THE final arrival of HSC exams hasn’t been the only thing on the minds of the region’s Year 12 students.
Exam anxiety has been accompanied by formal outfit shopping stress for some, and excitement for others.
The bulk of the region’s school formals – for students in Years 10 and 12 – kick off this month.
This year it appears there are a mix of trends developing in the fashion stakes.
Rather than taking inspiration from celebrities treading the red carpets in Hollywood, Rod Hands, the operator of Spurling Bridal and Formal Wear on Brisbane St, said girls were visiting the store without a preconceived idea of what they wanted and in most cases had tried on a number of dresses before deciding on “the one”.
“Glitter is big again this year,” he said. “But the colours are a mix of everything – brights, neutrals and pastels.”
Mr Hands said Year 10 formal- goers were choosing shorter, cocktail-length dresses, but longer dresses were popular with Year 12s.
He said many of the young men were choosing to re-live a bygone era – the 1980s.
“Slim-fit suits and long skinny ties continue to be popular,” Mr Hands said.
He also suggested the lads were asserting their own style, something he’s seen a lot more of in recent years.
“There was a time the girls would come in and match the tie to the dresses; that’s dropped to about 50 per cent now though,” Mr Hands said.
“I guess you could say more young men are making their own choices more often.”
Bow ties have been popular this year too and one student looking to stand out is likely to do so.
“He was really interested in a burgundy suit,” Mr Hands said.
“That’s a bit of a move away from the greys and charcoals the other boys have been coming in and getting, but he looked great.”
That young fellow chose to accessorise with a dark shirt and tie.
McCarthy Catholic College Year 12 student Katie Baxter had double the trouble finding a frock.
She ended up choosing one outfit for the two formals she was required to attend.
“I looked for two dresses originally but then I found the one I wanted so I thought I would save money,” she said.
She bought her dress online after some searching.
“I was lucky it had already arrived about three or four months before the first formal,” she said.
That first formal was her boyfriend Reece Trickey’s at Farrer.
“I already had some simple accessories to wear with the dress so it ended up being really easy and I will wear them to our formal on November 12,” Katie said.
Others don’t find the decision as easy.
“I guess it is a bit stressful for some of the girls, trying to find what they want,” she said.
“A lot of my friends are going to, or have been to Sydney, to try and find what they want.”
Formals aren’t just about the dress and shoes.
Peel High Year 12 student Maddison Drew has had her dress since last year but said more than anything she believed the formal was important, particularly for Year 12s, because it was the ending of one part of their lives.
“And the beginning of the rest of our lives,” she said.