Picking the perfect prom dress is absolutely no easy task. There’s so many things we girls have to factor in the decision, like the color and the style. But WAY too often we miss the part where we have to consider the material which the dress is made of. Yes, you read that right: on top of everything else, we have to consider the fabric your prom dress is made of, too.
So to make prom-dress-shopping a breeze for you, Dallas-based prom dress store Elegancia Formal Wear made a fabric guide so you’ll know which is 1) the perfect dress fabric that can give you the right fit and/or flare for your body type, 2) the right fabric that can contribute to your dressing comfort, because you’ll know what to wear for a prom in chilly March, for example, and finally 3) the right prom dress fabric will also give the right body and shape for your desired prom dress (e.g. something crazy like chiffon and a serpentine gown!)
(If you’re based in Dallas, TX, come over to have a real good look at the selection! We dedicate ourselves to the BEST prom dress shopping experience for EACH of our customers.)
To start with, know the difference between fiber and fabrics. FIBER are the threads used to weave fabrics together—examples are silk and polyester, which are natural fibers and synthetic fibers respectively.
Fabrics are the actual cloth, the raw textile with which dresses can be cut and sewn together. It can be made from one type of fiber (such as silk) or a blend of different types of fibers (such as cotton and polyester).
Some of the most common types of fabrics used for different prom dresses are as follows:
Charmeuse – If your type of dress is flowy or form fitting (or both!), charmeuse is your ideal fabric. It is lightweight and soft to the touch, with a glossy finish close to satin. But one thing you have to keep in mind with this fabric is that it is easily prone to damage like snags *gasp!* because of the fineness of the material.
Chiffon – You may already be familiar with chiffon as they are quite a popular material for spring and summer tops—and so it is the perfect prom dress fabric for the hot weather, too. Chiffon is sheer, so it is usually used layered over another fabric OR layered with multiple chiffon fabrics until the resulting dress is more opaque than see-through. It is great for simple A-line silhouettes, and for cocktail dresses, too: this material is prone to runs and catches so a floor-length gown with chiffon may not be the best idea. This beautiful nude and turquoise ombre dress, Prom Dress 98017, has chiffon embellishments that softens the silhouette of the mermaid skirt, giving it a more magical look.
Georgette – This is a lot like chiffon, but a little less see-through and a lot more flat and matte. This material is also a little crinkly and elastic, but can make for the same types of gowns and overlays as chiffon. It’s also ideal for hot weather.
Lace – Lace should absolutely be familiar to you: it’s that romantic, vintage fabric some tops and dresses (not necessarily for prom) are made of. You This type of fabric is open-weave, and dresses can either be made completely of lace with lining underneath, or simply use lace fabrics as trimmings or embellishments for the dress. Prom Dress 98007 is your bet.
Neoprene – Neoprene is a recent fabric trend and is known for being the material with which scuba and swim suits are made of. It has stretchy properties, which makes it quite versatile, but know that neoprene has a lot of structure to it, too, so astounding ball gowns can be made with it. This material is also soft and springy to the touch.
Organza – Organza is a sheer type of fabric like chiffon, but it can hold more shape and body and is better for draping dresses than chiffon. It’s also great for embellishments or overlaying.
Satin – Girls must have definitely heard about satin at one point—and seen it, even! Satin is a heavy type of fabric, with a high shine that makes for such a glamorous finish. Often, this fabric is weaved so that it has a glossy side and a completely flat, dull side (so the insides of the dress is not shiny at all). Because of its weight, dresses made of satin can keep you warm in cold prom nights! Have a look at our Prom Dress 98013 in a beautiful light blush color.
Sequin – If sequin were a girl, she’s the one who’s just so obviously ready to party. Glittery and shimmery, sequin fabric is made of mesh material with sequins (the glittery material) attached to it.
Prom Dress 98020 is a goddess-worthy frock in its white and gold sequin design!
Shantung – Shantung is a heavy fabric, with a simple weave that produces a rubbed texture. It’s got a slight sheen, and takes dye very well. It works enough to create unmistakable drapes and pleats.
Taffeta – Taffeta is lightweight, crisp, and quite glossy. It’s got enough structure as a fabric to hold shapes such as the likes of a serpentine or mermaid gown, and produces an evident rustling sound upon movement.
Tulle – Ever seen a veil? That’s tulle. It’s a fabric with a very fine mesh surface—technically called “netting”. It is see-through for a thin piece, and it’s great for overlay embellishments on dresses; tulle can be layered beneath the dresses for a bell-shaped silhouette, or over the dresses to soften the shape of the dress, too. If you’re attracted to the kind of fabric tutus are made of, you should definitely consider tulle. Prom Dress 98018 achieves that belle of the ball look with its tulle overlay and lacework.
Velvet – Velvet is that soft, luxurious-looking fabric with a fluffy texture and a slight sheen. This can hold dyes very well, and it produces soft drapes for dresses. It’s also a great option for dresses if you’re having your prom in the colder seasons, because velvet fabric tends to keep you warm.
A lot of Elegancia Formal Wear dresses are designed with beautiful, complementing combinations of two or more of these fabrics. Each piece ends up as something that oozes with individuality and enhances the wearer’s glow—that’s how much personality the right fabrics can do to your dresses. Come and check out more pieces in the Prom Dresses collection if you’re in Dallas, TX—we can totally personalize and ease your prom dress shopping!