The Right Look Makes The Event

The Right Look Makes The Event

Finding a date is not the end of the decision-making for the juniors and seniors gearing up for prom season. Having the right look is just as important as the date. Remember, prom photographs last a lifetime.

Accessories ranging from jewelry to limousines have to be thought out beforehand and, in the case of flowers and rides, reserved in advance.

FOR THE MEN, preparing for prom does not stop when the tuxedo has been rented. Accessories such as top hats, gloves and a cane can finish off a formal look.

"Traditionally, guys have rented a tuxedo with a bow tie and cummerbund. What's popular now is a long tie with a coordinated vest," said Jessica Grandjean, assistant manager of After Hours in Tysons Corner Center. "Some people do buy the hats, canes and gloves."

Grandjean said After Hours has tuxedo rentals at $49.99 and up. The guys should come in at least two days before the prom to have the tuxedo fitted, and the typical rental period is four days.

Once the clothes are picked out, it's off to the flower shop. Guys should look for wrist corsages for the ladies, and ladies should get a boutonniere for their guy. Pin-on corsages are not a good idea for two reasons. Some ladies may not want to put holes in their new dress, and more importantly, there may not be an area to pin the flowers to.

"Stay with white roses, no matter what. That way the flowers and the gal's dress won't clash," said Nan Pace, owner of Oakton Florist. "Three sweetheart roses are perfect."

White roses are also the best choice for the boutonniere, she said.

The flowers should be ordered at least five days before the prom and can last as much as two weeks after, if refrigerated.

Pace said she hand-wraps each corsage with ribbon to avoid the stems’ scratching up the young lady's arm or snagging on her dress. Pace said a boutonniere can cost about $8.50, and the corsages can range from $17 to $20 depending on the "fluff."

Getting to the prom requires the right type of transportation. ABC Limousine in Alexandria provides limousines for up to 14 passengers. Typically, said owner Sonny Cheema, the vehicles are Lincolns, Cadillacs, Lincoln Navigators or even Hummers.

"Most kids try to get enough people together to rent a 14-passenger limousine," Cheema said. "The stretch does have a TV, video and bar. We provide soft drinks and no alcohol to the kids."

He said it is best to reserve the vehicle at least a month in advance. ABC charges about $75 per hour for a six-passenger limousine during prom season with a six-hour minimum, and the renter has to be at least 18.

PROM PREPARATION for the ladies goes beyond finding a dress that is the right color and fit. Women have to worry about things such as hair, nails, jewelry and handbags.

"Usually, the girls want an up-do like a French twist with curls," said Mina "Two" Nabi, of the Hair Cuttery in Tysons Corner Center. "Corn twists are very popular."

She said typically the girls will come in around noon with dress in hand the day of the prom to see what style works best with the cut of the dress.

"Some up-dos don't look good with the dress, so we give suggestions," Nabi said.

She said flowers and baby's breath in the hair are usually reserved for brides, although some prom-goers do request the extras. Fancy barrettes or hair clips work better for prom, she said.

The color of the dress also plays an important role in choosing a handbag, said Allen Chan, owner of Bag It in Herndon.

"The girls come in looking for jeweled custom chokers and evening bags," Chan said.

Prices range from $12 to $30, and he said he has a variety of sizes and styles.

Sparkling jewelry helps finish off a prom outfit, said Afsaneh Javis, a sales person at the Illusion Costume Jewelry cart at Tysons Corner Center.

"The necklaces are very popular," Javis said. "Some of the young people try to look for something more casual. We have a lot of customers looking for hair clips."

The prices can vary, and the cart carries earrings, rings, hair clips and barrettes, bracelets and necklaces. One of the most expensive pieces is a cubic zirconium and 14-karat gold necklace for $175.