Guys go retro for prom

We know that when it comes to prom, it’s all about the dress. The guys are usually at the mercy of their dates, forced to buy a cummerbund and bow tie in a matching shade to wear with a rented tuxedo. But lately, guys are taking a more personal approach to prom fashions.

“When they go for something different, they have the confidence and self-assurance. They tend to stand out from their classmates,” said Rebecca Birdwhistell, who owns and operates Stefan’s Vintage Clothing with Tom Murphy.

Increasingly, guys are strolling into the Little Five Points store in search of a unique look for prom. They are taking their style cues from pop culture icons that range from “Miami Vice” to James Bond.

Birdwhistell and Murphy acquired their current stock of tuxedos when they stumbled on a retailer who wanted to liquidate his inventory. The Arkansas businessman was also a Depression-era hoarder who held onto styles from the 1970s and ’80s — two eras that are experiencing a resurgence in high fashion.

“The ’80s are very today,” Birdwhistell said. “Bright colors, shawl collars or smaller peak lapels.”

In addition to offering guys flexibility and creativity, vintage prom looks can be more affordable. “You can buy one of our looks for what it will cost to rent,” Birdwhistell said. And since fit is most important, you can have a vintage tuxedo tailored to your exact shape and size, she noted.

Style asked Birdwhistell and Murphy to dress three guys in prom appropriate vintage garb. Kyle Cooley, 16, a student at Academe of the Oaks; Marvin Evangelista, a Georgia State student majoring in economics and Chris Flournoy, a choreographer and artist developer, gamely sported the hottest looks — all available at Stefan’s — in and around the shops of Little Five Points.