Accessories can make or break your dress. The perfect ones can add glamour and pizazz, while bad ones can ruin your look. How do you go about choosing them?
Frankly, it all depends on your dress. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT purchase your accessories before buying your dress. Not only will it be nearly impossible to match all your pieces, but many purses, gloves, and jewelry are non-returnable.
Here are my picks for accessories, depending on your dress style:
"Poofy" dress: You know what I'm talking about - the Cinderella dress. The look for these is the same as with a strapless dress, with one exception: gloves are usually too much with this style. It'd just give you too much material from your chest down and make you look weighted down.
Sheath dress: These are dresses that are cut straight up and down. With these, jewelry and a purse just depend on the dress. A plain dress needs jewelry, a beaded or shimmery one doesn't. Gloves are great with this, since they match the cut of the dress.
Strapless dress: Choose a necklace that rests about at your collarbone. One with crystal will add flare and detract from the blandness from your neck down to your dress. The right necklace will also balance out the look. Stud earrings that match your necklace are great. If you see a bracelet that would complete your jewelry ensemble, then it would work. (With a corsage, bracelets are usually considered optional.) A purse the same color as your dress is good. Gloves are OK only as long as they match the style of your dress. If they don't, don't worry about it. Chances are you'll only have worn them for pictures anyhow.
The Garter: If you have looked at any of the catalogs for prom decorations that your school has received, chances are you'll see garters as a prom favor. I've received many an email asking about garters and prom. Aren't garters for weddings? Why prom? Does the girl wear the garter all night? What if the dress is tight and the garter will show through? Does the guy remove the garter like a groom would? Well, I recently spoke to very helpful girl, Annie, over email regarding garters. Here's what she had to say when I asked her how garters are handled at her prom:
"I think most people get garters at our prom. Sometimes they come with the tux rental. A lot of people get them to match their dress. At the end of the night the girl gives their date the garter, and the girl gets his bow tie. Some guys hang the garter in their rear view mirror of their car."
So there you go. Personally, I think garters are a tradition best reserved for weddings, but it all depends what the norm is at your school and prom.