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Pretty prom dresses

Sleeves and necklines

While you're trying to determine the right prom dress for you, one thing to consider is the type of sleeve/strap and neckline that will flatter you the most.

There are dresses that are strapless, and those are usually cut straight across, or with a slight V or heart shape. The dress is held up with your boobs (duh) but sometimes the bodice is sewn tight enough that you don't need a big bust to make it work. In fact if you have a large bust, a strapless dress may not work very well at all.

Halter top

Another type of dress without sleeves is a halter dress. This type of dress ties, snaps, or buttons around your neck and is usually v-neck or scooped in the front. It's a great dress for showing off your shoulders and back!

Sleeves and necklinesSpaghetti straps

Spaghetti straps consist of tiny straps that go over the shoulders. They can be embroidered or embellished, and these gowns are usually worn with a strapless bra. Spaghetti straps can be used for many necklines, even a very high bateau neckline that is only slightly rounded right below your collarbone. A variation on spaghetti straps is a one or two-inch thick strap that still allows you to go sleeveless but provides move support and enough coverage for a bra strap.

Puff sleeves

Puff sleeves are typically short-sleeved dresses that puff out a bit at the shoulders and then gather at some point down your arm. It's a bit of a younger style, but can be flattering if you have thin arms.

Fitted sleeves

Fitted sleeves can be any length and are sewn closely to the arm. These are flattering for almost any body type, and work very well with a scoop neckline they is rounded in the front, or an off-the shoulder neckline.


Another option is to wear a gown that is strapless on one shoulder, with the neckline falling at a diagonal to go under the arm. These dresses look great with geometric patterns and bold colors.

There are many other necklines to consider. A sweetheart neckline dips into a heart shape from the shoulders and helps to accentuate your cleavage. A v-neck is similar but is not rounded as it comes to the point in the center. A square neck starts at the shoulders and forms a half square across the top of your bust.

This is probably starting to be a little overwhelming, but even though you have a ton of options, you'll quickly learn what is flattering and appealing to you. Stick with your gut instinct and you're bound to be happy with your decision.

Your question:

I look back at my mom's prom pictures and it's so out of date! She can't stand to see them. How can I pick a style that will be fun to look back on?

The answer:

Prom dresses change with every season. Halter tops with sheer material to show your midriff and long sequined skirts may be in this season, but five years from now it's bound to be way out of style. If you aren't dying to start a new fad or follow the up-to-the-minute trends, stick to some of the classic options. Choose a floor length gown with spaghetti straps and a scoop neckline. Keep it in a neutral color and with few embellishments. You can accent your dress with some fun and funky accessories if you want to join in some of the latest trends, but the pictures don't have to include those items, or at the very least won't be the focus when you view them in years to come!

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