SUMMERSIDE - Whether students are shopping for that perfect dress, searching for shoes or adding accessories, March break is the perfect time for mothers and daughters to finalize high school prom preparations.
Girls have been on the hunt since September for the ultimate apparel and with only two months until the big day, dresses chosen by this year's graduates are promising a colourful spring affair - and that may be thanks to Facebook.
"In the last couple of years companies have tried to offer prints and different looks, but this year they've really been widely accepted," said Kathy Caseley, owner of Caseley's Bridal Boutique.
She believes prom Facebook pages may be encouraging girls to choose more fashion-forward dresses for prom 2011.
This is how it works: at the beginning of the school year high school students create a Facebook page entitled 'prom dresses 2011' and girls attending prom join the group. Girls initially use the Facebook page to post photos of possible dress options and receive feedback from their peers as to what dress they think is best. But as prom approaches, and more dress photos surface, girls use the page to get the inside scoop on this year's style trends.
"The Facebook groups are helpful in that girls can see how the fashions have changed for that season and then when they go to shop they're not shy to try on the new looks because they say 'Well so-and-so is wearing a dress that's a little out of the norm,' so they go shopping with a more open mind," said Caseley. "They see different, unusual looks and they see their peers accepting them, wearing them, and purchasing them and they start thinking outside the box."
Grade 12 Bluefield High student Jessica Worth created the Facebook group entitled 'Bluefield Prom Dresses 2011.' She said it is the perfect way to get an idea of what girls are wearing to prom this year.
"Now that they see other people on Facebook that have a more 'out there' dress than they might want to go with something like that because they know other people will be wearing dresses like that," said Worth. "(Facebook) does help a lot because I'd say five years ago, all the prom dresses were puffy and now you can see on Facebook that they're more straight down and silky and a lot of them are getting more beaded and detailed."
Facebook has also helped in the limitation of duplicate dresses at prom.
"Whenever you do get your prom dress you post a picture of it on Facebook and then once that dress is on there then other girls know not to get it," said Worth. "It's really helpful and most of the schools have it because it's easier to know what dresses are already being worn to prom so someone won't buy the same one as you."
Prom 2011 on Facebook
KISH Prom Dresses 2011 - 71 members
Tosh 2011 Prom Dresses - 141 members
Westisle Prom 2011 - 173 members
Bluefield Prom Dresses 2011- 149 members
Charlottetown Rural Prom 2011 - 196 members
Colonel Gray Prom Dresses 2011 - 136 members