Prom Trends 2011: Anything Goes, as Long as It's Red-Carpet Ready

Standouts this year are ornate back details on dresses and slimmer cuts for the guys, but the rest is up to you.

Long gone are the simple prom dresses in black, reminiscent of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Prom trends this year include bright colors, ruffles, cutouts and dramatic red-carpet-inspired looks. Inspiration can come from anywhere—there is not one trend but many. Almost anything goes at Twin Cities proms.

“There’s never been a year where there’s only one thing,” said Julie LaMere, manager of in Southdale Shopping Center. LaMere has seen 10 prom seasons working in retail.

However, trends also depend on where prom is located. Dress trends for high schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul are a little more adventurous, while dresses in the suburbs are a little more traditional and conservative, according to Brian Lowe, assistant manager of in Southdale who himself has seen 28 prom seasons in retail.

But the biggest trend for Prom 2011? Interesting and decorative open backs, LaMere said. Rhinestones and satin embellish the cutouts and strappy backs that show off early spring tans—so make sure you stock up on sunless tanning lotion.

Movie stars and the red carpet are inspiring girls to choose dramatic ball gown dresses that command attention. Ruffles, bright colors, mermaid silhouettes and one-shoulder necklines make juniors and seniors look like celebrities, if just for one night.

Colors are bright and cover the entire color wheel at Richfield's , where beautiful turqouise and baby blue colored dresses were a big hit this year, according to Shantel Ratzlaff.

Pastels and black are so three seasons ago.

“People now are choosing things that look the best on them,” LaMere said.

Ratzlaff added that there are a variety of styles for girls to choose from, from flowy chiffon dresses to big ballgown skirts to .

For boys looks, trends are less matchy-matchy and more complementary, LaMere said. Since dress and vest fabrics rarely match texture, it’s easier to match within the same color family rather than the exact color.

This is why girls accompany boys to the tux shop with their dresses in tow, Lowe said. Sometimes, girls’ mothers even stop by to help choose complementary colors.

Tux, tie and vest colors show as much variety as dresses this season. White tux or black tux, one button or two, tri-color pocket squares—boys get to show as much personality at prom as girls.

A few tux trends include flat-front pants (no pleats allowed!), longer collars (the wing-tip collar is SO out) and absolutely no one wears a cummerbund anymore, according to Lowe. Boys are preferring tuxes in higher thread counts because they are lighter weight and don’t get so warm while dancing.

“The customers are a little more conscious of better clothing,” Lowe said.

European cuts—more fitted than traditional jackets and include contrasting trim—are very popular for prom, according to Lowe.

“It’s very retro,” he said.

White tuxes are popular in the metro, while more traditional black tuxes are popular for the suburbs, to go along with the traditional approach to dresses for girls.

Now that you have the inside scoop on what's hot in prom fashion this year, get to shopping! If you haven't already.

Also, don't forget to check out Patch's , detailing the costs of attending the dance.

Good luck shopping and putting the final touches on. Richfield Patch will see you all at prom May 14.


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