Jacqueline Bouvier & her sister Caroline Lee Bouvier pose for photographer
Cecil Beaton in their debutante dresses. 1947
The Debutante and Cotillion season is just around the corner, and we are already looking forward to dressing Charleston’s ladies-in-waiting.
Modern Trousseau has many samples to choose from for a glamorous, society presentation. We also offer our signature design service for discerning young ladies who would like the complete, couture experience, and a custom look for the big day.
Every debutante organization has their own rules regarding event apparel; however, we’ve narrowed down several guidelines to follow when choosing a style for your coming-out ceremony:
1. Dresses must be white, with crystal, floral, or lace details optional. The classic silhouette is an a-line ball gown; however, many debutantes opt for column or fit-to-flare styles. Most organizations have a preference for traditional looking dresses. If you’re in doubt, make sure to request advance approval from the ball committee prior to making a purchase.
2. Choose a demure cut that complements your figure. Skip cleavage-revealing bodices, side slits, or short hemlines. Just because it’s a ‘coming-out’ ceremony, doesn’t mean it’s okay to come out of your dress!
3. Don’t forget the curtsy. Select a skirt that hits just above the floor, and allows you to bend deeply without embarrassment.
4. Wear white gloves, and plan on ordering more than one pair. Gloves impart vintage elegance to a classic ball gown, but can spoil an ensemble if threadbare, soiled, or yellowing.
5. Custom dress designs may take up to 3 months and 3 fittings to complete. Plan showroom appointments around school breaks or weekends.
In the photo below, our Nashville debutante, Abigail, models her finished Modern Trousseau gown and final cotillion style for the Illinois Club for Catholic Women‘s 56th Annual Presentation Ball. She wore a combination of the ‘Lisbon’ bodice with the ‘Regan’ skirt in diamond white. We gave her deep pockets in the jacquard skirt to hold her gloves, keys, and phone with a sweep train that allowed her to dance and curtsey with grace.