Ask Fashion Sensei: Prom Conundrum

Reader Valentina Asks Fashion Sensei To Help Her Find A Prom Dress

Q: I am 6′1″ – but not proportionate. I’m a size four at the bust and eight everywhere else, my legs are very long but my torso is proportionately smaller, my arms are long and gangly (making it hard to find shirts) and to top it off my lack of curves leaves my hips with these unflattering bumps that look like love handles but are really just a result of absolutely no shape in my hip region.

The main problem is that my body line is completely straight (36-34-36). I’m trying to look for a prom dress flattering to my figure but all the information leads me to believe that form fitting dresses look good on tall women. This is not the case for me as I’m very bony and shapeless. Finding clothes that fit are hard enough without trying to find FLATTERING clothes that fit. Help me please?

A:  Thanks for the question Valentina!  High School is a trying period for everyone, but finding the right dress for such a special occasion like prom can be very frustrating if you are not an “average” size.

Rather than focus on figure variations that you aren’t happy about, let’s concentrate on your best features.

Being tall opens up all sorts of possibilities that your petite counterparts envy—namely your size.

When looking for your dress I would recommend some of the following features:

  • A sweetheart bodice-  It’s a heart shape top to the dress that will compliment your bust, with out being revealing.
  • A bodice with embellishment-  When you have a small bust adding details like bows or ruffles adds proportion to your lower half.
  • A full skirt-  The “party” dress is really popular this season and was worn by Taylor Swift in a recent spread she did for InStyle magazine.  What’s great about this kind of skirt is that Here is an example with a sweet heart bodice like the one I mentioned above.  Add a pop of color to this look with one of the seasons hottest colors- fuchsia.

(Click on images for shopping information.)

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  • Bridal Shop– If you are looking for a full length gown, consider going to a bridal shop.  These dresses are typically altered, so they are longer than a full length dress that you would buy at a department store.  I had a client two years ago who wanted a full length gown for Homecoming and she was 5’10.  We hit the jackpot when we went to the local David’s Bridal where this dress below is from.



  • One-Shoulder/Print/Gloves– The dress below is also one that I would recommend to you because it incorporates one of springs’ popular trends—the one shoulder look.  Further, it has a print that will create a focal point on the dress, rather than your body.  The flare at the bottom creates fantastic proportion that will compliment you too.  You mentioned your arms earlier and I think the gloves worn with this dress would be especially appealing on you as well.



Prom Dress Don’ts

Here are some general don’ts for young women to consider while shopping for prom.

Don’t go for the revealing, backless or cutout look.  It just looks cheap—not fashionable at all.

Don’t buy really thin satin dresses.  You can see your underwear through them—and you better be wearing them!

Which brings me to the next don’t.  Don’t forget to wear a bra.  Many times young ladies think that they don’t need to wear a bra—you do.  Extra support is always good and when you bend over, I would much rather someone see your bra than your bare bosom.

Don’t get caught up in finding the most expensive, ultra trendy dress.  Instead, find a basic dress that you can add some really incredible accessories to.  Belts are REALLY in right now, so if you find a black dress, pair it with a bright belt and matching shoes.

Don’t over match.  With the example above, I suggested to match only two accessories.  You don’t need a matching bag, shoes, earrings, etc.


Valentina I hope this information helps!  Be sure to send me a picture of you at prom.  I would love to see what you decide on.

If you have a question that you would like Fashion Sensei to answer, go to the “Ask Fashion Sensei” tab and leave me a question.  I may even use it for a featured Fashion Lesson!

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Filed under Fashion Lesson, fit, straight shape, Tall

5 responses to “Ask Fashion Sensei: Prom Conundrum

  1. Amy

    Thank goodness I went to my prom in the 80s. My petite/boyish figure was balanced by my huge head of big hair :). Enjoy yourself Valentina and remember all of the short girls are jealous of those long legs you must have.

  2. Valentina

    Wow, that was really helpful. I didn’t even think of gloves xD I’ll definitely send a picture of myself. Thanks a bunch!

  3. That’s so great to hear Valentina! I can’t wait to see what you pick out. Have a wonderful time and be careful! 😉

  4. kim

    i am wondering if valentina picked the one shoulder dress. i am searching everywhere for that dress! i need help!!!

  5. I don’t know Kim, I never heard back from her.

    I’ll let you know if I do. Thanks for the visit!

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