News From Normans

Prom Dress Styles

Princess, empire, mermaid, sheath, cap sleeves, regular straps, sweetheart, cowl neck . . . With countless options available, shopping for prom dresses can be a bit overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with the lingo. Read up on the common prom dress styles, and you’ll save yourself the trouble of googling different terms while shopping. Plus, being able to clearly explain what you want to your stylist will ensure that your shopping experience is both productive and fun.

The back of four girls holding hands, wearing prom dresses.

Prom Dress Styles

Silhouette Styles

The silhouette of your dress can transform your entire look. So when you’re out rummaging through the racks for your dream prom dress, try on a couple different silhouettes and choose the one that makes you light up. Look for the following types of silhouettes as you browse prom dress styles:

  • Princess: This type of dress draws in near the waist and flows outward towards the ground. People also call this type of dress an A-line dress, because its shape resembles an uppercase A.
  • Empire: An empire dress has a raised waistline that falls just below the bust. When paired with a v-neck, an empire dress is very flattering on those with a smaller bust. 
  • Mermaid: A mermaid gown is a great way to show off your beautiful curves. It follows the outline of your bust, waist, and hips before flaring out right below the knee. 
  • Sheath: Just like a mermaid dress, a sheath dress can complement an hourglass figure. Sheath dresses follow the shape of your figure, but they do not flare out below the knees like mermaid dresses. 

Strap Styles

The best strap style for your dress is a personal choice. Figure out which strap style suits you by playing the dress-up game. Here are some common strap styles that you’ll come across in your search for a prom dress: 

  • Spaghetti Straps: A spaghetti strap is a thin shoulder strap, comparable in size to a piece of spaghetti pasta.
  • Regular Straps: If you hear a dress stylist referring to regular straps, he or she is probably talking about straps that fall between spaghetti straps and cap sleeves in size. Regular straps provide more support than spaghetti straps. 
  • Cap Sleeves: Cap sleeves typically lay on your shoulders, extending a short distance from the shoulder and then tapering to nothing under the arm. Although they’re referred to as sleeves, they are similar to straps in size and function. 
  • Strapless: Before you purchase a prom dress without straps, it is a good idea to buy an affordable, casual, and strapless dress to wear around. If you catch yourself constantly adjusting the dress or feeling uncomfortable, choose a prom dress with straps.

Neckline Styles

A neckline can also dramatically change the look of a dress. The shape and height of the neckline will affect how much skin you bare, so pay close attention to it if you’re seeking a playful, flirty dress or a more modest style.

  • Halter Tops: Halter tops are fastened behind the neck, leaving the shoulders and back bare. These necklines especially flatter figures with a medium to full bust, and they pair well with both straight and hourglass torsos. 
  • V-Necks: As you might have guessed, this type of neckline resembles the letter V. Some V-necks are quite shallow, but others are deep and reveal more skin, which may affect the type of bra you can wear with them.
  • Sweetheart: The sweetheart neckline gets its name from its heart shape. Sweetheart necklines can accentuate cleavage, no matter what your bust size.
  • Cowl Neck: Cowl-neck dresses drape in layers off your neck. Some prom dresses also have cowl backs, where layers of fabric fall on your back.
  • Scoop: A scoop neckline falls slightly slower than a typical neckline in a deeply curved, wide shape.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the different prom dress styles available? Visit our full-service salon so that our friendly dress stylists can help you find the perfect dress. If you live in southern Missouri or northern Arkansas, stop by Normans Bridal today. Our team members are passionate about helping customers find the dress they’ve been dreaming of and can make recommendations on shape, color, and fabric. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 417-866-9800 or contact us through our website. Our wide selection of dresses and affordable prices will make shopping for your prom dress an unforgettable and joyful experience.

Scroll to Top