High school junior and seniors, and anyone else lucky enough to have gotten an invitation from a prom-goer, it’s time to think about the fun stuff: dresses, shoes, and accessories for the big night! Other than your future wedding dress, we think your prom dress is one of the most important and special dresses you will ever choose. I still remember mine from (cough, cough) years ago and had a great time choosing my look, back then.
Prom season usually runs from May through early June, depending on the school. That means it’s time to start shopping and putting together your prom look now. If you’re attending other spring formal dances at your school, our tips will work for you, too. Tween readers, you can begin dreaming of what you’ll wear to prom or formal dances. They will be here before you know it.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your dress and accessories:
- Personal Style- do you prefer sleek shapes or romantic, girly styles? Do you like bright colors or are you more comfortable in black or other neutrals? Simple or embellished? Lace or satin? Your prom dress should reflect you, most of all.
- Comfort- You’ll be spending many hours in this dress and, hopefully, dancing the night away. Move around in the dressing room when trying on gowns. Sit, jump up and down, whatever. Also, the right fit is important. If you find a dream gown that’s perfect everywhere, but one certain area feels too loose or doesn’t lay right, you can have the gown altered.
- Short or Long?- Anything goes that is flattering on your shape. We definitely recommend staying away from too-short styles. This time, we’ve chosen three long gowns for our mood boards. If you prefer a short dress, you can easily find dresses in the same styles, but shorter hems.
- What about Shoes?- This is a toughie. Many girls love to wear high, stiletto styles with their prom dresses. Great, if you can pull that off! Mid-heel sandals or pumps are also perfect. The most important thing to look for in a dress shoe is one that complements, but does not compete with your gown. For example, if you pick a gown that’s covered in beautiful beading, choose a plain satin pump or heeled sandal, not one covered in rhinestones patterns. If your gown is simple, you can choose a shoe with a few sparkly details. Oh – can’t forget that many girls kick off their heels about halfway through the dance, anyway!
- Accessories- Our rule of thumb at the chronicles: don’t overdo it. An easy way to style your accessories is to choose one area to highlight. Either ears, wrists or neck. If you pick a beautiful statement necklace for your gown, choose simple pearl or rhinestone stud earrings and keep your wrists free of other jewelry (a matching ring is fine.) If your gown has a halter neckline, choose large, dangly earrings and leave off the necklace. Earring and bracelet combos work, too. A thick, sparkly bangle bracelet works well with a complementary large stud earring. Again, no necklace with this look.
- Hair and makeup– We’ll be talking about this in depth in an upcoming post. But today, we’ve included some examples of the right hairdo for certain prom dresses and looks. Makeup, too.
- Budget- Prom might be the time to splurge, but never to over-spend. If you do end up splurging on a dress, you can always borrow accessories from friends or family. Is it all about the shoe for you? Then choose a dress from a budget friendly department store or boutique.
Now to put it all together. Our three mood boards represent girls with three different personal styles. Which one is most like you?
Choose a sleek updo for this elegant look! And white flowers are perfect with the black gown and red makeup accents.
Silver accessories are the perfect choice for a boldly colored gown. Keep the neckline simple and choose a statement bracelet and a large stud earring that complements, but doesn’t compete.
Create a soft, romantic, feminine look with pieces like these. We love a statement necklace with hair worn down.
If you’d like to begin looking online for gowns, here are some of our favorite places to play. JCrew specializes in casual clothing. But JCrew also has a a bridal department with formal bridesmaid gowns that would be perfect for prom. Short and long dresses, and gowns in all shades, too. Check it out here. We just looked and many gowns are on sale for $99.00, right now!
People often associate Nordstrom with big price tags, but that’s not always true. Nordstrom carries dresses in many price ranges and their shipping and return policy is great. You could order a few gowns and try them at home, and enjoy free shipping. Check our their selection here.
Readers, please send us your prom or spring formal dance pictures. We would love to put together a post showcasing all of you!