The majority of proms in the Charlotte area are in April and May. To give teen girls an idea of popular styles this year, girls from local high schools modeled the newest trends in prom dresses during Belk’s annual Prom Fashion Show at the SouthPark store. Hope Politis, the social occasion and better dresses buyer for Belk, said this year’s offerings are more sophisticated than normal to go with what teens are looking for now.
Carmen! Carmen! Salon did the models’ hair, with long and flowing as the big trend; the natural but romantic makeup was by Clinique and Estée Lauder.
“Girls these days know what’s going on – because of social media they’re up-to-date on all the celebrity and fashion trends,” said Politis, who cited the popularity of singer Taylor Swift’s polished style as a major influence.
Knee-length dresses are an option, but long gowns are still the most popular. “Most girls want to wear something they wouldn’t wear to a wedding or family occasion,” says Politis. “They want to feel more dressed up and red-carpet-ready.”
Other silhouettes making a splash are the new high/low hemline, which Politis personally loves because it looks so modern and fresh; Grecian style dresses that flow; and anything with one shoulder.
When it comes to color, the brighter the better. “Neon colors have been some of our best-sellers,” she says.
Based on her experience, what's the best way to know you've found the right dress?
"When you try it on - you just know it's the one," she says.
Politis takes it all very seriously because she loves her job so much - and so does Belk. They have a focus group of teen girls who weigh in weeks in advance on what they think of the store's prom dress offerings. It's called a Style Out and if some of the lines they bought don't get a positive reaction, the order is adjusted.
Belk has expanded its social occasion and better dresses department, so no matter what your age or the event you're attending, be sure to add it to you list of places to look for that perfect dress.