The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

April 19, 2012

Top rule of picking prom wear: Tie must match the dress

JOPLIN, Mo. — Ethan Williams and Kendra Buchele are prom pros. The couple will go to their fourth prom next week at McDonald Co. High School. This year, Buchele took the reins for picking outfits.

“I wanted a fairy tale dress; a big, poofy gown,” Buchele, of Neosho, said. “So, I made him get a traditional tux with tails, top hat and a cane.”

Williams, of Anderson, said one of the toughest things about prom was easier this year -- picking the color of the tux was harder than picking the color of the tie.

As prom season approaches, the responsibilities of planning the perfect date loom large, and none more so than the selection of the outfits. Williams and Buchele said clothing is the biggest selection, even more important than the dinner.

And when it comes to clothing, there is one cardinal rule: The guy’s tie must match the girl’s gown. It’s one of the things a guy must get exactly right, said Rebecca Gubera, manager of the Men’s Wearhouse location in Joplin.

“It’s the one thing we stress,” Gubera said. “People come in with some crazy colors that make the odds of matching hard. But as long as it’s color coordinated and accents her dress, it’s good.”

But not good enough for some.

Some girls come in with fabric samples or swatches. Others bring the dress or shoes. Others are very picky about the colors matching. Gubera said that some girls have taken tux-wearing mannequins outside just to check matches in sunlight.

On Tuesday night, one girl brought in her shoes to make sure the tie was the exact color of copper, she said.

“I’d say about 90 percent of the time they want an exact match,” Gubera said.

Many teens today use cell phones to aid the color coordination.

Kourtney Ziercher took a picture of her dress in the store to send to her date, Michael George, for her prom last year at Barat Academy in Chesterfield, Mo.

“I told him it was burnt orange, and he got the tie to match,” she said.

“She knew that it was not a typical color, but the tie I got even had a little design on it that matched the design on the dress,” Michael said, referring to a light tiger stripe print on the fabric. “She was really excited about it. The girl’s dress is a big deal. If the outfit doesn’t go perfectly, if the guy isn’t matching, it’s a problem. I made sure it worked.”

But with so many dresses store-bought these days, and with cell phone photos sometimes producing unreliable hues, stores often provide physical swatches to assist in color coordination. David’s Bridal, which expects to sell 110,000 prom dresses this year in 300 stores, sells fabric swatches for $1 with dress purchases.

David’s Bridal also has a partnership with Men’s Wearhouse that makes it easy for young men to get accessories in coordinated hues for their dates’ dresses. Guys can order ties, vests and cummerbunds from Men’s Wearhouse using the same terms David’s Bridal uses to identify the dress colors  -- names like “watermelon pink” or “Malibu blue” -- and be guaranteed an ensemble that works.

“Since the beginning of time, everyone wants a tie that matches,” said Jennifer Ellis, assistant manager at the Joplin branch of David’s Bridal. “A customer the other day had a dress that was a melon, reddish maroon color. She had to take her dress there to match.”

Amanda Nohrenberg, store manager for David’s Bridal in Eugene, says “90 percent, if not 99 percent” of her prom customers want their dates to match. “If they aren’t coordinating, it’s because the guy is wearing a neutral color like black or white.”

Many couples also plan matching corsages and boutonnieres. “The girls are saying, ‘This is what I’m wearing and I want it to match the flowers,”’ said Pennylyn Kaine, owner of Blossom & Bee Floral and Event Design in Newfoundland, N.J.

Sometimes the boys come in “either with their phone picture or a physical swatch, but now what’s happening more often is, the girls are coming in and picking it out in advance,” said Kaine. “They’re actually saying, ‘This is what I want. I’m going to send my boyfriend in and he’s going to pay for it.’”

-- Beth J. Harpaz, of The Associated Press, contributed to this report.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014