Design and Product Development

Designing Formalwear for Female Teenagers with Dress Codes: A Co-creative Approach

  • Kendra Lapolla (Kent State University)


For teenage females there is a fine line between how one perceives dress as pretty or provocative. Specifically, contemporary fashion styles for school sponsored formal events like prom and homecoming have generated differing perceptions about what is acceptable for girls’ dress which in turn has triggered a recent rise in dress codes defined by administrators for these events. These dress codes have been focusing particular attention to girls’ attire (Pomerantz, 2007). Past research has explored the effect of dress codes on teenage females in everyday classroom settings (Raby 2010; Pomerantz 2007), and with a few exceptions scholarly research has often overlooked the high school prom (Zlatunich, 2009). This research attempts to fill a gap by focusing on the challenges of dress codes for formal events such as prom and homecoming where the financial investment is higher and there is more pressure to achieve the perfect look. By using co-creative research methods this study explores what kinds of dress designs these girls ideally desire and how girls feel about the dress code restrictions.

How to Cite:

Lapolla, K., (2015) “Designing Formalwear for Female Teenagers with Dress Codes: A Co-creative Approach”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 72(1).

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Published on
11 Nov 2015
Peer Reviewed