Prom season is in full swing now, and a client recently brought me the prom dress below. In actual fact, it fit her perfectly, and I wouldn’t have expected it to need any alterations. The hemline fell right where it should, a scant 1/4″ above the ground. The bodice had enough space for her bust without falling away from her body. It was both flattering and, by comparison to many of the gowns in stores these days, was actually relatively modest.
By my standards anyway.
Not by the standards of her private high school however. The list of guidelines for the formal wear which would be approved for prom was lengthy. Not only were spaghetti straps against the rules but furthermore, the neckline of the gown had to come within 2 inches of her collarbone, the back line had to come no lower than the midpoint of her shoulder blades, the straps needed to be a minimum of 2″ wide, the dress needed to come high enough under the arm that a standard bra would be hidden (even if none was to be worn under the gown). They had searched. No such gowns could be found in stores. So, they asked me to redesign the bodice of her gown in time for the dress inspection a few weeks before prom (pass inspection or stay home on prom night!)
The high school student and her mother took the gown with them to the fabric store and purchased black satin that matched the band beneath the bodice, and using that I built out a matching band above the bodice as well to provide the wider straps and additional coverage required, while making the modifications blend as well as possible with the original gown design. Here is what we ended up with:
She was delighted, and she passed inspection. 🙂