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Proms might crown kings and queens, but color reigns this year.

From tuxedo jackets to shoes to gowns, teen formalwear embraces bold shades and patterns. Life&Times rounded up what’s hot in prom fashion this spring.

Tuxes and suits

For many years, guys would pick out a black tux with colorful accessories, often coordinating with their date’s attire. While that made for “a great look,” people wanted to see something different, said Mark Sarno, owner of Tuxedo by Sarno, which has stores in Scranton, Dickson City, Edwardsville and Wilkes-Barre.

Colored tuxedos stepped in and gained popularity. Sarno highlighted a red peak-lapel jacket, a white jacket with black lapels, cobalt blue tuxedos and more fashions “just like the stuff that you’re seeing on the runways and red carpets” as some of the new items his stores offer this year.

“Everybody wants to have something new and different-looking, and these are exciting new colors and exciting new styles that are available for the guys,” Sarno said. “And we have a new blue paisley jacket that we’re going to be introducing. It’s pretty cool.”

Guys can rent colored shirts, too, or go with one with texture. Sarno’s shops recently added shirts with a Swiss-pleat front, a ribbed style he called “very smart- looking.” Vests remain more popular than cummerbunds, Sarno added. But while most young men used to pick out a colored vest to wear with a black tux, today they match the vest to the jacket.

“So if you’re wearing a royal blue tux or a gray tux or suit, you’re wearing the matching vest to the suit and then setting it off with a bow tie in a different color or something like that, (such as) a pocket square,” Sarno said.

People love bow ties, which he estimated now are about equally popular with straight ties, and they come in patterns such as polka dots and plaid. His stores also have introduced lapel pins, which he said add a “splash of color” to the overall look.

The color trend extends to footwear, too, with solid-color and patterned socks as well as shoes. Sarno said a cognac-color brown shoe has been popular with tuxedos in navy and cobalt blues and any shade of gray.

“People are liking that shoe,” he said.

Dresses

Bold colors, such as jewel tones, replaced soft pastels in today’s prom dresses, and floral, asymmetrical and other patterns remain popular after hitting the scene in recent years.

“I think they’re bold and they pop. ... We have so many different prints,” said Cindy Fisch, owner of Tunis Bridal Shop in Scranton.

While beading still embellishes some skirts, Fisch thinks the trend sways toward a more simple look — although girls in this more “traditional” area do still seem interested in beading, she added. Lace continues to make its way into dresses, she added, and some even feature printed lace.

Fisch also does not see as many dresses in satin as she does in stretch knits.

“Most of those prints are a little bit of a heavier fabric,” she said.

As for shape, fitted skirts remain the preferred style.

“I do see a little bit more (interest) in the ball gowns, but we’re still more in that mermaid, fit-and-flair kind of style,” Fisch said. “It’s been a while since ball gowns were really, really big.

“I think the girls feel sexier in (fitted skirts). And I know this sounds crazy, but when you have to have a big gown on, you’re dancing, it’s cumbersome. Girls feel like they can’t dance and be comfortable (in a bigger gown).”

Strapless gowns, too, “are not as popular as they were in the past,” Fisch said, as girls prefer to have something over their shoulders. They also like open-backed dresses and two-piece looks.

“We are seeing the bare midriffs for sure,” Fisch said. “Not all of them, and it certainly depends on how tall somebody is. ... There’s all different styles. There’s one with zipper up the back and a little cap sleeve. They’re just more open, a little swanky.”Read more at:evening dresses