Island Style: So, what did you wear to the prom?

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Emma Baldino

Olivia Knight, junior, Chilmark

Did it take you a long time to find your dress?

I got it over April break. I went to a few stores, but I don’t really happen to love shopping, so I didn’t really try so hard. Then I realized that I had to find one, and I chose this one because it’s much more comfortable, and I was tired from shopping so much, so I was like, “OK, this is it! I’m done!”

Did you expect to get a dress like the one you did?

Not at all. At first I really wanted a dark green one, and then I wanted one with sunflowers, but none of the stores had anything close to either of those, so I was open-minded.

Was comfort your main priority in finding a dress?

After my first dress, I think it was just so much more comfortable that it made me like it a lot. I don’t know, I’d rather be comfortable over being fancy because it makes me feel better. I wanted my dress to be different — that was probably my main priority.

Ali Barlett, junior, Vineyard Haven

How long did it take you to find your dress?

Funny story — it’s ironic because I was so stressed out just thinking about how long it was going to take me to find a dress. When I got to the store, I fell in love with the first dress I tried on! My nightmares about finding the perfect dress turned out to be a pleasant experience.

Why did you choose your dress?

I had an image of what I was looking for in my head, and when I tried that dress on, the image became real.

What were you looking for in a dress?

Not the average prom-style dress, more like a simple but princessy champagne-colored dress, and the corset back was a plus.

Tessa Whitaker, junior, Oak Bluffs

How long did it take for you to find your dress?

I started looking at the beginning of my junior year, and decided on my dress in February, so I browsed for about five or six months.

Why did you chose the dress you did?

I really loved the one-shoulder look, the simplicity of the dress, and the silhouette looked flattering. Plus it was one of those dresses where you could have it custom-made for you, measurements and color. It was also inexpensive to boot, pretty much the perfect deal.

Did you expect to get a dress like the one you have, or were you originally picturing yourself in something else?

Honestly, I originally imagined myself in your typical bedazzled prom dress, in a dark color like maroon, royal blue, or forest green. I was surprised when I found and fell in love with the dress I bought!

How do you think you’re going to style your dress for prom?

Since my dress doesn’t have any jewels or rhinestones of its own, I think I’ll just wear a few signature pieces of jewelry and some nice shoes. I still haven’t figured out my hair yet — might let my hairstylist surprise me.

Iris Albert, senior, Oak Bluffs

How long did it take you to find your dress?

I’m borrowing my dress from Sara Poggi, who borrowed it from Tayla Kuehne. Honestly, I started looking through pictures of [my] past proms and [with those] I found the one I liked within less than 20 minutes.

Did you go about finding a dress differently this year than last year?

At first I started looking in stores last year, and tried a bunch of different kinds of dresses to see what looked good and what sizes would work, and then I found one online that I really liked that I knew would look good because I had tried on similar ones while I was in the stores, and ordered that one.

Did you get stressed out about finding a dress?

Not really; I knew I’d eventually find one, and I found it kind of early compared with other people. I was more nervous that the dress I ordered wouldn’t look good.

When trying to find a dress for this year, what were you looking for?

Definitely something simple, since I’m a senior. Past years I’ve worn lighter or pastel colors, so this year I wanted to try something different and go for a darker color.

How do you think you’re going to style your dress?

I’ve always loved putting small white flowers in my hair just because I think that dresses everything up a little! As for jewelry, I’ll probably stay simple and wear a small necklace and my pearl earrings.

Natalija Lakis, junior, Vineyard Haven

How long did it take for you to find a dress?

A pretty long time! I went to several dress boutiques with my sister, friends, and family without ever finding anything. Nothing seemed to fit my body or taste. I ended up getting my dress just last week. It took months to find the dress.

How did you end up finding the dress?

I went off-Island for the day with my sister to try on this dress from a complete stranger — we found the dress on a “stuff4sale” website. When we got to the hotel, which was the meeting place, I intended on trying on the dress in the bathroom but couldn’t find it! So we went into a completely open gazebo, I stripped and tried on the dress! Funny enough, the dress was previously altered from the time it was worn before, and fit perfectly. I then wasn’t sure I wanted it, so my mom called and said, “Buy it. It looks beautiful.”

Did you expect to get a dress like the one you got?

No, I actually was going to borrow a plain dress from Mary McCarthy, but I figured I have only one prom so I might as well get more dressed up. I don’t think of myself as wearing a prom dress.

Violet Kennedy, junior, Chilmark

How long did it take for you to find your dress?

It took me awhile! I went down to New York with my dad and looked a bit a couple of months ago, but didn’t find anything. Then I went off-Island again with my friends, and finally found one that would suit me.

What were you looking for in a dress?

I was looking for something different. While trying on dress after dress, when the woman would say, “That’s our bestseller,” I’d take it off. I didn’t want to look too similar to everyone else. I also wanted something fun. Prom is just supposed to be fun, so when it came down to it, I just wanted a dress that was fun and easy to dance in.

Did you expect to get the kind of dress you did?

No. I actually had my mind set on not getting a two-piece dress. I wear crop tops so often, I figured everyone’s seen enough of my stomach for awhile, but I guess it’s just my thing. I wanted to, and almost chose a tighter long dress, but decided it wasn’t really all that special for me.

Emma Baldino, junior, Edgartown

How long did it take for you to find the dress?

Not long! When I was visiting my family in Pennsylvania for my cousin’s wedding, the first store I stopped at was called Zinni’s. It’s in Philadelphia, and I always wanted to go there to get my prom dress when I was younger, but I didn’t think I would be able to after I moved.

What were you looking for in a dress?

I was mainly looking for something white with beading.

Did it take you awhile in the store to find your dress?

The dress I ended up getting was the second one I tried on. It took me awhile because I kept trying on the same dresses to decide which one I liked best. It also took a little bit longer because I was waiting for some of my old friends to drive up and help me decide.

Why did you end up choosing the dress you did?

I really liked the open back and the beading at the top.

How do you think you’re going to accessorize for prom?

I bought a bracelet at Zinni’s with my dress, and a necklace with matching earrings!