Many teens spend their high school years just trying to blend in, but prom is the one night that everyone wants to shine.
Long Island's boutiques and department stores are already swarming with juniors and seniors getting ready for the big dance, and these top trends have been flying off the racks.
Outrageous Boutique owner Amy Bologna has stocked her Plainview store with embellished gowns from popular prom designers like Jovanni, La Femme and Terani. Her staff consists mainly of high school age girls who are preparing to attend prom themselves, including her daughter Olivia Bologna, a junior at Bethpage High School.
"Beading and sequins are really popular this year," Olivia said, pointing out long, sparkling gowns in gold or silver and short options including a Sherri Hill dress with a beaded bodice and tulle skirt that was worn by teen idol Selena Gomez. Other styles swap the sequins for feathers or lace.
"They're going extreme," she said. "Everyone wants either glitter top to bottom or none at all. There hasn't been much in between."
Sheer is a way to show a little skin without going overboard, and the delicate spring look has been incorporated into many of this year's prom dresses. "Sheer backs are a big seller," Amy said, adding that other dresses use sheer detailing around the waist or neckline. Cut-outs have also been a popular way to keep an elegant silhouette looking young and fresh.
"High-low silhouettes, that are shorter in the front and longer in the back, have performed well," said Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station. This style lets girls show off their legs without sacrificing the formal look of a floor-length gown.
Shades of blue
Sure bold yellows, tangerines and corals are plentiful, but 2012 is the year of blue. Shades ranging from deep royal and navy to lighter sky and aqua are stealing the show. Kate Middleton's preference for the color could be to blame . . . who doesn't want to feel like a princess at prom?
Two in one
Following recent bridal and red carpet trends, prom divas don't want to settle for just one look. That's why brands like Sherri Hill are selling dresses with removable skirts. Most are form fitting, strapless dresses with puffy Betsey Johnson-like tulle skirts that detach at the waist for those who want to mix it up after cocktail hour. Hoping she'll be practical and wear this one way to her prom and another to her boyfriend's? Good luck, mom.
Plus: On the web
Yahoo! web trend expert Carolyn Clark says searches for all things prom are heating up on Yahoo.com as the season approaches. Spiking right now are short prom dresses, vintage prom dresses, camo prom dresses and mermaid style prom dresses, another popular style inspired by a current bridal trend that can be found at local stores such as Cache at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, Nikki's Dressing Room in Huntington Station and 2 B Seen in Syosset.