Something Else I Never Knew: Prom Prep for Guys

I’m pretty familiar with the girly side of prom. Of course I have my own prom memories, although it’s an altogether different experience these days. Just a few short years ago, I was shopping for prom dresses with Hanna and doing her hair and makeup.

This year, for Laura’s junior prom, I felt fairly confident about the whole procedure. We found a beautiful gown early on, but unlike her older sister, she did not want my help getting ready. Laura got busy scouring Pinterest for hair and jewelry ideas; it looked as if my major duty would be picking up flowers.

That is, until one fateful Saturday when Laura was not available to help her boyfriend select his tux. Instead of watching her track meet, I met Kyle and his mom at a formalwear shop with the sash from Laura’s gown. Now, I was away in college before my younger brother arrived at dating age, and Joseph is just a freshman this year, so male prom prep was off my radar. Sure, I had heard about the pressure to come up with an adorable yet unique way to ask for a date, but I was blissfully ignorant about anything else.

Moms of sons, this is what you have to look forward to:

  • Black, white, charcoal, gray, navy or brown?
  • Solid or pinstripe?
  • One- or two-button jacket?
  • Notch, shawl or peak lapel?
  • Wide or narrow?
  • Plain or pleated shirt?
  • Laydown or wingtip collar?
  • Regular or French cuff?
  • Standard or bow tie?
  • Wing-tip or rounded toe shoes?
  • Pocket square or boutonniere?
  • Solid, plaid, check, stripe, polka dot, paisley or geometric pattern vest?
  • Match, coordinate or contrast with the dress?

That’s a lot of permutations, and the poor guy hadn’t even gotten to vest color yet. Vests come in every hue of the rainbow plus a few that aren’t. Purples range from lavender to lilac to plum to deep purple. This is where the dress sash came in handy: some vests were too pink, some too blue, some too bright, some too dark. Fourteen decisions and a few measurements later, Kyle was finally done. He set off to catch Laura’s relay, his mom to a baby shower, and me to check the color of a pair of purple sandals that Laura had seen (sadly, they turned out not to match). Flowers would have to wait for another day.

Here are the results of all that prep work:

Laura is resplendent in a taffeta ballgown with princess neckline, corset back and tiered pick up skirt embellished with seed beads, bugle beads and silver sequins. Her wristlet corsage features five tea roses with purple sparkles and silver ribbon.
Kyle rocks a solid black two-button notch lapel tuxedo with a plain white laydown collar shirt, deep plum striped vest and bow tie and a white rose boutonniere.



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