TAJ Abrahams knew after winning the title of best dressed at his year 10 formal that he needed an ensemble equally as impressive for his year 12 graduation ball.
“I found a pink sports jacket and while I wanted to go ‘out there’ it was still a bit too much,” he said.
“I tried on a few jackets and pants and shirts and have settled on a YD navy velvet jacket, white and purple floral shirt, grey pants and brown shoes and belt.
“I don’t think anyone else will have anything like this, but it’s my kind of style.”
Taj and his friends at St Paul’s Catholic College Booragul will mark the end of 13 years of schooling on Friday night when they attend their graduation ball at Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre.
While many schools held their year 12 formals before the Higher School Certificate, several have waited until after the exams to celebrate.
“I’m really excited,” said India Newton.
“Our year got very close towards the end of school so it will be good to have an outing – it will be one of the last times we’re all together.”
Matilda Shrume said she was looking forward to seeing her peers happy and what they’d chosen after months of searching for the perfect outfit, but also sad “because we’ve seen them every day for the last six years – and now we won’t”.
Madi Forshaw said her grey, sequinned, halter-neck dress from La Belle on Melbourne was the first she tried on, and was “everything I was looking for”.
Matilda’s champagne and glittered flowing gown with lace cap sleeves is from St Frock and the second she purchased online for the event, while Laney Quinn fell in love with her terracotta-coloured, lace Talulah dress with an asymmetrical hemline as soon as she saw it on The Iconic.
India was searching for “something silk, simple and that I could wear again” and struck gold when she found a second-hand, slinky, cowl-neck Bec + Bridge dress, which had sold out, available on Facebook Marketplace for $70 – down from $230.
The girls’ hair and make up appointments start from 10am on Friday.
They said availability had been limited because St Francis Xavier’s College year 12 students and St Mary’s Gateshead year 10 students have their formals on the same night.
The group said they had managed to keep the cost of their ensembles and appointments to around $350 or less and they weren’t aware of any of their peers booking limousines.
They said most were likely to drive in with family members who are also attending.
Shieke Charlestown assistant manager Amee Williams said while most girls were opting for floor length fitted dresses, jumpsuits and pants and top combinations in bright colours were becoming increasingly popular.