Prom dress 2002: It's a no-belle prize

STYLE FILE

April 14, 2002|By Tricia Bishop | By Tricia Bishop,Sun Staff

Fortunately, proms aren't populated by Southern-belle dresses and powder-blue tuxes anymore, but there are almost too many choices today. How do you decide? Macy's offers these suggestions -- both conservative and contemporary -- to help young women figure out what's hot for prom 2002. Take a look:

Style -- Traditional ball gowns and romantic floor-length dresses are still the rage, but a new offering this season suits the urban sophisticate: feminine, fitted tuxedos in dramatic black, cream or silver.

Cuts -- Full-skirt fairy-tale dresses are being replaced with more form-fitting column-style gowns, which elongate the figure, and bias-cut silk numbers that flare at the bottom or have asymmetrical hems. One-shoulder styles are big.

Color -- Spring-inspired pinks and soft lavenders mingle among bold blue and fuchsia gowns hanging on the racks, but good old basic black dresses are still the faves for high glamour. Black and white stripes are making a good showing this year as well.

Fabric -- It's all about lightweight flow this year. Satin and crepe reign, especially with beading or sequins.

Adding accessories

Often the drama is in the details, so don't blow your budget on the dress. Save some for accessories. Here's a look at the season's offerings from Marley Station Mall's Melissa Teague, who says this year's theme is whimsical fun and individuality:

* Shoes -- Anything with embellishments. That means flowers, sequins, bows, buckles, rhinestones and / or fringe (but, Teague points out, not all on one shoe). Styles run the gamut from strappy sandals to slip-ons, mules and even flats (great news if your boyfriend is on the short side).

* Bags -- Evening bags take cues from the shoes and are embroidered, dotted with beads and sequins or flower-studded. Pick a bag that will be not only a place to hold your keys, but a conversation starter as well.

* Jewelry -- Colorful crystal chokers replace strands of pearls, but the hip place to decorate this year is the wrist. Add a light-catching rhinestone bracelet for a complete look.

Capturing the moment

Regardless of what you're wearing, there's one must-have prom accessory for both guys and girls: a camera for capturing every silly, sappy moment.

Consider bringing an i-Zone pocket camera for the fun shots (as long as someone else in your party brings the real thing). The camera is inexpensive ($20), comes in colors to match your clothes (ice blue, silver, fuchsia, orange, slate, dark blue) and delivers instant gratification because your pictures pop out seconds after you take them.

The film, which is also available in a sticky version for plastering on the walls, sells in 12-exposure packs of three for $18. Find it and the camera at Target, Wal-Mart, Rite Aid and CVS.

Putting on a party face

Clinique is out to make prom-going girls into glamour goddesses with its spring-y makeup kit of the same name. It's filled with lilac shadow, pink lip gloss, liquid bronzer, face base and Clinique Happy body lotion ($26 at department stores or online at www.clinique.com). The company also offers these timely tips:

* Wear your new prom shoes around the house (with socks on) to break them in before the big night.

* Bring a bottle of clear nail polish for quick stocking fixes.

* A little glitter goes a long way: Sprinkle some on your exposed collar bone and shoulders for a festive glow.

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