Thanks again for taking part in our first on-line chat. Fashion stylist Derick Chetty and fashion editor Bernadette Morra answered your questions on prom style. Read the archived session below and send us your comments using the Comments link. Next week's topic will be plus-sized models. You can send questions right now to firstname.lastname@example.org and come back next week for the discussion.
Q: Where can I find cheap prom accessories?
A: There are many stores dedicated to trendy accessories. Check out Accessorize, Claire's, Bittersweet and also H & M has a great accessories department.
Q: I am thinking of coming downtown to the Holt Renfrew on Bloor St. to shop for a dress, rather than going to the Yorkdale location where I usually shop. It is worth the extra time and effort?
A: The suburban Holt Renfrew stores have great dress departments. Try Sherway and Yorkdale malls. You can find a range of dresses - from cocktail to gowns that are reasonably priced.
Q: I am very petite. Can you suggest a dress style?
A: Try a few cocktail lengths - at the knee or just below. Floor length gowns might be a bit tricky to pull off if you're petite. A few chain stores have petite sections such as Laura Shops and also Banana Republic.
Q: I am tall and slightly heavy, a real hourglass shape. What style of dress should I wear?
A: Try something strapless. Here are several examples from Laura Shops.
Q:I am trying to find a prom dress and cannot seem to find one that fits my image. I am around 5 feet tall and weigh around 120 pounds. I don't know what kind of style of prom dress I should be looking for. I am curvy at the bottom. Thank you
Hi Annie. We think you should consider an empire style dress. This cut is fitted around the shoulders and bust-line and then falls away from the body. It is very stylish and will definitely suit your figure type. You could go with a scoop neck and covered shoulders, but a halter style would be really pretty and bring the focus up to your neck, face and shoulders. Also, because you are petite, we recommend that you keep your dress knee or cocktail-length rather than wearing a full-length gown. We think this proportion will better suit your frame.
If you do decide to wear short, don't forget to save some of your budget for shoes. They can make or break the whole look. Shoe Company has some great ones for under $50.
Q: We saw your article in the Toronto Star, Tuesday April 25th, on prom style. I hope you can help us out, for we are very discouraged in our attempt to find a dress. We have been looking for an elegant, fancy, strapless dress for prom. We have been to Oshawa shopping Centre,Fairview Mall, Bayview Mall (here we saw lovely dresses, but all in small sizes, even the sales clerk at one store told us that extravagant dresses are all made in small sizes), and stores on St.Clair near Dufferin (here I thought we might have some luck), but have not found anything.We need possibly, size 16 or 18, for she has wide shoulders and is busty,(she is quite the athlete-track and field) even though she wear size 12 in pants. I hope you can give us suggestions pf places to go , for we are both frustrated with what we have seen.This has taken alot of time and energy, with no dress in sight. We do need your help and certainly do appreciate any suggestions. Hope you can help for I know not all girls are size 2 to 10.
A: You are so right. Unfortunately larger size stock is limited, so you may not be able to find your dream dress out there, unless you have it made. We suggest going shopping with an open mind, and perhaps going more extravagent with your accessories, a knockout sequinned clutch purse, a beaded scarf or an organza shawl.
As far as larger size prom dresses go, have you tried the Laura Plus shops? They have some pretty strapless gowns in a broad range of sizes.
Gadabout, a vintage store at 1300 Queen St. East, has some dresses from the '50s, not necessarily strapless, but very pretty according to owner Victoria Dinnick. She can fit up to a 40" waist, with slightly more selection in the 34" to 37" waist range. Not every woman in the '50s was a skinny mini!
Jen Woodall who runs The Clothing Show can also relate to the size issue. She is a size 20-22 herself. The show, which takes place May 6 and 7 at the Automotive Building in Exhibition Place has two vendors who include larger sizes in their mix. One is Snowflake, the other is Response. Jen isn't sure if they will be carrying prom wear at the show but she will ask. You can send her an email at email@example.com. (Update: Jen Woodall has more suggestions in a comment.)
Q: Where can I find glamorous evening shoes that aren't too expensive?
A: The Shoe Company currently stocks a great selection of evening shoes and bags. Also check out shoes shops such as Icon and Town Shoes. Especially the J. Lo line at Town Shoes.
Q: Can you suggest some good vintage stores?
Q: Last year there were six girls at our school formal in the same dress. How can I avoid having the same thing happening to me?
A: Some schools have a board where girls post a picture or information about their dress... Also, shopping vintage or independants, rather than chain stores, improves your chances of being unique. A few independent stores that feature great prom wear includes Fashion Crimes, F/X and Want Boutique.