Grads go for great duds

Graduation, a springtime rite of passage, is quickly approaching, and much like final exams, what to wear to the banquet and grad party is on many teenage minds.

Hunting Hills High School grade 12 students Shannon Phelps

Hunting Hills High School grade 12 students Shannon Phelps

Graduation, a springtime rite of passage, is quickly approaching, and much like final exams, what to wear to the banquet and grad party is on many teenage minds.

“I’ve been looking for a dress since last year’s grad when most of my friends were shopping for their dresses,” said Breanne Windle, 17, who graduates from Hunting Hills High School, June 3.

The seasonal affair is bringing requests from young women who want to wear bright colours that make bold statements, said Janelle Leer, owner of Your Wedding Place, a busy graduation dress shop in Red Deer.

“I’ve gotten lots of girls asking for purple or pink dresses this year, I think it has to do with spring,” said Leer.

“Girls seem to like the beading because it makes the dress look more blinged-out and not so much like a typical dress.”

A recent graduation fund-raising fashion show at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School had male and female students parading in the finery from many local stores.

Male attire included black or white suits, top hats and fedoras.

Fashion for the young women included jewel-coloured, strapless gowns adorned with beads and sparkles.

Sherilyn Hunter, designer at Eternity Gowns in Sylvan Lake said in addition to beaded and sequins embellishments, many girls are asking for more refined fits.

“The princess look has got to go, that’s done,” Hunter said.

Hunter said the huge chiffon-stuffed dresses that have been popular for the past few years have fallen out of favour for the Hollywood glamour look (typically strapless and form-fitting with a dramatic flare that starts above the knee creating a “trumpet” or “mermaid” shape at the end).

“They’re copying what they see celebrities wearing at the Grammy Awards,” Hunter said.

Many of the latest Hollywood looks can be found online, and shopping for grad attire in the 21st century gives the modern teenager the ability to shop from a global selection.

Windle and her friends, Shannon Phelps and Don Nguyen at Hunting Hills, all bought their 2011 grad looks online.

“There’s just not that much selection in town, and everyone is going for unique things now . . . I started looking online at the start of the year,” said Phelps, who ordered her dress from New York City a few months ago.

Male grads seem to be following the lead of their dates and are choosing vibrant spring colours to accentuate their tuxedo or suit.

“I’ve been getting lots of questions about pink tuxedos, brown tuxedos, you name it,” said Natasha Wells, sales representative at Black Knight Tuxedo in Red Deer.

Wells said that while her store doesn’t carry the “more out-there” tuxedo colours, she often recommends her male clients pair up a more traditional white or black tuxedo with a vibrant tie, vest, or pocket square.

This way he can match his date’s dress’ color scheme — without overshadowing her, Wells said.

A popular alternative to renting the tux is to buy a suit, which Nguyen said is what he and many of his friends have done this year.

“Renting a tux is already 75 bucks . . . for a little more, you can get a suit, and keep it forever, it’s an investment,” said Nguyen..

After graduation, casual wear for teens is also trending toward the colourful, as well as the pattern heavy, said Berkley Neil, a buyer at Alta Boutique in Red Deer.

“Brights are back in a big way, from tops and bottoms to sunnies and sneaks,” she said.

Neil said young women shouldn’t be afraid to mix bright colours and patterns and recommends trying a floral print sundress with a plaid overshirt or denim vest; and men can try “throwing on a fave striped tee under any sort of plaid overshirt or a different stripe.”

She also said sweatshirt knits and light cottons are great for lounging on summer evenings and chambray (a light-weave cotton fabric that has the appearance of thin denim) is going to be big this year.

“Chambray is showing up everywhere,” she said.

“It’s a great look that can be worn casually or dressed up . . . just make sure when wearing chambray to match it with denim that’s a few shades darker or another colour like gray, to avoid the dreaded ‘Canadian-tuxedo’ look.”

Local high school graduation ceremonies

Lindsay Thurber

• May 27 at Westerner Park

• Ceremony at 11 a.m.

• Banquet dinner at 7 p.m.

• 392 graduates

Hunting Hills

• June 3 at Westerner Park

• Ceremony at 12 p.m.

• Banquet dinner at 6 p.m.

• 300 graduates

River Glen

• June 3

• Ceremony at 3 p.m. at the school

• Banquet dinner at 6 p.m. at the Black Knight Inn

• 25 graduates

Notre Dame

• June 29 at Westerner Park

• Ceremony at 10 a.m

• Celebration reception at 7 p.m.

• 420 graduates

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Collin Orthner, manager at McBain Camera in downtown Red Deer, stands behind the store’s counter on Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
A few Red Deer businesses happy with Black Friday results

While this year’s Black Friday wasn’t as successful as it was in… Continue reading

Le Chateau Inc. is the latest Canadian firm to start producing personal protective equipment for health care workers, in a July 3, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Hundreds of millions of dollars for frontline workers yet to be released, says Alberta Federation of Labour

Information recently released by the Alberta Federation of Labour suggests more than… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Man killed in two-vehicle collision near Penhold, says Blackfalds RCMP

A 46-year-old man is dead following a two-vehicle collision on Highway 42… Continue reading

Banff National Park. (The Canadian Press)
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks… Continue reading

Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lisa Rathke
Feds unveil more funding for dairy, poultry and egg farmers hurt by free trade deals

OTTAWA — Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Canada's top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track for new COVID-19 infections as case counts continue mounting in much of the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
COVID-19 cases in Canada remain on troubling course, Tam says, amid rising numbers

Canada’s top doctor says the country is still on a troubling track… Continue reading

Hay’s Daze: Giraffe knows filling wishes can sometimes be a tall order

Last weekend, I had a lovely breakfast. “So what?” you may say.… Continue reading

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says tonight's public video gaming session with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about reaching young people where they hang. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP leader stoked over ‘epic crossover’ in video gaming sesh with AOC

Singh and AOC discussed importance of universal pharmacare, political civility, a living wage

A south view of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf breaking apart is seen from Ward Hunt Island, Nunavut, in an Aug. 20, 2011, handout photo. The remote area in the northern reach of the Nunavut Territory, has seen ice cover shrink from over 4 metres thick in the 1950s to complete loss, according to scientists, during recent years of record warming. Scientists are urging the federal government to permanently protect a vast stretch of Canada's remotest High Arctic called the Last Ice Area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CEN/Laval University, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Scientists urge permanent protection of Last Ice Area in Canada’s High Arctic

Tuvaijuittuq has the thickest and oldest ice in the Arctic

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s $55 million Lotto Max jackpot

No winning ticket was sold for the $55 million jackpot in Friday… Continue reading

Most Read