Friday, April 8, 2011

PROM: the inspiration, part I.

I had had the beginnings of a post on modest formal wear in the works but I got too chicken and decided to condemn it to 'save as draft'. A week or so later I got a nice little comment from Anonymous, and it gave me courage, meaning I have now saved my post from it's original fate, and present to you...


The original post had more wedding-dressy stuff in it, so I put that aside for another day and am now focusing on straight prom.  Let's get real here ladies!

Everyone knows that in this modern day we are facing issues like uber short skirts and sleevelessness, which only seem to be combated by ill-fitting dresses that really don't appeal to us. Or unsightly wraps and shrugs that we can't get to work (not to say there aren't gorgeous shrugs and wraps because there certainly are.)
Don't worry. There are ways to break out of those cap sleeves. To start... Let's take a look at our favorite source of inspiration and daydreams... COUTURE. (yippee!)

Way back in 2007 there was a Chanel Fall Couture show. Outdoors, in the rain, the statuesque glided along a gravel path way in pastel confections with yummy headpieces and chic hair-do's. It was one of the runway shows that I've remembered for years. The best part... The gowns were short sleeved.
A true-blue short sleeve. Note: not a cap sleeve. For the first time, my 7th grade mind was opened to the possibility of a couture gown that did in fact have sleeves but that were not capped or long. Your mind may now be opened. Aren't they gorgeous? Now, no need to wear chain mail headgear, but look at that stole and that metallic bow. Positively wonderful I tell you!

Now that we've addressed that, let's get technical. What makes sleeved formal wear work and what doesn't? I do declare: it is all in the neckline.

High cut necklines are in fact the key. They look cute and chic and glamorous, age appropriate, and most importantly, su-per modest. Especially when done in sheer over a "sleeveless" bodice. Let's have a look...

Well done, Valentino. Well done, Chanel.

Note: If you are feeling iffy about sheer short sleeves let's take a look at this...

Exhibit A

exhibit B                    exhibit C

Now, my question to you: If exhibit A counts as modest, why can't exhibit B or C? What are the real rules here girls? I will tell you that I really don't know. Lets chat in the comment section.

Coming up next...
you didn't think I'd leave you in that sea of couture did you?

XO Rosie

...annd If you're at a complete loss, these sleeves should do the trick.

all photos via

all sketches by ME


Heidi said...

Good for you....your blog is so very great and you make modest fashion so cool!!
I have two daughters and I am going to learn all I can from this little blog of yours to help them find that beautiful link between fashion and modesty!!
Hurray for you!!

Heidi Russell

Al said...

loved this. now where do we find affordable, chic, out-of-the-box, gorgeous, NOT mass produced, modest dresses?

Richard said...

so good tessa. perfect for ms. anonymous. i really like the first pictures, especially the one on the right. it feels like it has a pride and prejudice themed basis. hopefully that doesn't ruin it for you ha ha.