The mini-dress Laila is forced into when she reluctance goes to the dance with her friends, Emmy, Morgan, and Tori. If it was during a older time, I doubt girls Laila's age would wear something that exposing. If it was in the future, then I would guess that it would be more high tech or maybe a brand style dress.
As of right now, I think the mood is confusing because Laila is trying to adapt to her new surroundings but is struggling to decide what side she wants to choose. Let her be swept away by the American culture or stay true to her home culture.
The setting affects how the story is going because at her school Laila made friends that had slowly changing Laila into the American culture. She also meets Ian who somewhat affects her decision on going to the dance.