Island Style: So, what did you wear to the prom?

— Emma Baldino

Olivia_1.JPGOlivia Knight, junior, Chilmark

Did it take you a long time to find your dress?

I got it over April break. I went to a few stores, but I don’t really happen to love shopping, so I didn’t really try so hard. Then I realized that I had to find one, and I chose this one because it’s much more comfortable, and I was tired from shopping so much, so I was like, “OK, this is it! I’m done!”

Did you expect to get a dress like the one you did?

Not at all. At first I really wanted a dark green one, and then I wanted one with sunflowers, but none of the stores had anything close to either of those, so I was open-minded.

Was comfort your main priority in finding a dress?

After my first dress, I think it was just so much more comfortable that it made me like it a lot. I don’t know, I’d rather be comfortable over being fancy because it makes me feel better. I wanted my dress to be different — that was probably my main priority.


Ali 3_1.JPGAli Barlett, junior, Vineyard Haven

How long did it take you to find your dress?

Funny story — it’s ironic because I was so stressed out just thinking about how long it was going to take me to find a dress. When I got to the store, I fell in love with the first dress I tried on! My nightmares about finding the perfect dress turned out to be a pleasant experience.

Why did you choose your dress?

I had an image of what I was looking for in my head, and when I tried that dress on, the image became real.

What were you looking for in a dress?

Not the average prom-style dress, more like a simple but princessy champagne-colored dress, and the corset back was a plus.


Tessa 3_1.JPGTessa Whitaker, junior, Oak Bluffs

How long did it take for you to find your dress?

I started looking at the beginning of my junior year, and decided on my dress in February, so I browsed for about five or six months.

Why did you chose the dress you did?

I really loved the one-shoulder look, the simplicity of the dress, and the silhouette looked flattering. Plus it was one of those dresses where you could have it custom-made for you, measurements and color. It was also inexpensive to boot, pretty much the perfect deal.

Did you expect to get a dress like the one you have, or were you originally picturing yourself in something else?

Honestly, I originally imagined myself in your typical bedazzled prom dress, in a dark color like maroon, royal blue, or forest green. I was surprised when I found and fell in love with the dress I bought!

How do you think you’re going to style your dress for prom?

Since my dress doesn’t have any jewels or rhinestones of its own, I think I’ll just wear a few signature pieces of jewelry and some nice shoes. I still haven’t figured out my hair yet — might let my hairstylist surprise me.


Iris Albert_1.JPGIris Albert, senior, Oak Bluffs

How long did it take you to find your dress?

I’m borrowing my dress from Sara Poggi, who borrowed it from Tayla Kuehne. Honestly, I started looking through pictures of [my] past proms and [with those] I found the one I liked within less than 20 minutes.

Did you go about finding a dress differently this year than last year?

At first I started looking in stores last year, and tried a bunch of different kinds of dresses to see what looked good and what sizes would work, and then I found one online that I really liked that I knew would look good because I had tried on similar ones while I was in the stores, and ordered that one.

Did you get stressed out about finding a dress?

Not really; I knew I’d eventually find one, and I found it kind of early compared with other people. I was more nervous that the dress I ordered wouldn’t look good.

When trying to find a dress for this year, what were you looking for?

Definitely something simple, since I’m a senior. Past years I’ve worn lighter or pastel colors, so this year I wanted to try something different and go for a darker color.

How do you think you’re going to style your dress?

I’ve always loved putting small white flowers in my hair just because I think that dresses everything up a little! As for jewelry, I’ll probably stay simple and wear a small necklace and my pearl earrings.


Natalija Lakis_1.JPGNatalija Lakis, junior, Vineyard Haven

How long did it take for you to find a dress?

A pretty long time! I went to several dress boutiques with my sister, friends, and family without ever finding anything. Nothing seemed to fit my body or taste. I ended up getting my dress just last week. It took months to find the dress.

How did you end up finding the dress?

I went off-Island for the day with my sister to try on this dress from a complete stranger — we found the dress on a “stuff4sale” website. When we got to the hotel, which was the meeting place, I intended on trying on the dress in the bathroom but couldn’t find it! So we went into a completely open gazebo, I stripped and tried on the dress! Funny enough, the dress was previously altered from the time it was worn before, and fit perfectly. I then wasn’t sure I wanted it, so my mom called and said, “Buy it. It looks beautiful.”

Did you expect to get a dress like the one you got?

No, I actually was going to borrow a plain dress from Mary McCarthy, but I figured I have only one prom so I might as well get more dressed up. I don’t think of myself as wearing a prom dress.


Violet_1.JPGViolet Kennedy, junior, Chilmark

How long did it take for you to find your dress?

It took me awhile! I went down to New York with my dad and looked a bit a couple of months ago, but didn’t find anything. Then I went off-Island again with my friends, and finally found one that would suit me.

What were you looking for in a dress?

I was looking for something different. While trying on dress after dress, when the woman would say, “That’s our bestseller,” I’d take it off. I didn’t want to look too similar to everyone else. I also wanted something fun. Prom is just supposed to be fun, so when it came down to it, I just wanted a dress that was fun and easy to dance in.

Did you expect to get the kind of dress you did?

No. I actually had my mind set on not getting a two-piece dress. I wear crop tops so often, I figured everyone’s seen enough of my stomach for awhile, but I guess it’s just my thing. I wanted to, and almost chose a tighter long dress, but decided it wasn’t really all that special for me.


Emma_1.JPGEmma Baldino, junior, Edgartown

How long did it take for you to find the dress?

Not long! When I was visiting my family in Pennsylvania for my cousin’s wedding, the first store I stopped at was called Zinni’s. It’s in Philadelphia, and I always wanted to go there to get my prom dress when I was younger, but I didn’t think I would be able to after I moved.

What were you looking for in a dress?

I was mainly looking for something white with beading.

Did it take you awhile in the store to find your dress?

The dress I ended up getting was the second one I tried on. It took me awhile because I kept trying on the same dresses to decide which one I liked best. It also took a little bit longer because I was waiting for some of my old friends to drive up and help me decide.

Why did you end up choosing the dress you did?

I really liked the open back and the beading at the top.

How do you think you’re going to accessorize for prom?

I bought a bracelet at Zinni’s with my dress, and a necklace with matching earrings!


This article by Sophia McCarron originally appeared on