It all starts with the dress. Once you've decided on one, everything else -- makeup, hair and accessories -- will fall into place. Here's what to consider when shopping for your prom dress:
Prom dress length: Do you want to go long or short? A long dress falls on the formal side, while a short dress is more flirty and playful.
Prom dress color: Consider what flatters your skin tone. Try on lots of colors to see what makes you glow. Also think about the statement you want to make -- bold and brash, fun and flirty, or elegant and feminine. Some on-trend hues for this year include white, pretty pastels and metallics.
Prom dress style: The choices are many: empire waist versus drop waist, square neckline versus V-neck, strapless versus spaghetti straps... You get the idea. Before you launch into a prom-induced panic, think about what looks best on you. If you have narrow shoulders and a small bust, a square neckline can give the illusion of a fuller chest. If you have toned arms from all that volleyball practice, show them off with thin straps, or go strapless.
Prom dress theme: Do you want something modern and metallic or vintage and boho-chic? The theme you choose will say a lot about your personality. Trends to consider this year include romantic (think flowing, gauzy whites, lace and longer looks), vintage-inspired (beaded and fringed frocks, A-line dresses and shorter looks) and rock and roll (blacks, metallics and statement-making makeup).
Once you've chosen a dress, you can move on to shoes and accessories. Heels versus flats is the biggest choice you'll have to make. We understand the desire for height, but remember that you will be dancing all night long. Do you want to end up with blisters? Think about trading sky-high heels for a pair of flirty flats to avoid dancefloor pain.
Even if you don't normally wear jewelry, this is prom; sparkle and bling are essential. Your accessories should complement your overall look and theme, but they don't need to match. Going glam? A large cocktail ring and shimmery earrings are perfect. Feeling the vintage vibe? Opt for a tangle of bangles and some hoops in your ears. No matter your dress and theme, you need a clutch to match -- nothing too cumbersome, roomy enough for essentials such as gloss, gum, powder or oil-blotting papers and your phone.
Don't make the same mistake these people did with their prom style disasters.
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