The Modern Day Quinceañera Celebration and Dresses

The Modern Day Quinceañera Celebration and Dresses

February 12, 2021
By Emily Tinoco

Did you know that there is much more to a Quinceañera celebration than just good food and music?

This traditional celebration amongst Latino families has been around for decades and has a number of treasured items that are included to symbolize the transition of a girl into a woman. At 15 years old, a Quinceañera is celebrated with symbolic items like her last doll, her first pair of heels, and more. However, the most important part of the whole celebration has always started with her dress. At least it did for me.

When I began to plan for my Quinceañera about 6 years ago, I remember everything being centered around my dress. I wanted something that was unique to me and something that would make me feel confident. I went with a Tony Bowls prom dress which I then got altered into a Quinceañera dress. It featured a heart-line style top with mesh running along the top. It was a little different than a traditional dress, but it was exactly what I wanted. I felt like a princess the whole night!

If you’re wondering what my perfect blush dress looked like, take a look here. These are some that definitely matched my style:

Traditionally, Quinceañeras are centered around religion, specifically Christianity, thus the European big and puffy dresses. However, today, the modern Quinceañera has the power to choose what she wants to wear and what she wants her celebration to symbolize. Strapless, long sleeve, off-the-shoulder...

These are all options that now have much less to do with tradition and more with self-expression. Quinceañeras come from different religions, countries, and with different stories. Check out this New York Times article that highlights the celebration of a Quinceañera’s Muslim faith.

Quinceañera dresses have always somewhat looked the same with the ball-gown style. However, from time to time, there are trends that definitely influence the current fashion. Let’s take a look at some dresses over the years!

Dresses in the 1980-90s:

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This style of this dress looks a lot like the dramatic prom dresses we imagine our moms in. Made of heavy satin fabric and big puffy sleeves, these dresses exceed my expectations of this time period. Take a look yourself!

Although this dress screams old times, I do see some qualities fitting into today’s trend. I would have loved to wear a satin dress at my Quinceañera. Satin is elegance and simplicity.

Look at these breathtaking satin dresses I totally see as modern Quinceañera dresses:

Dresses in the 2000s

Moving forward into the 2000s, the style of the Quinceañera dress took a turn toward a more simple yet traditional look. These dresses featured a spaghetti strap style and simple tool skirt. But things took a turn in the 2010s when a bunch of different styles started making an entrance. Ruffled skirts was a style that was very popular and it’s still around! Not only that, heavy jeweled dresses also started to become more popular. Strapless, off-the- shoulder, and mesh necklines were also all the hype.

Thinking about the 2020's, I think this is going to a time where girls are able to express themselves even more! I can’t wait to see all the new trends. Here are some styles that I think would be super unique for a Quinceañera to rock!

And can we talk about how much this celebration means to us? It is basically a right-of-passage that all girls look forward to. Whether it be a Quinceañera, a Filipino Debut, a Sweet 16, or any other coming-of-age celebration, this moment is one to be treasured.

If you’re reading this and have a Quinceañera or any celebration to plan in the future remember that it is all about you! Your beautiful dress should reflect your beautiful self.

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