The Best Color for Your 2011 Prom Dress

I get asked this all the time: what should I wear to “name of event” (fill in the blanks? Put in anything you want, party, baby shower, wedding, prom. Most women who write to me, sound as if they never expected to get invited to “name of event” in the first place.

To this I say: Be prepared. Not like being prepared as a girl scout. Where the most important bit of advice was knowing when it was your turn to cook and how to keep your bra from getting frozen.

Be prepared as a woman. The full grown (or almost full grown) beautiful woman that you are. In the event you find your self shopping all over town for everyone on your shopping list, keep in mind, that at some near or far point in the future you are going to need a dressy dress, and outfit for a special occasion, perhaps its cocktails? or maybe even a full blown Valentine’s Day Party!

My best piece of advice? Make sure you come home from the mall with a purple dress in one of those bags! Here’s why. Well for one thing, like I said, you want to be prepared and the best way to be prepared for any special occasion is to have the dress already paid for and hanging in your closet.

This will give you the time you need to

have it altered if need be
try it on over and over (its OK to admire yourself in the mirror)
check for loose threads or seams
locate (beg, borrow or purchase) the right accessories
choose the right makeup
try out different hairstyles

But there’s another reason why you need to have a purple dress in that bag! LPD: It goes with everything. Like black, it is one of the most wear-able colors when it comes to accessories. All shades of purple, whether, violet, grape, burgundy or lavender, have a chameleon like personality that change when you change your jewelry or other accessories.

We like to think of a purple dress like the wrapping paper on a gift. From there, you can add almost any kind of embellishment, gold, silver, platinum tones look equally lovely, while additions of pinks, greens, blues, and yellows take on their own shine when lain across a background of fabric that is dyed with a red/blue combination. This makes it easy to create a new ‘look’ each time you wear the dress.

For this reason we can consider our little purple dress a perfect ‘go to’ item for a New Year’s party, or a gallery opening, or cocktail party, even a summer wedding. Can you spell ‘versatility?

But there is an even more important and not well publicized reason to choose a little purple dress over the more popular LBD. When color experts compare the two colors on a group of women they found some interesting results. Black made light skinned or light haired women look washed out, while even the darkest shade of purple made the same women’s hair glow and it made her skin look smoother, less blotchy.

Women with dark or medium skin and hair also benefited from wearing a shade of purple over black. For instance, we saw that the dark haired woman who wore purple had much more warmth to her skintone and shine to her hair, when compared to the woman in black.

We just had to ask why this was. The color black, the experts say, by its very nature, makes anything near it look whiter than it actually is. For some women, a whitish skin tone is desired, (and we respect that!) but most women tell us they actually want a warmer, creamier tone to their complexion. Well, it just so happens, that the opposite of purple is yellow. So, when you wear purple, of course its going to bring out gold tones in your hair. And as a bonus it literally makes your skin look amazingly smooth and creamy by canceling out purplish blotches in your skin tone. We just had to ask ourselves…why on earth would we choose a color that makes us look pale and lifeless, when we could be looking glowingly amazing?