The high low dress has also been aptly named the asymmetric dress, the mullet dress, and, if you’re really really funky, the hi-lo dress. Regardless of what you call it or how you spell it, the one thing that is agreed is that these dresses are burning up the red carpet and are set to be a really big hot trend for prom 2014.
So what exactly is a high low dress?
Well, it’s exactly as the name suggests: a combination of a long and short dress. Although high low dresses have been around for a few years now, each year they have increased in popularity. At the recent Golden Globe Awards ceremony, celebrities such as Sandra Bullock were spotted wearing glamorous high low hems, so if you do decided to sport a high low hem dress to prom, you will certainly be in good company!
What’s so good about a high low dress?
The first great thing about the high low dress is the drama and impact of having a long back skirt wafting and billowing about behind you, making you look every inch the Hollywood starlet! With their long and elegant back skirts and shorter front hems these dresses are particularly suited to young ladies attending their prom night as these dresses simply scream ‘I look elegant, classy, grown-up and sophisticated, but I’m young and sassy too!’
If you have read my posts before, you are probably aware that I am slightly challenged in the height department, and so I can feel a little swamped in long dresses sometimes. The high low dress really has been a fantastic alternative for me, giving me the chance to enjoy the full on glamour of wearing a long evening dress whilst retaining the style I feel most comfortable in – a short dress. The high low dress also gives me the chance to show off my pins and a fabulous pair of shoes, as well as giving me the opportunity to dance the night away in comfort (heel height permitting!) and style.
Designers have twigged on the increase in demand of high low hems, and have come up with many fabulous ways to incorporate a wide range of fabrics such as taffeta, chiffon and contrasting coloured lining for the back skirts. These fabrics come in a gorgeous array of colours, animal prints etc and many have been jazzed up with sparkles, sequins, bows and ruffles! Here’s a little peek of some of the styles we have in stock:
I can confirm to you that pastel colours are in again for the prom season, and you can expect to see at prom plenty of champagne, mint green and sorbet coloured dresses. This gorgeous chiffon floaty high low hem prom dress (pictured left) is simply stunning and, being lemon yellow, fits in perfectly with the summer colour scheme. This dress has darling shimmery rhinestones along the neckline and a low back. Simple, elegant iridescent jewellery are a perfect match with this dress.
If you want something really jazzy and sparkly, this head-turning silver sequin high low dress (pictured right) by Dynasty is the one for you! This dazzling dress has whimsical organza skirts over it’s short, sequinned under dress and boasts a fabulously waist cinching band to give you a stunning shape. Don’t be tempted to over accessorize this dress, keep everything simple and let this dress do all the talking!
If animal print is your thing then why not try this stunning leopard print high low corset dress by Forever Unique? This dress is the ultimate in modern style with it’s body con mini dress top half and long flowing chiffons skirts behind. This dress looks fantastic with neutral accessories such as black, silver and gold.
This beautiful high low hem taffeta dress (pictured right) is glamorous, fun and flirty with it’s contrasting blue colour lining to the underskirt. The bodice on this dress is fully structured and comes down a little lower than other high low hem dresses, giving it more of a mermaid shape than the others. This dress looks stunning with black shoes and accents of blue accessories such as our blue mini bangles.
I have been really impressed this year at how organised the 2014 prom girls are! We had our first one at the boutique early last month, and have had several since then. Although some mums coyly say to me when entering the boutique: ‘we’re looking at prom dresses, but we’re a bit early’, I think it’s extremely sensible, just like a bride, a prom girl KNOWS when she has found her dress and it matters not a jot that she has found it months in advance. Another reason to start early is that we never release the same dress to the same function, so make sure that your daughter gets first dibs on her dress for prom!
Nowadays there are so many different styles available, and there appears to be much less restriction on what is acceptable than before, so you could wear long or short, long and short, full on ball gown, or subtle and elegant. However, we are well aware that although the increase in styles means more variety, it can also make the decision even harder and more intimidating, especially if you are a young lady who is not used to wearing formal attire. The aim of this blog post is to give a little direction to prom girls who are starting out their research into which prom dress to wear on prom night.
The first golden question you should be asking is ‘what style of prom dress will suit me?’. It is all well and good having your heart set on a particular style, but if it does nothing for you, you won’t feel comfortable on the big night and you will spend the whole evening feeling self-conscious and doing your best to hide in the shadows. I recommend getting out a piece of paper and writing down what body shape you have, try to be as honest and objective as you can. Remember that what you see in the mirror isn’t necessarily the same as what everyone else sees, so mum, dad, sisters or any other close family members are usually very helpful and will give honest opinions on your shape. Try not to take anything they say too personally, after all, they only want you to look your best on prom night! After you have established what kind of shape you are, pick out your body features you wish to show off and write them down. Lastly, write down the body features you wish to hide.
In order to help you decide what prom dress style would suit you, I have pulled together the key prom dress styles with a general guide on what body shape would suit, so you can concentrate on the most important thing when choosing your prom dress: having fun!
Ball gown prom dresses
Ball gown prom dresses are traditional, or ‘classic’ prom dresses, and are the perfect way to achieve that fairy tale princess look. With their full, flared skirts and their fitted bodices, there are not really many body shapes which don’t suit this style. If you are a curvy girl, they are a great way of showing off a cinched in waist, or if you don’t have much of a waist, they are great at giving the illusion of a waist. If you are pear shaped or are concerned about the bottom half of your figure, this dress emphasises the waist and completely hides your bottom half. The only body shape which might slightly struggle in this style is if you are very small and petite as you can look swamped by the skirts. If you fall into this category but you still want that fairytale look, opt for an a-line dress instead as it still gives you a full skirt, and maximises the chance of you wearing the dress but minimises the risk of the dress wearing you!
Mermaid prom dresses
These dresses are also known as fishtail prom dresses or trumpet prom dresses. The mermaid prom dress typically has a figure hugging fitted bodice that goes right the way down to the mid-thigh and then flares out to give the illusion of a mermaid’s tail. These dresses look great on prom girls who have a hourglass shape (i.e. who are well balanced at the bust and hips with a proportionately smaller waist). If you have more of a boyish figure, this style of dress will probably emphasise the straightness of your figure and will probably not show your body off in the best way. These dresses tend to fit very closely to the body and will give a true silhouette of your body shape, so if you are a bit shy about your body, it’s probably best to stay away from this style.
Empire line prom dresses
These dresses have a high waistline with the skirt gently falling from under the bust. They tend to be made out of a light, floaty fabric such as chiffon which falls elegantly to the floor. This style of prom dress works well on most body shapes and is probably one of the most forgiving styles. It also makes a great plus size style. They are fabulous if you are concerned about showing off your mid-section, providing you with a bit of extra coverage, whilst still giving you the ability to achieve that whimsical, elegant look. At the other end of the spectrum, they also make great dresses for girls who have a less defined waist, or a ‘boyish shape’ as they don’t emphasise the waist and drape graciously to the floor.
Mullet prom dress
These dresses are also known as high low hem dresses. These dresses come in a variety of styles, e.g. fitted down to the thigh, fitted to the waist or empire line. It’s a fantastic alternative to a full length gown and is absolutely brilliant if you (like me!) are a little vertically challenged as you won’t have to worry about having the hem shortened or tripping over a long dress at prom! If your legs are the feature that you want to show off, but you still like the idea of having a long prom dress, this could well be the option for you. Make sure that you team up this style of dress with a fabulous pair of shoes, but if you are going for a pair of peep toes, make sure that your feet are in tip top condition and that you go and get yourself a good pedicure beforehand!
Once you are aware of what shape you are, the process of prom dress shopping changes from being stressful to being exactly what it should be – fun! Remember that it’s not every day you get to wear a glamorous dress, so I recommend taking full advantage while you can and seek out a really special dress. This is definitely one of those times when high street just will not do!
If you require any further help regarding what style is best suited to your shape, feel free to leave us a comment below, facebook us at Walk in Wardrobe Brighton or tweet us @walkinwardrobe
I am very rarely wearing any other colour but red, and so I am always thrilled when our prom girls come to the boutique seeking red dresses for their special night. On prom night you will want to make a lasting impression, and red is definitely a colour no one will miss! Red is a great colour if you want to look commanding, confident and absolutely stunning. It is also a very versatile colour in the sense that it compliments a wide range of skin tones. It goes without saying that red looks great with dark hair and dark eyes and can make you look really exotic a la Penelope Cruz. However, we have had some mums at the boutique with their blond daughters who want a red prom dress and they are concerned that their daughters may look ‘tarty’ in red. Well, I would argue that you only have to look at the stunningly sophisticated Jerry Hall in red to realise that this is definitely NOT the case.
Make up to go with a red dress
In all honesty, red is not the easiest of colours to match your make up to. My own particular favourite tricks for a real bombshell look are to choose a lipstick with matches the shade of the dress and to have a nice black flick out with a liquid eye liner on the top eyelids and some black eye liner on the inner rims of the bottom of your eyelids. A light shimmery eye shadow will make the dark eye liner stand out more, thus making your eyes look more defined. Finish up this look with a thickening black mascara for dramatic and defined lashes.
If you don’t like to wear too much make up, you can go for a more natural look by putting a slight rose colour on your cheeks and use a natural, shimmer lipstick in a nude colour and a little soft eye liner at the outer corners of your eyelids. I find that this looks fabulous on fair girls.
How to wear your hair with a red prom dress
With a red prom dress you really want to let the red colour do the talking, so go for a simple hairstyle to avoid looking too over the top. Try an up-do with a few trails of hair framing your face or some carefree loose waves if you want to have your hair down. Having your hair trailing down one shoulder is also a great look, especially if you are wearing a dress with a feature back.
Accessories to go with a red dress
If you are going for a red dress keep away from red accessories as this can lead to the accessories blending in with the dress too much and it can be a bit too much. If there is some sparkle on your dress, match the accessory colour to the embellishments as they will make the beading stand out. Gold accessories look great with red if you want a regal look and silver looks fabulous if you want a young, fun yet mature look.