At this ball, the outfits of the guys also shine: NPR


Prom. It’s that time of year when the students make a spectacular entrance with their glamorous outfits for the big ball.

Traditionally, prom is all about dresses. Over the years, they’ve evolved from long, long-sleeved dresses to off-the-shoulder minis. Ruffles, satin, lace, sequins – you name it. But what about the boys’ outfits? Typically, they wear a classic tuxedo or a suit – with a matching colored cummerbund and bow tie to complement their date dress, of course.

But that was then.

Zack Dahbour, manager of Zak’s Avenue Fashions, a menswear store in Louisville, Mississippi, (pronounced LOUIS-ville) says he noticed prom fashions started changing three years ago.

“The guys who come in want classy, ​​not traditional. They even want their shoes to be classy,” he says.

During prom season, many students rent or purchase their outfits from Zak. Dahnour says they have both classic and fashionable styles. But in recent years, students want styles that reflect their personality.

Guys choose floral-embossed blazers and luxurious velvet suits in a symphony of colors. For their shoes, they’ve ditched laces for slip-on loafers that range from jacquard prints to metallic glitter-tipped designs. Any color is fine.

“Old school looked decent and fashionable. Everyone wore the same thing. For new school, we want to set a trend,” says Louisville high school student Emory James, who ordered his suit online .

It was his first time attending a prom and he went with his girlfriend, Ayma Whitfield.

Emory James and Ayma Whitfield. Emory wore a black and green embroidered suit trimmed in gold. Instead of a button-up shirt, he chose a turtleneck. His shoes are moccasins with black studs and red soles.

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At this ball, the outfits of the guys also shine: NPR

Emory James and Ayma Whitfield. Emory wore a black and green embroidered suit trimmed in gold. Instead of a button-up shirt, he chose a turtleneck. His shoes are moccasins with black studs and red soles.

Jack King Media

About five miles down the street from Zak’s is Fantabulous Formals. If anyone is looking for a traditional black tie tuxedo or a ball suit, this is the place to go. However, there’s one request all guys make that isn’t traditional.

“Slim fit – they want their jacket and pants to be slim, and they want their pants to be ankle-length or higher,” says Mary Jo Miller, seamstress at Fantabulous Formals.

At the same time, the color coordination with its date is always traditional and fashionable.

LHS Senior Gabrielle Cistrunk says her date, Cameron Frazier, wanted her to be OK with royal blue. Just days before prom, Cameron didn’t say if he had found a suit.

“I was nervous about prom because life threw so many hardships at us, and we’re used to things going wrong,” Gabrielle says.

In 2020 prom was canceled for many students across the country due to the coronavirus. In an attempt to try to remedy this situation, two photographers in the Washington, D.C. area still asked other students to dress up for prom photos.

Here in Louisville, after finally seeing Cameron, Gabrielle got a surprise.

“The suit, the shoes shocked me. As we like to say, he understood the mission.”

At this ball, the outfits of the guys also shine: NPR

Cameron Frazier and Gabrielle Cistrunk. Cameron wore an embroidered white suit, with blue sequins on the lapel and lower legs. Her shoes featured blue sequin trim.

Tamara Frazier


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Tamara Frazier

At this ball, the outfits of the guys also shine: NPR

Cameron Frazier and Gabrielle Cistrunk. Cameron wore an embroidered white suit, with blue sequins on the lapel and lower legs. Her shoes featured blue sequin trim.

Tamara Frazier

But Emory and Cameron weren’t the only ones who loved LHS. Tre’Jon Coburn and Jatavious Cashmier Hunt also dressed up:

At this ball, the outfits of the guys also shine: NPR

Tre’Jon Coburn and Jatavious Cashmier Hunt.

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Nanette Coburn

At this ball, the outfits of the guys also shine: NPR

Tre’Jon Coburn and Jatavious Cashmier Hunt.

Nanette Coburn

You could say all the guys stole the show – but that’s not the conversation any of these students wanted to have. They were just happy to be able to attend the ball and thought everyone looked good.

This inclusive attitude seems to be part of the new school. Anyone wanna dance?


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