By Coral Rey
Your quinceañera is coming up and you probably have a lot on your mind already: finding a venue, flower arrangements, cake testing, who you’re going to invite, and of course, your dress. For your big day you can’t just wear any dress. It is THE dress you will wear during your coming-of-age festivities, a big day for us Latinas. Needless to say, finding your dress can be super stressful. But it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips you can follow to help you say sí to the dress of your dreams.
White is the traditional color for quinceañera dresses. It is pure, graceful, and a classic color that never goes out of style. If you want to go the traditional route for your dress, you can visit any prom/bridal shop or department store such as Macy’s or Dillard’s to choose from their selections of white gowns. From ball-gown, mermaid, to tea-length, these shops have many styles of dresses to make any quinceañera feel like a princess.
If you’re having a themed quince, extend that theme to your dress! For unique quinces (for example, Arabian Nights or Hollywood Glamour) visit costume shops in your city or online. There are even websites like ebay.com that have sections dedicated to one-of-a-kind dresses you can bid for!
Color Me Happy
Just because you’re having a quince doesn't mean your dress has to be white! Nastassia Artalejo, a photographer based in Charlotte, North Carolina who had her quince in 2006 broke the mold of the traditional white dress. She says, “I wore a tea-length hot pink dress with black polka dots on it. I didn't want a traditional poofy princess-style ball gown.”
Don’t know what color to wear? If your quince has a theme color, pick a dress in that shade. If you want to stand out from your quince’s color scheme, why not wear a dress in your favorite color? Feel fabulous in your favorite hue on your big day! You have the whole color wheel to choose from, so get inspired and find yourself a colorful dress!
If you’re into following the latest trends, why not show your passion for fashion at your quince? Look at pictures of runway shows in magazines like Marie Claire or Vogue. You can also look at pictures of your favorite celebrities at red carpet events where they model the latest fashions.
Work of Art
If you’re the out-of-the-box kind of girl, this tip is for you. Rather than have a dress made out of normal fabrics, why not make a dress out of unconventional materials like origami or flowers? Log on to http://littlegreendresses.wordpress.com/photos/ to look at some nature-inspired dresses and http://www.ehow.com/how_8589672_make-paper-dresses.html for a how-to on how to make your own dress out of paper!
Made for Me
If you’ve been shopping around and nothing is catching your eye, how about getting a dress custom made? To find a designer, offbeatbride.com suggests going to dress shops around town and asking for references. Some local dress shops in your city may be run by the designers of the clothes themselves, so ask and see if they are willing to work with you to create a unique dress! It’s ok to not know exactly what you want, but if you do hire a designer, let him or her know what you like and don’t like. Bring pictures of dresses, samples of materials, color swatches, anything you can think of to help the designer create your vision!
All in the Family
If you’re a family-oriented girl, why not wear your mom’s or your sister’s quince dress? Quinceañera dresses are very important for us girls, so the women in our family tend to keep them long after we turn 15. So ask someone in your family if they still have their dress and if they would be ok with you wearing it. They’ll naturally say yes because you’ll be making that dress an heirloom, something you can pass down to another girl in your family when it’s her turn to turn to have a quinceañera.
While you’re counting down the days until your quince and you’re dress-hunting, don’t give up! April Reza, a high school graduate who had her quince in 2010 suggests “keep looking at first.” It may take you a while to find your dream dress, but you will find it. Want the #1 tip to finding your dress? Nastassia Artalejo says “pick what makes you happy and pretty, not what everyone else wants or thinks is right for you!”