Prom dress trends

Model Mary Bold shows off high low hemline prom dress with mirror embellishments for this year at Unique Vintage on Vanowen in Burbank. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / March 11, 2010)

Mini-dresses and body-conscious styles might cut it for a night out, but girls who want to put a ladylike spin on prom are going straight for the classic ball gowns.

"For the last few years everything has been really sexy, but now we're seeing designs back in the ball-gown area with really unique treatments like differing layers of tulle and appliques," Farber said.

Instead of the classic look of multiple overlapping layers of cinched satin, reminiscent of the Disney princess gown, the ball gowns this season feature an embellished neckline or bust with beading, and the colors veer into the bold and bright for a neon princess look.

Glitter shoe

The modern prom queen shines in a gold, black, silver or rainbow glitter heel. A shimmery shoe can elevate any prom look to pretty and polished and give you some extra sparkle on the dance floor.

"We used to do a lot of rhinestone shoes, but this year we had customers telling us that we should have a glitter shoe," Farber said. "It might be because they see celebrities wear a glitter shoe, or it's a shoe you can wear later at another time."


The royal wedding frenzy has carried into the world of prom accessories. "The royal wedding has really inspired us to make fascinators so important because people saw such great headpieces last April," said Rubinetti, who noted that jeweled headbands and flowers are selling well for David's Bridal.

The headbands may be plain satin or glitter or lavish head pieces with feathers, rhinestones or tulle.

Linear drop/shoulder duster earrings

This year's jewel accessories are big, bold statement pieces — the most popular a long, luxe earring that grazes the shoulder. The "shoulder duster" or linear drop earring adds a touch of extravagance without going overboard. The earring goes well with sleeveless dresses, framing the face in rhinestones, feathers and pearls.