What does a playlist of Rihanna’s “Anti” album, Future, and Akon played into the late hours of the night in the beginning of May with the sound of heels clacking in the background sound like to you? Well, the answer is prom! With prom just a month away, it either means that the wait is over and you can finally start looking for a dress, or that the dread begins for those of you who don’t consider shopping a hobby.
So many movies idolize high school prom- “She’s All That,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Ten Things I Hate About You,” “Grease,” “Never Been Kissed,” and even “High School Musical”- but although we shouldn’t necessarily expect this night to be “the time of our lives” like these movies make them out to be, we should still get excited for this night devoted to looking great, dancing, and spending time with friends.
Laney Boggs from “She’s All That” ditches her quirky, paint-stained clothes for a dress that looks like the midnight sky while idol Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink stays true to her style and wears a re-worked vintage (and obviously pink) dress that’s one of a kind, like her motto for life. Whether you want to embody a new persona for the night or stick to what you know, finding your ideal prom dress can be hard. That’s why I’ve put together a guide for looks to be inspired by as well as places to shop for your perfect outfit. Enjoy!
For those of you who want to look like you just stepped off the beach or are returning from some magical Moroccan vacation, the bohemian look may be perfect for you. With a flowy summer dress and just the right jewelry- maybe turquoise rings and layered necklaces- you can look like a Greek goddess. Get inspiration from bohemian legend Jane Birkin or iconic looks from Kate Moss and Mary Kate Olson.
Where to shop: Free People, For Love and Lemons, Sabo Skirt
If you want to stay simple and elegant for prom, I would keep in mind the color, fabric, and shape of the dress. Whether you want to channel one of Audrey Hepburn’s iconic looks or get inspiration from Jennifer Lawrence and Angelina Jolie’s classic but beautiful red-carpet looks, you really can’t go wrong. Look at Zac Posen’s formal dresses for inspiration- he really focuses on tailoring and the silhouette of the dress, or get inspiration from other actresses through the decades such as Caroline of Monaco or Karlie Kloss.
Where to shop: Revolve, Reformation, Nordstrom, renttherunway.com, fameandpartners.com
Have I gotten Fergie stuck in your head yet? If you want to go big or go home for your prom look, you could go the “glam” route. For this look, take inspiration from any of Rihanna’s red-carpet looks (for example her dress at the CFDA Awards in 2014) or the dresses Taylor Swift wore in her “Blank Space” music video. Whether you want a look that’s romantic, dramatic, or just like a princess, I am sure your perfect glamorous dress is out there.
Where to shop: BCBG, Nasty gal,
Pretty in Pink
For those of you who are nostalgic like me, you may imagine yourself wearing something from an entirely different decade. To do this, you can either wear your mother’s old prom dress (who knows, maybe it’s back in style?) or find a killer dress from the 80’s, or any time period you want. If you’re down to really hunt for your dress, check out Pretty Parlour in Capitol Hill, a vintage store that has a whole wedding boutique of beautiful dresses straight out of one of Gatsby’s parties, or search out etsy.com for tons of vintage dresses as well. Either way, wearing vintage is definitely the ultimate solution to not have a dress like anyone else!
Where to shop: Pretty Parlour (Capitol Hill), Indian Summer (Capitol Hill, appointment only), Atlas Clothing (Fremont)
This one’s for the risk takers, the people who want to wear an outfit totally new and unlike anyone else’s. If this is the route you want to go, you can really try anything. Separates are always a prom possibility, as well as any non-traditional prom dress. For inspiration, look at Christopher Kane’s SS16 line, where he plays with color and abstract shapes to make eye-catching and funky dresses. Or maybe you just want to wear a dress in a color that will standout and that you’ve never tried before- consider loden green, chartreuse, or a bright pink or purple. Get inspiration from trendsetters like Harley Vierra Newton, Kate Moss, and Alexa Chung. You could even try stealing looks from celebrities from celebritydresses.com, however this is really a hit-or-miss, for friends of mine have received either exact replicas of the photos, but some, let’s just say, did not exactly get what was pictured. But it’s always an option, and a bang for the buck.
Where to Shop: Forever21, Topshop, Nasty Gal, Asos, celebritydresses.com
Extra, extra, read all about it!
Marlene Dietrich was the first woman to be photographed wearing a full tuxedo it the 30’s, opening the public eye to the possibility and acceptance of women wearing men’s pieces. Taking this idea, you could wear a tuxedo dress or a tailored tuxedo like Bianca Jagger’s white Maken wedding suit in 1971, which no doubt would be way more comfortable on the dance floor and during after-prom activities.
A major trend this year has been the revival of the 90’s nightwear trend. Look simple and chic in a silk slip dress like Gwyneth Paltrow’s white dress she wore to the Oscars in 1996, accompanied by Brad Pitt. Get inspiration from looks from the Calvin Klein SS16 and Celine SS16 shows. Also, try throwing a big fur coat over it like Margot Tennebaum in “The Royal Tennenbaums.”