Dare to be different.
Let go of your fashion inhibitions. We don't mean wearing something that's going to land you on the worst-dressed list, but we do suggest branching out from the mainstream looks that will dominate the dance floor. Rather than hitting the mall and grabbing the first frock you find, check out independent shops and vintage stores for pieces with panache.
Up the ante with accessories.
Whatever dress you end up buying can be spiced up with an arsenal of accessories. Accessorizing strategically -- without overdoing -- can kick a neutral look up a few notches. Think about adding a metallic belt to your cream-colored mini, an armload of bangles to your multicolored maxi dress, or edgy ankle boots to your cocktail frock.
Create an inspiration board.
If you're really stumped on what to wear to prom, keep track of the styles that inspire you so you can reference them before you shop. Go the old-fashioned route and cut out looks you love from magazines; glue them into a mid-size notebook, which you can then tote around from store to store. Or stay in the digital age with an app such as Evernote that lets you snap pictures, write notes, bookmark items online or grab a screenshot to access from your phone or computer. The more ideas you soak up and keep on hand, the easier it will be to come up with a great look you can call your own.
Don't go with the obvious.
There's going with what works, and then there's going with what's safe. Just because a certain style looks great on you doesn't mean other options won't. Grab your girlfriends and start trying on dresses you'd normally not consider. Now is the time to experiment with items you've never tried. You won't love everything, and not everything will look good on you, but this exercise will help you branch out.
Have fun with your look.
Having fun with your look is the most important step in pulling together a statement-making outfit for prom. When you take yourself -- and fashion -- too seriously, you risk getting so caught up in achieving perfection that you forget about your personality. And that personality is the very basis for your unique and unforgettable prom night look. The more fun you have trying on outfits, experimenting with new makeup looks and hashing out potential hairstyles with friends, the more successful your style choices will be.
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