles. At the hemline, along the neckline, on the bias, they add chic sophistication and sex appeal.

Beads. Skip the sequins and bring on the beads for embellishment that's more understated than last year.

Brian Sanderson
2007 prom looks by, from left, Kenneth Cole, ABS, BCBG and Perry Ellis from PromAdvice.com.
Click photo for larger image.
More Coverage:

Practical for prom: Big night doesn't have to cost big bucks

Prom guide serves as memory book

Program helps put students in their proms



Post-Gazette fashion editor LaMont Jones can be reached at ljones@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1469.


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