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Prom Accessories: Boleros and Cover-Ups for Prom

Updated on September 10, 2014
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.


Dress up and cover up with stylish Boleros and Wraps for any formal occasion

You are all dressed up for prom and you need to cover those gorgeous shoulders on the way there. This page features a selection of cover-ups that will do the job just fine and will look fantastic. Take your pick from formal boleros, elegant evening wraps and fine Pashminas. I've tried to select ones that I think will appeal to young people - so whether it is for a junior or senior Prom - I hope there is one just right for you right here.

I've also included some helpful videos and information on how to tie evening wraps and pashminas for a great look - you can really go to town with some imagination and a little help.

I've deliberately chosen a range of prices so there is bound to be something here to suit everyone. You want to look fantastic on your special night!

Featured: Elegant Floral Lace Open Bolero

Sheer Versatile Stretch Floral Victorian Cropped Lace Bolero Shirred Sleeve

Fitted Cocktail Long Sleeve Floral Ruffle Crop Jacket

I'm particularly fond of lace for dressing up. I know the models here are wearing casual wear and you can see how well that works but lace boleros are also ideal for more formal occasions. They look elegant and feminine in a way other materials don't really match. And the joy of these, as you can see, is that they can be used again and again with all sorts of different outfits.

I would match the black one here with black lace fingerless gloves which will give you a bit of a Goth look and the white one with long elegant elbow length lace gloves.

Victorian Lace Boleros

If I had to pick out two boleros to have in any wardrobe - it would be these two... What do you think?


Some common sense things to think about when choosing your prom bolero or wrap

~Some of these may seem obvious to you but you would be surprised at how many people just don't think before they buy. If money is no object, then that is not a problem, but if you (like me) like to get the very best out of my money and my purchases, some of these might ring a bell for you and yours. Many of these hinge around whether you want to have something that is unique for this one occasion, or something you can wear again.

  1. One of - or Use and Use again? Personally I think this is the first thing you need to decide.
  2. Color: There is more about how to pick out the right color further down the page, here I want you to think about what will best suit your wardrobe.

    Picking out the exact color match for your gown is brilliant but can be expensive. I know as teenagers you probably won't be thinking of it, but there are going to be more occasions when wearing a formal bolero is ideal - perhaps for a wedding, or formal ball.

    If you want to be able to use your wrap again pick neutral colors that will go with anything. Gold and silver are always good choices and will go with most outfits. As does black or white. What other colors would you consider?

  3. Material: The most popular fabric for formal shrugs is satin or taffeta. Both look absolutely fabulous - they just add an extra touch of elegance and style and can be used again with any bridesmaid's dress and so on. You can also use them with casual wear like top and skinny jeans and the contrasting effect can be stunning. These aren't always the fabric or choice for youngsters, they can be a bit too formal for some taste and fortunately there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

    You already know my personal favorite is lace - it is completely versatile and delightfully vintage which is right on trend this year. Lace can be the perfect accessory over a gown but it is equally trendy over anything else.

    I wouldn't pick knit boleros or shrugs for Prom - they tend to be a bit too casual.

    If you want to wear it all night long, even when you are dancing, pick a really light-weight fabric.

  4. Length of the arms: I suppose in some areas this might depend on the weather conditions though, in my experience, youngsters are well prepared to abandon warmth for style any day - I know I was. Still, it is a question worth asking.

    Long-sleeves make a bolero look more like a jacket and could be ideal for covering up on the way to and from the prom. They could tend to get a bit too warm for wearing when the dancing starts though.

    3/4 sleeves can be just right - they always make me think of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly - vintage stars whose style continues to be a standard many aspire to.

    Tiny, puff or short sleeved boleros are by far the most popular for Prom. They adequately cover the shoulders and upper arms both for warmth and for those girls who are less confident. Not everyone is comfortable with strapless gowns yet and a short, tailored fit bolero is the ideal compromise for them. They can also be worn throughout the night without being uncomfortable. The other thing I love about short sleeve boleros is you can wear elegant gloves, I particularly love the above the elbow ones that make you feel like a million dollars.

Womens Cropped Sleeves Ruffle Stretch Bolero - trendy party fashion

HOT FROM HOLLYWOOD Womens Cropped Sleeves Ruffle Stretch Shrug Bolero Casual Formal Jacket
HOT FROM HOLLYWOOD Womens Cropped Sleeves Ruffle Stretch Shrug Bolero Casual Formal Jacket

This pretty cropped bolero is just right for Prom parties. The ruffle edge makes it a really elegant jacket to top off your prom dress. Available in a variety of colors.


IGIGI by Yuliya Raquel Plus Size Bolero-Style Shrug in Black

Satin Bolero Jacket Cover-up Cap Sleeve Prom Bridesmaid Junior and Junior Plus Size

I thought I would include a selection of satin formal boleros for girls who have a fuller figure. I know these girls are often the most self-conscious of themselves and these boleros are all chosen to make the most of your figure and to give you the confidence to go out there and have great fun. The thing about boleros over jackets, is that they don't 'cut you in half' which is seldom a good look on anyone.


Smocked Lace Women's Hemmed Ruffled Stretch Shrug - Chic Romantic Floral Trimmed Women's 3/4 Sleeve Bolero

Galiro Earbuds/Headphones Compatible with iPhone 7,7 Plus,8,8 Plus,iPhone X, Stereo Sound by Bluetooth in Earbuds and Built-in Mic and Volume Control,Wired Charging Bluetooth Without Battery(White)
Galiro Earbuds/Headphones Compatible with iPhone 7,7 Plus,8,8 Plus,iPhone X, Stereo Sound by Bluetooth in Earbuds and Built-in Mic and Volume Control,Wired Charging Bluetooth Without Battery(White)

Light-weight, elegant, colorful - what more can I say? This is perfect for covering up and will enhance rather than detract from any dress you choose. Also available in other colors.

Electric Nail Drill Manicure & Pedicure Care Set: Mini Nail Kit System for Buffing, Grooming, and Polishing of Nails at Home - Battery Powered
Electric Nail Drill Manicure & Pedicure Care Set: Mini Nail Kit System for Buffing, Grooming, and Polishing of Nails at Home - Battery Powered

I know I said not to pick knit for a Prom shrug but I think this is an exception. It is soft, smooth and stretchy and is ideal for keeping warm without looking as if you are bundled up.

New Sexy Cropped Open Neck Shrug 3/4 Fitted Sleeve Womens Knit Sweater Jacket, Black, Small
New Sexy Cropped Open Neck Shrug 3/4 Fitted Sleeve Womens Knit Sweater Jacket, Black, Small

OK- here's another knit one - included for it's warmth factor - sue me _I'm a Mother! But joking aside, this is something you will have no trouble getting your young lady into.


A word about choosing your color for a bolero or wrap

Color Wheel
Color Wheel | Source

Color - well obviously you want it to match your gown, that goes without saying, but think about it carefully. Do you want it match exactly - that is - the exact shade of your dress? Do remember that what you see on the screen of your computer could be slightly different simply because different computer monitors show color differently. So if you are color matching - just be aware of that. Perhaps you might be better to pick a color that is deliberately a shade or two different or even a complete contrast. Look at any color wheel and you will see colors next to your chosen one that are shades different and will blend well, or look on the opposite side of the wheel for a complete contrast.

Luxury Divas Red Vintage Styled Lace Knit Shawl Wrap

I've picked out a few different fabrics to let you see just how wide your choices are when it comes to wraps and stoles. These range from plain block colors to interesting prints and patterns that add extra interest to your costume. Check out the videos for unique ways of wearing wraps but even hanging loose over the arms is an elegant look.

Sequin Floral Sheer Silk Shawl
Sequin Floral Sheer Silk Shawl | Source

Just look what a simple stole can do for you... - the elegance of Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly | Source

I wanted to include this just to show you how a little imagination can change up an appearance. Grace Kelly is wearing a stole here - all the rage in the 1950s - but she is wearing it 'backwards' - rather than slung over her shoulders and hanging from her arms, she has reversed it and provided a smooth elegant neckline over her dress - effective isn't it?

© 2012 Paula Atwell

Which wrap or bolero will you buy?

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    • Paula Atwell profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula Atwell 

      4 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @suzette Thanks. I think these pieces are just so versatile.

    • Paula Atwell profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula Atwell 

      4 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @vocalcoach Thanks. Fashion and trends made by the famous!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love this hub. Anything to do with fashion is my cup of tea. Beautiful examples of the bolero and shawl to cover up a beautiful dress or outfit. I love the boleros and I wore them when I was younger. (and thinner) LOL! Now I go with the shawls and I love anything lace. Thanks so much for sharing your tips and ideas for dress up!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Voted all across (except funny) on this marvelous and unique hub. Went crazy for the "Layla Floral Sheer Wrap." And I've always loved the Grace Kelly photo and the stole. Who knew she wore it backwards? Big thanks and sharing.

    • mbasa79 profile image


      5 years ago

      I can't wear those gorgeous sleeve-less tops and gowns all thank to them air-bags. Now you gave a good idea to make use of boleros.

    • jollywallet lm profile image

      jollywallet lm 

      5 years ago

      We love the selection of dresses and general dress ideas you brough up here :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      I know some parents have concerns about skimpy tops on prom gowns. These cover-ups should make them feel more comfortable and still be pretty outfits for their daughters.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love to see what the young girls wear to their prom. Many of the area high schools come to our town to take pictures on our beautiful historic village green and of course, we all gather around to oooooh and aaaaah.

    • JosephsJewelry LM profile image

      JosephsJewelry LM 

      6 years ago

      There are many lovely choices here. Thank you for the display!


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