prom dress trends

The high-low prom dress trend. Photo courtesy of

Believe it or not, we're in the thick of prom season.

And StyleList has the scoop on the dresses young women across the country are going to be clamoring for (if they're not already looking).

The top contender? "Chiffon in classic full length silhouettes," Kim Collins, vice president at told StyleList. Other super-coveted looks are jeweled bodices, sweetheart necklines, beading and high-low looks.

"It's a party in the front and business in the back," Collins explained of the high-low gown that is short in front, full length in back and usually adorned with ruching, laser-cut fabric, beading or all of the above. "It's an amazing look and you have to be a bold girl to pull it off, but girls are open to it," Collins said. "You make a grand entrance in it and when you dance, you don't have to worry about your date stepping on it."

Top colors this year are white and a light pink. "It's almost a coral," Collins described. "Traditionally, seniors have worn white to prom and we're seeing more of that."

Red carpet looks also play well with PromGirl's customers. "Our vendor Faviana is celebrity-inspired and can make styles available the day after they're worn by a celebrity. Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood have been very popular with our customer. They appeal to the younger customer." The site currently has dresses on it that are identical to the dresses of Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams, Jennifer Hudson and Sandra Bullock wore to the Academy Awards earlier this week.

PromGirl is the largest online retailer of prom and formal dresses. The company offers 40 to 50 brands and over 4,000 styles each season that range in price from $59 to $1,700 (a slim, sequined bandage dress by Jovani). Most dresses fall in the $300 range.

Customers of this site start young -- with a prom or semi-formal -- and stay loyal for years. "We have dresses for bridesmaids, homecoming formals, military balls, wedding guests and even brides," Collins explained. And they're happy to share their pictures with PromGirl through its Facebook or Flickr pages.

"We've seen three sisters with their completely different dresses and styles," Collins shared. "There were five girls who wore the same dress to prom but in five different colors." And the most touching story, "We had a girl who had purchased a sexy red dress and her house burned down, with the dress in it. She called us on a Thursday and we found a similar style dress and overnighted it to her on Friday" to wear it to her prom on Saturday.


For prom dress trend inspiration straight from the runways, here is our roundup of the most glamorous looks of Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week.

For tips on glam prom beauty trends, see our easy how-to video with What Not Wear's Carmindy.