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Prom Style Guide: How to Plan for the Perfect Prom Night

Prom Style Guide: How to Plan for the Perfect Prom Night

Preparing for prom night should be a fun and exciting experience. But for some, it can bring stress and even frustration. Why? Because it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to creating a budget, choosing a dress, and planning for certain details.

But you know what? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this in-depth style guide, we’ll show you how to get ready for the big night without any hitch. Let’s get started.

Create a Prom Budget

Before you start planning for the perfect prom night, the first thing you should do is set a budget. So, set aside a specific amount of money you want to spend on prom before you go shopping. After all, no one is made of money, so creating a budget can ensure everything runs smoothly as you plan for prom.

To create a budget, make a list of everything you need to pay for before and during your special night. This should include:

  • Prom attire
  • Hair
  • Makeup
  • Nails
  • Accessories
  • Tickets
  • Transportation (i.e. limo, cab, Uber, etc.)
  • Activities (i.e. dinner, rooms, etc,)
  • Flowers
  • Photos

This list may not include every little thing you’ll need for prom, so it’s important to have a little cushion in case something comes up.

Pick Out Your Prom Outfit

Perhaps the most exciting thing about prom is picking out the perfect outfit. So, expect endless hours of shopping to find the dress that suits your personality and, at the same time, wows the crowd. However, to save time and money, you might try to settle for just any attire.

But think about it. The pictures you take will most likely be pictures you’ll look back on for years to come. So, why choose just any old outfit?
Let’s look at some best practices for choosing a prom dress that’s right for you.

Finding the Perfect Prom Dress

Do Some Research

A few months before the big night, try to start researching different attires. Find out what’s trending on the red carpet. Take cues from your favorite influencers.
Whatever style sticks out to you the most, chances are, you’ll gravitate to it when you begin shopping. This will give you an idea of what to look for so that you’re not completely lost in the stores or online shops.

It might also be a good idea to write down your favorite styles or even take screenshots of them so you have something to refer to when shopping.

Know the Types of Prom Dresses

Prom dresses come in different cuts, shapes, and styles. Knowing the most popular ones can help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed during shopping.

Let’s look at some of the most trending prom dress styles:

  • Ball gowns: Ball gowns have a fitted bodice with a skirt that flares out dramatically. So, if you’re into fairytale vibes, this is the perfect outfit for you.
  • Fit-and-flare: Like ball gowns, fit-and-flare outfits come with a fitted bodice and flared skirt. The difference is that fit-and-flare dresses have skirts that gradually flare out, beginning at the waistline. This makes them comfortable to move around in and perfect for dancing, walking around, and climbing stairs—things you’ll likely be doing at prom.
  • Trumpet skirt: The trumpet skirt outfit is a cross between the fit-and-flare and mermaid styles. The fitted bodice gradually flares out, starting at the hips.
  • Mermaid silhouette: Mermaid gowns are one of the most elegant dress options. These dresses have a fitted style that hugs close to the body. The mermaid style flares right at or below the knee, creating a mermaid-like “tail”.
  • Sheath: If you’re going for sleek and sophisticated, a sheath-style outfit may be just what you need. These dresses hang gracefully from the body, accentuating your curves and creating a lovely hourglass shape. What makes these different from others is that they’re form-fitting at every               point—from your bodice to your hips to your hem. Because they’re so tight-   fitting, these dresses often feature slits that allow you to move more freely.
  • A-line dresses: These beautiful outfits get their name because the hem is typically much wider than the shoulders, forming a triangular silhouette that resembles an “A”. Of all the different types of outfits, the a-line dress is probably the most flattering for every body type.
  • Off-the-shoulder dresses: These dresses are exactly what their name suggests. Off-the-shoulder dresses typically have a neckline that sweeps across the chest just above the bust, exposing the shoulders.
  • High-neck dresses: This sophisticated outfit design features a high neckline that sits at the nape of the neck, all the way up to the top of the neck, creating an elegant look.
  • Two-piece dresses: This piece of attire brings a welcome change from the traditional one-piece gown and looks good on various body types.

Choose Your Color

Maybe you don’t want to rock the same old pastel colors like lilac and light blue. Perhaps you want to switch things up with deeper and more vibrant colors like electric yellow, neon pink, forest green, deep blue, neon orange or multicolored sequins. Well, if you’re thinking about any of these, then this is your chance - GO FOR IT. You can also keep it basic and go with colors that always work, like red, wine, royal blue, gold, or ivory.

However, there are times when you don’t have an idea of what color you want to wear. In that case, you should go with your gut and choose a color that catches your eye the most. Just make sure the color palette you choose goes well with your skin tone.

Determine Your Style

As we mentioned before, there are so many styles and silhouettes out there. But just being familiar with the different types isn’t going to cut it. You should have a good idea of the type of style that best represents you and your tastes.
To help you make a choice, think about your everyday wardrobe or the outfits you’ve worn at past events. Do you gravitate to clothing that screams ultra-feminine and flirty? Or do you often go for more sophisticated looks with an air of mystery?

Whatever the case, choose an outfit that embodies your unique style. After all, prom night isn’t about impressing others. It’s about feeling your most confident. So, pick a short or long dress that helps you achieve that.

Find a Dress That Fits Your Body Type

Choosing a perfect-fitting outfit should go beyond just having your comfort in mind. It should also involve thinking about how the dress will fit your body.

For example, maybe you have a slender body type with a thin frame. If so, you need an outfit that accentuates that. Fitted dresses work well for this body type, and so do belted waists, asymmetrical necklines, or any attire with a high slit.
Or perhaps you have an apple body type. If so, you might have a wide torso and an undefined waistline. Also, your shoulders might be broader than your hips. The perfect outfit for this body type will create a more defined waistline, draw attention to your shoulders and legs, and create an elongating effect. A-line dresses are perfect for these purposes because they create the appearance of a slimmer midsection.

Shop for Prom Dresses

Where you shop is just as important as the type, style, and color of the dress you buy. So, make sure you purchase your outfit from a retailer you can trust. If you’re going to be shopping online, make sure you research beforehand to make sure you’re placing an order in a reputable online store.

And if you come across a retailer that offers low prices, be very careful. Often, low-priced websites sell dresses made of cheap, low-quality materials.
Another tip when shopping online is to measure your size before ordering. The last thing you want to do is get the wrong size, leaving you with nothing to wear for your special night.

Moreover, some styles and designers take weeks to process orders, depending on availability and other factors. So, keep this in mind when shopping for your dress.
If you choose to shop in-store, research the stores closest to you or plan a trip to visit them.

Below are some tips for shopping for a prom dress in person:

  • Wear comfortable shoes. If you’re going to a mall or shopping center, you’ll probably be doing a lot of walking, so avoid wearing heels and go for some comfortable sneakers.

  • Wear an outfit that’s easy to change in and out of. This might include slip-on shoes, an outfit that easily goes on over your head, or leggings and a T-shirt. You’ll likely be trying on multiple dresses, so you need something that’s easy to get in and out of.

  • Wear a strapless bra. Going braless can help you get a better idea of the dress bodice and how it’ll look and fit on your body.
  • Pack a pair of heels for the fitting room. This will simply help you see how your attire looks with heels. You’ll also get a better idea of the height and length of your outfit.
  • Try on different styles, cuts, and colors. Don’t be afraid to have an open mind and even change your initial plan. Even though you might have a particular dress style in mind, you might come across a total game-changer that never crossed your mind before.

That’s the beauty of trying something different. You can find an outfit that looks better than you could have ever imagined.


Now that you have the perfect outfit picked out, it’s time to accessorize. When it comes to choosing clutches, heels, jewelry, and other accessories, keep the color and style of your chosen outfit in mind.

Whether you opt for a long, flowy dress or you’re going for a gorgeous number that hits above the knee, make sure you find the right accessories.
For example, if your attire screams glitz and glam, it might be best to go for simple accessories. Going too dramatic might take the attention away from your outfit. Plus, it could look downright tacky. So, diamond stud earrings, a classic clutch purse, and some stylish sling-back pumps can go perfectly with a dress that has lots of detail.

On the other hand, if your dress is a simple, solid-colored sheath, you can have a ball with the accessories. Sparkly earrings, lace-up strappy heels, and an embellished clutch purse can add a touch of drama to your overall look.

Get Ready for Prom

So, now you know what to wear for prom night. And you’re counting down the days until that night is finally here. But there are a few more things you should take care of first before you head out.

  • Decide who you’re going with. Have you decided who you’re going to prom with? If not, now’s the time. Whether you’re bringing a date, going solo, or partying with friends, it’s a good idea to have that in mind before the big day rolls around.

  • Make a hair and makeup appointment. In the weeks leading up to the big night, find a hairstylist and makeup artist to help you slay it on the dance floor.

  • Get your nails done. A prom look isn’t complete without a fresh new set of nails.

  • Make dinner plans. Make reservations at a nice restaurant to make your night even more special.


Enjoy Your Night To the Fullest

Proms are supposed to be magical and fun. Part of that is making the right preparations so that everything runs smoothly.

Need help finding the “the” dress for prom? Shop Amarra. We have a huge selection of dresses, which means you’re sure to find one just for you.

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