WHETHER SLEEK AND CHIC OR ELABORATE AND ELEGANT, A DAZZLING ARRAY OF CHOICES AWAIT SPECIAL OCCASION SHOPPERS AT THIS FAMILY RUN BOUTIQUE

BY KIMBERLY GAMBALE

Welcome to prom season! But, be advised: planning begins well in advance of the big day. Now is when our slogan, “Go to the rest, then come to the best,” fully comes into play.

Whether it’s for prom or other special occasions like cocktail parties, Mother of the Bride or Groom, a Sweet Sixteen, Bat Mitzvah, Quinceanera, or pageant, we strive to find each woman the perfect dress. For that reason, we carry top designers like Stephen Yearick, Fernando Wong, Portia & Scarlett, Sherri Hill, and Mac Duggal, as well as exclusive one-of a-kind pieces.

Today’s prom trends have been largely influenced by Instagram, and represent a departure from traditional dresses. In essence, everyone wants to look like they walked the red carpet. Where in the past beads were prominent, for example, this year it’s fully crystallized pieces. We are seeing new concepts in placing glitter on dresses, and have numerous options in that style. Rose gold has become a very popular color as well.

Families should know prior to a visit that we only sell to prom-goers with a parent, and require each girl to shop with a parent, even if they are 21. While some styles are more revealing than others, we feel strongly you can’t just “give it all away,” as it were. A perfect dress should show some discretion. We’d rather turn away a sale than go against “family first” and school guidelines.

Given our almost 50 years of successful experience, other special occasion shops have reached out to our founder (my mother, Diane) as well as my sister, Christina, and myself for guidance. We’re only in competition with ourselves, so gladly participate in roundtables with other retailers, providing insight into what works and what doesn’t.

MA Spread

We place a focus on prom in part because my mother never attended one (her family couldn’t afford the dress), so she wants to make certain all girls can. To that end, rather than have a sale rack in the main store, we opened Diane & Company Designer Outlet, featuring discontinued and other items. A dress can be had there for as little as $99.

Some tips: When choosing a simple and sleek dress style, preferred accessories are big or chandelier earrings. With a fully beaded dress, minimal earrings work best. Hair accessories are popular, too, including diamond bobby pins or a headband, but they must work with the dress.

Given our reputation as a go-to source, we are already looking to fall, for which we are seeing the comeback of full skirts and features like tea length, ruffles, feathers, gold, metallics, and velvet.

Diane & Company
3440 U.S. 9 South, Freehold / 732.625.8001
Diane & Company Designer Outlet
780 US 9 South, Howell / 848.444.9938 dianeandcoonline.com