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Your Stylist: A prom dress with a pop of cool color

April 25, 2011 |  8:03 am

JENNA_USHKOWITZglobephotos Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column

Dear Melissa,
My daughter is seeking help from me for her prom dress. I am so excited to see my daughter, who just had her 18th birthday, dressing like an adult. She is Chinese-American with light Asian skin color and we are looking for a dress in a color that will brighten her up. I would like your advice for a dress that is perfect for an 18-year-old; it should be something she can dance well in during the prom and hopefully all at a reasonable price … less than $200. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Best regards, Yate-Ching Yuan

What a wonderful and exciting time for your daughter. It can certainly be challenging to find the right dress to suit a girl’s style, features and budget, but there are definitely some reasonably priced and gorgeous things out there that seem like they would work for your daughter. 

Since you mention her skin tone and wanting something bright as guidelines, I focused on a color that I thought might be bright, yet not ostentatious, as well as flattering for her complexion. A nice jewel-toned teal would be a  Tealpromdresses   gorgeous choice. Glee star Jenna Ushkowitz wears a lot of blue hues and this shimmery teal tone in particular looks good with her skin and raven hair.



There are a few dresses in this color that I would recommend, I tend to like it in a short cocktail length because it’s young, playful and something your daughter can dance in without worrying about stepping on the skirt. 

Women's Jewelry- Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings- ANN TAYLOR48 This strapless teal dress with a full skirt from Betsey Johnson ($175) is a great color and perfect for Promnecklaces   someone with a whimsical sense of style and penchant for bold accessories. A statement necklace would really complement this dress, as would a stack of mixed gold and multicolored stone bangles and a pair of glittery gold platform heels.  

For something a little more elegant and subdued, this chiffon dress from Donna Morgan ($152) works perfectly. It’s soft and flowy and the thin gold belt accents the waist and adds a dainty detail. More streamlined heels and sophisticated jewelry would look good here. Perhaps a delicate gold chain necklace that sits right at the collarbone and a cocktail ring with a stone that picks up on the aquatic hue. Promgoldshoes

Sephora- Tarte LipSurgence™ Natural Lip Luster- Lipstick24 If long and flowy is more her style, I love this jeweled halter neck gown with a keyhole detail from Aqua ($268). Since the glittery halter is such a statement, you don’t need to add much more but a bag and shoes. So the price is a little  higher than you specified, but the neckline is like a built-in accessory. Stila20

If going with a cool, jewel-toned color like teal, it would be a fun beauty element to have perfectly pink cheeks and lips that pop just a bit from the skin. I love Stila Convertible cheek color, which adjusts to the individual’s skin tone for the most flattering shade of pink ($20). Any sheer pink gloss or stain would work beautifully, but make sure it’s more of a true, sweet pink and not a fuchsia or opaque light pink, both of which look dated or too flashy.

Best of luck with the dress search!

-- Melissa Magsaysay


Top left, Jenna Ushkowitz (Credit: Globe photos).

Dresses, from left: Donna Morgan at Nordstrom (Credit: Donna Morgan); Betsey Johnson at Betsey Johnson stores (Credit: Betsey Johnson); Aqua at Bloomingdales (Credit: Bloomingdales).

Accessories, from left: Ann Taylor ring ($48) at Ann Taylor (Credit: Ann Taylor); Kate Spade necklace ($248) at Kate Spade stores (Credit: Kate Spade); Banana Republic evening bag ($98) at Banana Republic stores (Credit: Banana Republic); Leslie Danzis necklace ($88) at Nordstrom (Credit: Nordstom).

Shoes, from left: Guess T-strap heels ($90) at (Credit:; Vince Camuto ($129) at (Credit:; Romantic Soles ($69) at (Credit:

Makeup, from left: Tarte Lip Surgence Natural Lip Color ($24) at Sephora (Credit: Tarte); Stila Convertible Color Blush ($20) at Ulta (Credit: Stila).