Prom-dress shopping has left me an empty shell of the woman I once was. I have a rash between my breasts, and all the dresses I’ve run into are really low-cut, which I’m uncomfortable with. Can you help me find a great, not-too-revealing dress that’s under $200? —Parmiss
Nooo to feeling like an empty shell! Prom-dress shopping should be fun!
I’m sure your chest looks totally fine, but I know how a rash can make you feel less attractive than you actually are. In this wild life, I’ve had my fair share of chest acne, itchy sunburns, and stress rashes, which all made me feel like run-over doo doo. It’s OK, sweet thang! We will find something that you can feel both comfortable and gorgeous in.
Let’s start with some helpful search terms. Pop “high neck dress” or “boatneck dress” into the search box at sites that sell special-occasion dresses, like ModCloth, ASOS, and Macy’s, and you’ll find some gems that are just right for the dance floor: I am loving this white number that my own searches turned up. I envision it worn with silver or gold heels, but any kind of fun, colorful shoe would look totally awes. I’m also into this black-and-green lace dress. Or…how about this dotted ’50s-style dress? It reminds me of the one Iona gave to Andie in Pretty in Pink (before Andie deconstructed it, of course).
There are also lots of dresses with sheer detail on the bust, like a lace or mesh neckline, which would probably provide enough coverage to obscure any discoloration on your chest. I like this little black dress and this fabulous Betsey Johnson situation. Finally, many ’50s-style cocktail dresses have a boatneck, such as this Bettie Page–ish one.
Here are a few more dresses that might inspire you:
And remember: The less you worry about your rash or any physical attribute that you’re surely blowing out of proportion in your mind, the more you’ll be able to focus on the fun times to be had with all your friends. So get out your dancing shoes and have a great night! —Marie
I am planning to wear an adorable black-and-white ’60s-style mod dress to my prom, but I’m not sure what shoes and accessories I should wear with it. I also don’t have a huge budget. Any ideas? —Isobel, 16 London
What a fun look! OK, first, I would channel the most iconic mod muses, Edie Sedgwick and Twiggy, for instant inspiration. Edie was known for her chandelier earrings, so if you wear earrings, skip the studs and go for dangly ones.
I am obsessed with these two pairs of glitter earrings from Betti Confetti, and I also love these vintage mod gems. Vintage Bakelite bracelets would look perfect with your dress, they’re way pricey. You could try these GirlPROPS bangles instead for just a couple of buckaroos.
For shoes, I’d love to see you in crazy platforms, like something from the mod footwear brand Shellys London. I’m loving you in these or these beauts. If you’re like, “Please, Marie, I don’t need to be twisting my ankle on prom night,” then let’s take things dow a notch with some easier-to-dance-in wedges, like these or these. Or how about going for something silver and sparkly, like this? Whatever you do, don’t forget to listen to the Jam while you get ready to completely immerse yourself in the mod mood! —Marie ♦
If you have a question about going commando under a robe or the most fashionable way to wear a tassel for next month’s very special GRADUATION edition of Damn Girl, write to Marie and her stylin’ crew of bandits at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know your first name (or nickname), age, and where you live.