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Prom shopping creates magical moments

Jenny Williams remembers her prom being a magical moment. Her rendition of shopping for her first prom dress managed to invoke a certain nostalgia.

“It was a very special moment for me,” Williams said with a beaming smile. “It was the final memories of my high school career.”

The North Clayton alum —who was also secretive about disclosing the year she graduated —said she attended four proms.

“I had the time of my life,” Williams said. “It’s a time where every girl can feel like a princess for a day.”

Williams has lived in Clayton County most her life and now serves as a youth pastor for Creekside Christian Academy in McDonough. She mentors young women at the academy and said she also serves as a guru for prom shopping.

For Williams, when it comes to finding the right kind of dress, there’s only one place she likes to shop — Upscale Fashions in Stockbridge.

“I’ve been coming here for years,” she said. “I’ve gotten my prom dresses, my daughter’s prom dress and wedding attire all from here.”

Upscale Fashions is a consignment shop for women that carries name brand, bridal and formal clothing.

Owner Anita Johnson said this is the time of year when teen girls start flooding her store looking for the perfect dress.

“It’s a special time for these girls and they want to look their best,” Johnson said.

Johnson has been in the quaint shop, located at 5029 N. Henry Blvd., for more than a decade. She said she carries vintage and new gowns.

“Anything that’s in style I carry in my store for nearly half the price of what it sells for,” she said.

Johnson said the trends she has noticed so far — that young girls seem to admire — are bold colors such as, lime green, purple, orange, fuchsia and blue.

Styles of the dresses, she said, vary. But, what seems to sell the most are long strapless gowns or the mermaid fit gowns and pageant styles, Johnson said.

Seventeen-year-old, Alex Hammock, who was shopping for her prom dress at Upscale on a cloudy and windy Tuesday afternoon, said she was looking for something long, “flowy” and blue.

“I want to be able to move around and feel comfortable while I’m dancing,” Hammock said.

Hammock attends Creekside Christian Academy. Williams is her mentor, who also tagged along with her on her prom dress venture. Hammock said it was the first time she had heard about the store.

“She has some really nice dresses,” Hammock said. “It’s so hard to choose.”

Hammock’s banquet and prom are April 11 and 12 and she going with her best friend.

“I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life,” she said.