Spring 2015 – A Reflection on Thankfulness

This past month we have done more photoshoots than ever before, not just for our own use at virtuousprom.com, but also for the March Modest Prom edition of Shine Magazine. We’ve worked with wonderful new models and photographers, made new styles come to life and run around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off.

The latter half of the month has been especially hectic, with six photoshoots (including one 7.5 hour one) crammed into two weeks. There have been moments of incredible highs, like when we got back the stock photographs for our dress Katniss from TED Photography


… and low valleys, caused mostly by sleep deprivation, especially this last week when we could barely remember our own names and definitely didn’t remember the day of the week. Is today Friday? No, it’s Monday! You know things are bad when Mondays feel like the end of the week.

Through it all we have been thankful for it all – the chance to work with gorgeously beautiful, kind, wonderful models, amazingly talented photographers, generous helpers of every kind and long enduring seamstresses. We’ve also been grateful for the chance to learn and grow through the adversities. For one shoot, our photographer canceled an hour and a half beforehand, but this too was a chance to reign in panic and anxiety and substitute it for solution oriented thinking.

In reflecting on this past month, we echo the words of Paul to the Philippians: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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And now, ladies and gentlemen, I have a very dissatisfied puppy to attend to. Poor Bailey has felt very neglected this month and has even learned how to turn off my laptop to get my attention.


Signing off for now for puppy snuggles,

The Virtuous Prom Team

Katniss, Behind the Scenes

It all began with a forgotten red dress. We had ordered a sample dress last year, but when the time to came to shoot the collection it would be a part of we had lost the light and the photos were unusable.

So a lone, red dress lay forgotten in our closet for almost a year, until we began to put together our photo spread for Shine Magazine. I took the dress out, having forgotten how beautiful it was. We had just finished shooing our dress Ella, and those pictures were our new golden standard: they showed the dress beautifully and told a story at the same time.


By comparison, organizing and story boarding the shoot for Ella was easy. We were paying tribute to a Disney classic and recreating those iconic moments.

But what about this red dress? I found myself completely stumped. I stared at it long and hard and then finally decided just to hang it up in the house where I could walk by and see it daily. A few days later the thought crossed my mind, Didn’t the skirt remind me of Katniss Everdeen’s red dress from The Hunger Games? Immediately I jumped on YouTube and watched the clip with the red dress. Sure enough, they looked similar.

And so, the kernel of the idea for our Katniss shoot was born. I watched and rewatched that clip from the movie over and over and over some more. Once I felt I had a handle on the look of the dress (minus flames of course). I began my search for a model and a location. The location proved challenging. Should we go for the place Katniss is most herself, the woods; give a nod to the neo-classical architecture of the Capitol; or just try and show the character of Katniss as she’s thrown into a cruel game and becomes the strong heroine we adore?

We decided on the latter and once we had only one piece remained: the perfect model. We were trying to decide between a few models we’d worked with before when the perfect model dropped into our laps. She looked a little bit like Jennifer Lawrence, but more importantly, she was beautiful on the inside. At Virtuous Prom, we’re looking for girls who are beautiful inside and out. They’re not easy to come by, but they are well worth the wait.

And so preparation for the shoot commenced in earnest. We arranged a time and place for all of us to meet up and start the shoot. We analyzed Katniss’ hair and make up, her mannerism and got everything ready for the big day.

Then, less than two hours before the shoot, our photographer cancelled on us. At this moment I knew I had been in this field long enough, because my stress level didn’t shoot sky high. I simply picked up the phone and called Ted from TED Photography. Like the proverbial knight in shining armor, Ted came to our rescue. I’ll let Ted’s photos speak for themselves, but what his photos don’t show is what a kindhearted, patient, wonderful person and professional he is to work with. We simply can’t say enough nice things about Ted. Thank you Ted, for saving the day!

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll leave you with a few fun behind the scenes photos and then the finished product.

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How to Accessorize Your Prom Dress

Accessorizing your prom dress can be one of the best parts about planning for prom! Your dress is hanging up in the closet, the date is set – all you have to settle on are a few shining details!

The first task at hand is picking out your shoes. You want them to be fabulous (maybe even comfortable) but you definitely want them to go with your dress, not compete against it for attention.


The next step is figuring out where to accessorize. What do I mean? Well if you have a higher neckline, like our dresses Vivienne or Valerie, you generally want to avoid necklaces, especially if the material of the bodice is made of sequins.

No Necklaces

The exception? If your bodice is fairly plain, your dress may call for a statement piece, like with our dress Knox. If you have a neckline that is sweetheart, v-neck or basically anything else a necklace can be a a great option!

If you opt out of a necklace, definitely go for earrings, as they’ll draw attention back up towards your face, where you really want it!


Depending on the style of your dress, you may opt for a bracelet or opera length evening gloves! Bracelets can easily tie in with the aesthetic of your other jewelry and help create a well rounded look, like with our dress Karine.


Opera length gloves are always so much fun. If your dress has enough drama to not be overpowered by them, go for it! Dresses with larger slips or that extra flair of drama are great choices for opera gloves!


Don’t forget about your hair! Hair accessorizes can be a lovely way to make your dress uniquely your own.


Most of all, have fun and make it your own! Don’t be afraid to be yourself and remember: Have a great time!

Quick Tips for Planning Prom

Planning for prom can be stressful –  the dress, the accessories, the boutonniere and oh yeah, the date! When you have special modesty requirements for your dress stress levels can go through the roof. What should be a fun shopping experience turns into frenzy to find something suitably modest, often whether you love it or not.

Prom should be fun and finding a gorgeous dress that suits your style, budget and modesty requirements should be one of the best parts! Here are some quick tips to help make sure your prom is the blast it’s supposed to be!

  •  Plan Ahead

If you have specific modesty requirements and know there’s not a lot of dresses out there that meet your standards, be sure to allow plenty of time to find the right dress. There are approximately seven vendors in the  modest prom industry and finding a modest formal at your local mall can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Most wait times for modest formals are 8-10 weeks if they’re not currently in stock. Our wait times vary between 1-6 weeks, depending on the dress and time of year. Unfortunately, as prom approaches our wait times go up because our workload increases exponentially. Keep in mind that if you live in an area with more conservative modesty standards there’s also a real risk of having another girl show up wearing your same dress. That’s just one reason we love making custom prom dresses! Lastly, take time to find out what looks good on you – not just what’s trendy. After all, it’s your time to shine!

  • Don’t Forget Your Shoes

It may seem trivial, but deciding which shoes (or at least what heel height) to wear for your big night is important.  Depending on your height and the shoes you wear you may need to have your dress hemmed, or worse, your dress could end up too short! Knowing what heel height to take into account when purchasing your dress can save so much stress later on!


  • Foundation

When you go to try on your dress or order it online, make sure you take your bust measurement with the same foundation (or a similar style) you’ll be wearing day of. Some bras can alter your bust measurement by an inch or two; so, for a perfect fit, be sure to measure yourself or go shopping with the same foundation you’ll wear the night of the prom.

  • Trust Your Instincts!

Lastly, trust your instincts. If you question whether or not a dress is modest enough or whether or not you’ll feel comfortable, take a pass on it. There’s nothing worse than tugging at your dress or feeling self-conscious at the prom!

Finally, don’t forget to…Have a Great Time!