Times are Changing for Quinceañera Dresses

Bright colors and revealing cuts in dresses are edging out the more traditional, demure soft pink or white quinceañera gowns. Tell us: what do you think of this trend?


Hot pink hair, neon green pants, and bright yellow sunglasses are some of the latest eccentric outfits that both U.S. teens and tweens have lately been sporting.

Formal wear has not escaped this trend and quinceañera dresses are no exception.

“Before, the quinceañera dress was a soft pink or white,” said Maria Castillo, owner of in South Gate. “That tradition is [now being] lost because the colors are strong.”

A quinceañera is a traditional celebration of life within Latino families, and a rite of passage to womanhood for 15-year-old girls.

According to Castillo, some of the trending colors are orange, turquoise and purple, among others.

“If you look closely, you will notice that the colors are of the season, the latest style,” said Castillo.

With celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and the uncle/nephew duo that make up LMFAO sporting eccentric layers of color, it is evident where the fashion trend stems from.

One such new age quinceañera dress, which hung from a rack at Princess Bridal, was a blue and green peacock-inspired gown laced with flower designs.

Paramount resident Nicole Acosta said she picked the dress because of its unique style and color.

“I wanted a color that no one had,” said Acosta. “I opened the catalog and saw it there. It was perfect.”

Colors have not been the only generational change. The cuts of the dresses are also evolving.

“Before, there were even quinceañera dresses with high collars,” said Castillo. “Now, the more revealing a dress, for the girls, the better.”

Risque cuts can clash with the traditional Mass that some Catholic families organize to accompany thee celebration. Revealing dresses can be deemed inappropriate in churches, which have different regulations for the quinceañeras.

“The girls wear gowns so it is usually not a problem, but they do come sleeveless, revealing too much [at times],” said Marco Reyes, a priest at Saint Emydius Church in Lynwood.

Sometimes, it is the mother’s dress style that clashes with tradition rather than the daughter's.

“Usually it is the mother that I have to have covered up, because [they are] either in a mini-skirt or low-cut dress,” said Reverend Reyes.

Alhough a large number of quinceañeras continue to be celebrated at Mass at Saint Emydius, the priest has noticed a heightened interest in trendy dresses and all-out parties, and a diminishing religious role in the festivities.

“They lose perspective as to what is important,” said Reyes. “A lot of people become too materialistic."

The coming-out parties can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, and the dress itself can cost about $500, according to Castillo. Celebrating a Mass at Saint Emydius can be arranged with a $500 donation.

Some families choose not to hold a Mass. However, saving money is not the only reason for passing on the religious celebration.

A Mass will not be part of Acosta's quinceañera celebration because religion does not play a big role at her home.  

“My family is not that religious,” said Acosta.

Whether a debutante chooses to celebrate her quinceañera fully decked out or in simple fashion, Castillo said she is prepared with catalogs that feature the latest styles to match each type of girl. 

Do you have a quinceañera gown picture to share? Just click on the Upload Photos and Videos button below our photos or submit it to our Neighborhood Gallery.

Keep up with South Gate Patch Latino by subscribing to breaking news alerts, liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Have an event or announcement you'd like to publicize? Submit them for free.

Liz B April 02, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I've noticed this change gradually. Every time friends' siblings have their quinceañeras, the choices in attire are more colorful and there is less tradition like not having mass, or even a father/daughter dance. It's great that young girls are still embracing their cultrue but isn't the point of having a quinceañera to embrace the tradition as well?
Stephanie Rivera April 02, 2012 at 08:35 PM
good point, Liz. I have also noticed these changes.
Martha Rivera April 02, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I was a tomboy for a long time so any time I wore a dress it was already a big deal. I hardly remember how I chose my quinceañera dress 12 years ago. I was more worried about how my family could afford the party and my private high school education. The mass for me was special because our family priest officiated the ceremony. I was more concerned with having my family with me than making it a big party. I did not even have a limo. Tradition was really important. Its sad that passing trends are more important than long standing traditions. I blame parents for allowing their children to do what they want. I'll stop my rant now. :)
Martha Rivera April 02, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Oh and my dress was beige :) and my court of honor was made up of my sisters and cousins in pink dresses. My mother had a high collar and shin length formal dress. My father wore a suit and my brother as my "chambelan" wore a suit as well. My tiara was just a flower crown. No crazy bling.
Frank April 03, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Sounds like you had a perfect day,and a good time. That's good.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »