Celeb Style

Fans Have Mixed Feelings About Shayla's Deb Ball Dress In The Summer I Turned Pretty

Welcome to #Debballgate.

Fans of The Summer I Turned Pretty have been feasting on the fashion in the YA show, but there's dissection in the ranks when it comes to Shayla’s deb ball dress in the series finale. In Season 1, Episode 7, Shayla, the consummate debutante and only person who can color correct a shiner with a wet beauty blender that she keeps in her purse, attends the debutante ball that the entire summer has been leading up to. Fans of the show were expecting a high-fashion moment worth cheering for. According to some fans, that moment arrived and Shayla's deb ball dress checked off all their fashion boxes.

After all, that’s what we’ve come to expect from Shayla. Over the course of seven episodes, she’s become something of a fashion icon and the debutante ball was the moment for her to really shine. Instead, Shayla showed up in a loose-fitting, drop-waist gown that has received mixed reviews. While the retro vibes of her gown were a huge hit among some viewers, others had less than positive things to say about the style. Fans have taken TikTok and Twitter to debate the merits of Shayla’s deb ball gown with some, TikTok user @bernicereadsforfun among them, declaring that the show did Shayla dirty with this particular deb dress.

I think the real argument here isn’t about whether Shayla’s deb ball dress was “good” or “bad”. I think the bigger issue is that Shayla didn’t wear a full-skirted princess gown like the other debutantes. Compare her look with Belly’s, for example. The asymmetrical straps and drop waist on Shayla’s gown were just as luxe as Belly’s more traditional ballgown-style dress, but Shayla’s look could appear less formal to some folks since it doesn’t necessarily fit into debutante tradition.

Historically, debutante ball dresses were all about hoop skirts and corsets and you can see how much Shayla stands out, silouhette-wise as she steps out with Steven at the beginning of the night when all the debutantes are presented.

Courtesy of Amazon Prime

Shayla’s loose-fitting gown with its volume primarly centered in the bottom quarter of the skirt is definitely unique among the full skirts and satin pleats of her peers. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing and neither does TikTok user, @maybe_its_katie. “She’s a trendsetter, y’all,” @maybe_its_katie said in a TikTok video referring to the style of Shayla’s deb ball dress and the number of folks who seem to take issue with it.

First off, I cosign the glee over the level of cuteness that Shayla and Steven brought to this event. Secondly, yes, Shayla’s dress wasn’t for everyone, but it made sense in terms of her character. She is, after all, a fashion influencer. Love it or not, you have to admit that Shayla’s deb ball dress served a lewk, even if it wasn’t the most loved fashion moment of the season.