Helena Sant and Lachlan Muller show off the formal fashion available in Gladstone.
Helena Sant and Lachlan Muller show off the formal fashion available in Gladstone. Brenda Strong

Formal fever hits Gladstone - What's available, plus tips

WE'VE heard whispers of Gladstone girls going to the big cities or online to find their formal gowns, only to discover little old Gladstone had their dream dress all along.

Saltt Clothing stocks the esteemed Bariano range, which features fairy-like dresses and blinged-up maxis.

Owner Lynette Morgan said the key to formal dressing for girls was to remember to keep it classy.

"Your graduation is something to look back on years to come," Ms Morgan said.

"(The biggest thing is) getting a good fitting dress that complements your shape and colouring."

Ms Lynette said the neutral colours like champagne are big this season, and dresses with a high neck suit a classy bun as the hairstyle.

Prints provide a bit of interest to a dress if you don't want to go for a bright colour.

Add one or two striking, chunky pieces for a modern look.

Now the boys tend to need a bit more help when it comes to choosing their suit, and for those that may have left it to the last minute, we've got all the information from the owner of Gladstone men's store Emale.

Q&A with Emale's Justin Michell

Should the dress and suit match?

Most people still believe that a partners shirt and tie should match the dress, but for some time now stylist's around the globe have been insisting that a well tailored suit should simply compliment, rather than match or even compete with the dress

 What kind of fit should guys look for? Is there any difference in focus if you're more skinny or bulky?

There has always been a very strong focus on fitted suiting, but until recent times, not everyone understood this suiting prerequisite. By this I mean, for nearly the past two decades, European men have been designing and wearing well fitted suits. We have only just now fully embraced this concept, so if your suit fits you in a mildly uncomfortable manner, than it probably fits you really well.

What shades and style of suit should guys go for?

Colour is seasonal and/or reflective of the event, but as a general rule, a suit should be darker in winter (Black/Char) and lighter in summer (Char/Mid or Light Grey).

As for styles, fine satin contrast trim on lapels and pocket welts is really in style and should always be complimented with a white fitted/slim shirt and a slim black (sometimes white) tie.

What question do you get asked a lot/what are guys oblivious about?

Some guys are oblivious to minimalism and simplicity. If you thinking about colour, wear a red rose not a red suit!!!

A question we get asked a lot is "Should I hire or buy my suit?" If you wear a suit more than twice in a three-five year period, strongly consider buying it. It's well worth the investment and it prevents refusals to frequent formal events because you don't have your own suit.

Put simply, if you own a suit, you will wear it.

Are corsages still relevant for prom/graduation?

I believe that the corsage is worn by the woman. As for a flower on a guy's suit, absolutely yes! As long as he isn't wearing a pocket hank, it's a one-or-the-other deal.

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