Dance partners

By Stefanie Brazile

Many juniors and seniors will glam up for their first prom this month. Three businesses in Conway recently collaborated to share what’s popular this year.

photos by Strain Photography

Tipton & Hurst Florist, Royal We dress shop and Bell & Sward men’s clothing store provided beautiful florals, ribbons, dresses and suits for nine local teens. Each business offers specialized advice and items tailored to the needs of teens and their parents.

“Our event aimed to feature the latest prom trends for 2024, modeled by local teenagers,” said Andrea Bailey-Fournier, marketing director for Tipton & Hurst in Conway. “In addition, we showcased the growing trend of taking a bouquet instead of wearing a traditional corsage. Although the corsage will always be a classic choice, the new nosegay, or prom bouquet, is perfect for girls who want to stay stylish and up-to-date. What I love most about the bouquet is that you can put it in a vase after prom and enjoy the beautiful flowers for days.”

This year’s prom trends include metallic dresses of any color and prom bouquets with monogrammed ribbons that coordinate with the dress.

Bailey-Fournier encourages the person who places the order to provide the florist with a photo showing the color of the young lady’s dress. Another trend is a monogrammed ribbon that is wrapped around the prom bouquet and coordinates with her dress.

For most moms, one of the most challenging shopping trips they’ll ever make is to help their daughter find a prom dress that they can agree on.

“Buying a dress can be overwhelming, but it can also be so much fun!” said Hannah Caldwell Wright, owner of Royal We. “The biggest thing to remember when shopping is to set clear goals and expectations before arriving. Have a budget, have modesty rules set in place and have styles and colors in mind. Once these things are discussed, then just let your daughter find what she loves. As long as it meets those guidelines, remember it’s her dress and her night. If the guidelines are met, try not to worry about if it’s your style.”

Wright said that ball gowns, two-piece dresses and corset tops are the big trends this year. “Bright colors are in, but metallics (in all shades) are huge,” Wright added. She encourages girls to have fun and to be comfortable in their own skin.

When it comes to formal events, men’s styles do not change much from year to year. “It is hard to go wrong with a classic black, two-button, notch lapel suit or tuxedo when it comes to prom,” said Erik Sward, owner of Bell & Sward. “We are also seeing some dinner jackets in a paisley or a solid color with contrasting pants.”

Sward said that black, navy, gray and burgundy are in this year. He encourages young men to come in soon to get fitted. “The closer it gets to prom, the more things will be sold out or booked.”

So whether you are helping a young lady or a young man prepare for this all-important night, remember there are local experts who can help you stay on-trend and on budget.