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10 Prom Dresses That Will Look Great 10 Years from Today

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today
Written by Oana Schneider

Some of you are probably getting ready for prom or have a relative that is. If the guys can just rent a tuxedo and get away with it, girls have to make sure that the dress they are wearing is not just beautiful, but that it will also stand the test of time. How many of you look back to your prom dresses and can’t believe you actually spent money on something like that?

If you want to avoid the “What was I thinking?” moment, check out our article and find out which chances will look great 10 years from now!

But before we get to that, let’s establish what not to wear:

  • Animal print- under no circumstances should you look like a zebra or a cheetah on your prom. Also, you may want to cover your chest and hips to say the least, no matter how beautiful you are. You’re still underage, remember!
  • Platforms or crazy shoes- it’s a shame to go for something like that when you’re this young and beautiful! Choose a pair of shoes that look nice and elegant and 20 years from now, when you’ll look through your prom pictures, you won’t regret it!
  • Cutouts- you probably love them and honestly we do too, but they won’t stand the test of time. Unless they are very subtle, there is no way you are going to like the look a few years from now!
  • See through- you are a respectable young lady, not…something else. Try to show of as little skin as possible and please steer away from the nude/ lace combination.

1. Classy Jumpsuit

Let’s start with probably the least favorite look. For some reason, girls think that jumpsuits are not appropriate for a prom, but if you pair them with stylish shoes and a cute clutch, you’ll look edgy, yet elegant. Plus, jumpsuits have been around for a really long time, which means that decades from now, when your kids will check out your prom pictures, they will know what you were wearing.

Needless to say that there are many Hollywood celebrities who are ditching the dresses for comfortable, chic jumpsuits. Here are a few ideas for you:

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

2. Short and Sweet

If you are a girly girl, a short and sweet dress is the way to go. We know that retailers would just jump through hoops just to sell their products, which is why a lot of them are covered in beads, metallic buttons, ruffles and so on. Be smart and go for something simple and colorful that will bring out your skin complexion and the color of your eyes. Plus, if you have nice legs and want to show them off, go for a tulle dress and accessorize it with statement earrings, no necklace or bracelets.

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

3. Long and Elegant

Most girls go for a long body-fitted dress, thinking that they can’t go wrong, when the truth is: you have to try on many options before really knowing what flatters your body. The good thing about long dresses is that, no matter your body type, it will make you look taller and a lot more elegant.

There are a few rules when going for this kind of dress: avoid excessive embellishments, as little see-through as possible, no deep cut cleavages and make sure the dress is really your size: if it’s too small, you might show more than you wanted, and if it’s too big it will look like it’s eating you up.  Here are a few ideas that will never age or look bad years from today:

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

4. Glitter

If there is a good time to wear glitter, then that time is prom. You will sparkle, get everyone’s attention without having to reveal anything. Plus, you can buy the fabric online, on fabric.com and have it custom made if the store version is too expensive for you. Here are a few rules you should keep in mind when going for a glittery dress: if you’re choosing sleeves, make sure the skirt is above your knees. If the skirt is long, go for strapless or sleeveless.

Plus, you don’t need any other embellishments or cut-outs to look sophisticated. It seems that people tend to stay away from sequin lately, thinking that it’s too much, when the truth is that many Hollywood celebs are choosing this fabric for the red carpet. If you don’t want to look like there’s too much going on in your outfit, let the dress shine and choose small earrings and a simple, nude pair of shoes. Everything else you’re wearing should pretty much be neutral.

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

5. Monochrome

Sure, there are many girls who like shapes, colors and patterns all in one dress, but that doesn’t mean it’s a wise choice too. You can never fail if you choose a one-color dress and here’s why: it will really accentuate the color of your eyes, make you look taller, add some sophistication to your overall look and work as a statement-dress.

Plus, you can go crazy with the jewelry: big earrings, necklaces, bracelets- anything goes! Not to mention that you’ll be able to reuse the dress on various other occasions. For someone who’s interested to save as money as possible, that’s quite something! These are our favorite options for one-color dress:

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

6. Tulle

Want to look like a fairy? Well, what you need is a tulle dress, but our advice is to choose something above the knee, otherwise you risk looking like a bride. Don’t think for a second that you don’t have the legs to pull off this look, because anything can be achieved with the right pair of stockings!

The most flattering colors for any kind of skin tone are: electric blue, soft pink, black and grey. Try not to choose bright yellow or light green, because they tend to fade away in pictures. Plus, if you choose grey or black, you can go for colorful accessories: grey works beautifully with pink and red, while black looks better when combined with yellow/gold or fuchsia.

10 Prom Dresses That Will Look Great 10 Years From Today

 

7. Lace

Lace is the evergreen of evening dresses and for good reason: it gives elegance, sophistication, a very retro kind of touch and it’s very wearable.

Whether you’ve chosen a short or a long dress, try to avoid white, beige, blush or ivory if you don’t want to look like a bride. Also, light colored lace makes you look older than your actual age, which means that you should probably choose something more colorful: purple for light skin tones and orange for darker skin tones.

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

8. Flirty Prints

Don’t be afraid of prints as long as they are not crazy: stay away from big shapes and go for a more subtle pattern: polka dots, small flowers, and even hearts if love is on your mind! Also, prints are very difficult to pair with the right accessories, which is why you should write this down: for complicated patterns, choose monochrome jewelry whose color can be found in the pattern.

Example: is your dress grey and white and yellow? Choose a pair of earrings that are grey, yellow or white. This way, you will really make that color pop. Another rule: the shoes and clutch should be a neutral color.

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

9. Leather

Leather is an everlasting trend, so why not go for a leather dress? However, there are a few inconveniences: the leather will stick to your skin and the only way to take it off would be by using some baby powder. Oh, and you might sweat a lot as well. But other than that, you will definitely stand out, since few people will even think of this fabric.

In the past decade, more and more celebrities choose leather dresses and we have a few examples for you. The only rule is: don’t choose anything that’s too long and therefore heavy for obvious reasons! Other than that, you’re good to go and make waves!

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

10. Bandage Dresses

Some people say that bandage dresses are not made for everyone, but we beg to differ. In case you didn’t know, they are made of tiny strips of elastic fabric that will hide away your imperfections, which makes it the perfect dress, frankly. The only inconvenience is that you could look too mature and…provocative, but if you were going for this look anyway, the bandage dress is your new best friend.

How to accessorize it? A chic hairdo, smokey eyes, nude lips, bald cheekbones and small earrings. You can add hoop bracelets and wear a pair of high heels as long as none of these items take away from the beauty of the dress. In fact, here are our favorite examples:

10 prom dresses that will look great 10 years from today

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

25 Comments

  • Haha, I totally wore zebra print to my prom, but it was only on my top half. If I had the chance I probably wouldn’t repeat it… just glad it wasn’t the entire dress. Plus I remember seeing all of the what-not-to-wear suggestions at my prom, so I’d say I didn’t do too badly.

    I love the look and idea of the jumpsuit for prom. I always wondered if it would be too impractical for bathroom visits, but thinking back, it wouldn’t have been that much more impractical than a full dress. If I could go back in time, I’d be torn between that, a monochrome dress, or maybe a leather dress.

    • No comment on the zebra print. ;] Then again, that’s a pretty bold move to say the least! I go back and forth on jumpsuits, especially for prom. I’m not sure I’d like most women I know opting for a jumpsuit, but some ladies can pull them off without a problem.

      • Yeah, I definitely think it takes a certain type of woman to pull off a jumpsuit. And since most will tend to opt for dresses, I like the idea of shaking it up a bit with an unconventional choice. Plus some jumpsuits look pretty gamine, and that’s right up my alley these days.

    • Hehe don’t worry about the zebra print, as long as you had fun! Making fashion mistakes in the past can be a funny and fond memory. It’s like the good ol’ days when you were young and carefree 🙂

      • Haha, truth be told I still like zebra print. Just in smaller doses, and maybe not at a formal event. And my prom was super fun, so I agree, the memories are what count. Fashion learning experience and all 😉

  • Out of all these dresses, my favorite is the Long and Elegant types. I’m a person of modesty and prefer to see long and “elegant” types and I really like when they don’t show all of skin, not to offend anyone but I just love that when it’s publicly just modest. Good article though.

  • The dresses from numbers two and eight are great, although there aren’t many bad choices in the rest of the list either. I prefer shorter dresses, even though longer ones are a little more elegant in the right situation. Of course, it’s the ladies’ choice when it comes to what they’re going to wear for prom, and there are hundreds of great options out there.

  • We wrote this article because prom is just around the corner and also because looking up prom dresses online kinda made us jaw-drop. It’s amazing what retailers advertise as prom dresses nowadays: cutouts of all kinds, racy outfits and so on. Hope someone out there read this article and had a sudden change of heart regarding her prom dress.

    • I’ve seen some of those other choices myself over the past few years and I just think, why not wear lingerie to the prom and be done with it? It would essentially be the same thing. I enjoyed the variety displayed here. There’s something to suit every style, and they’re all in good taste. If I had any teen acquaintances I’d definitely direct them to this post.

    • I’d say you created a pretty great list. I don’t mind when girls choose to wear more revealing prom dresses, but a classy dress still can’t be beaten as far as I’m concerned. I don’t have any major issues with the dresses on this list, and some of them are downright stunning, so I’d say you created a fantastic list of prom dresses that almost anyone can wear and look great in!

  • I love your suggestions … maybe except for the jumpsuits and leather dresses. Not saying they are bad, the celeb examples look great, but just not my taste. And it’s great to know that long dresses are good for short people. I am short and always feared long skirts and dresses would swallow me up or make me look stumpy. I felt like I wouldn’t have the height to make the long skirt look flowy and willowy. But I’ll take your advice and try it out and hope I can look taller! Anyways, great article. My favorite choice would be lace dresses. Lace is always so feminine and sexy and elegant at the same time.

  • I have always been a big fan of classic styles. My formals were made for me, so we had the ability to choose the style I wanted, whether or not it was really “in style” that year or not. I would still wear those dresses today if I had an event to go to that required it. To me they are timeless. My style will always be acceptable to me.

    • And there’s nothing wrong with going with your own style. If you stay true to yourself and your own tastes, then you really can’t go wrong. Well, unless your sense of style is just downright odd to every other person. Then something might be wrong! 😉 That’s pretty awesome that you basically got custom dresses, and something that has been made specifically for you is always special and unique.

  • Totally agree! I especially love the bandage dresses, they look great on everyone and really give a great figure. These styles look good now and they are timeless classics.

    • Oh yes; that’s what I really like about it as well. There is a kind of bandage dress where the sides are a darker color while the inside print / design is white or a lighter color and it gives a beautiful definition to any body type. Very slimming and timeless. Any girl would love that look.

  • Jump suits are extremely hard if you don’t have the body type for a jump suit. The Tulle is actually really generic as well. Glitter is never a good idea to bring to prom.

    The best ones in here are the dresses with flirty prints. I wish Oana could have used a nice picture of Ariana Grande as an example, I think that would inspire a lot of young girls to want to dress like that.

    Remember a crop top with high waist pants will fit any body type. It doesn’t matter if your chubby or skinny that classic look will always give you that flirty, sexy, and fun edge that every teenage girl needs at her prom.

  • Personally, apart from a handful of dresses, I would be hard pressed to find a girl from my town wearing one of the styles shown at her prom (graduation would be what it would be for where I am from). It is the biggest dress up day in a girl’s life outside of her wedding day, so choice of dress is all important. I am glad that there are sites like this to explore different options without having to travel out of town to get ideas, because in a smaller city like this one, options and choices are few. From the article you can get a good idea of current styles and prices. One thing I didn’t like though, was though you talk about being able to wear certain dresses regardless of body type, you don’t show any girls with anything but tall slender bodies. How can a heavier girl see what she might look like in some of the styles? Or a girl that has an apple or pear shaped body? Its one thing to talk about what to and what not to wear but seeing is believing,
    Only the tulle dresses and maybe the long dresses with the larger patterns really said prom to me, that and there was one or two in the long flowing dress category and maybe one or two out of the sequined. I suppose if a girl is comfortable with it, an attractive, elegant jumpsuit isn’t a bad choice. At my first wedding my maid of honor wore a pale yellow jumpsuit because she found it difficult to find an appropriate dress in yellow. Admittedly, the jumpsuit probably looked better than a lot of the dresses she could have found and it turned out to be really versatile, she wore it for years afterwards for all sorts of things.
    But practicality aside, your graduation dress is a one of a kind, one shot only sort of thing. I think you should go for it on this dress and if you want to save money, a year or two after the event you can re-invent the dress by making it a little less ballgown and little more everyday chic.

  • I love lace, so I’m glad to see it made your list! Lace can be so hard to use for finding the perfect dress, though. Do you have any suggestions for lace dresses that work well for lots of body types?

    • Hi, Veronica! Pretty much anyone can wear a knee-length babydoll lace dress, no matter the body type, weight or height. I own a few of them myself and I absolutely love them! If you want to go bald, choose a vibrant color like electric indigo or hot pink!
      Oana Schneider recently posted…10 Great Ways to Save Money for Black Friday Deals

  • I am in love with long, flowing gowns, especially for prom! I’m actually rather short, but I think it is a misconception that short girls don’t look good in long dresses.If you pair them nicely with taller heels, you’ll look great! I think a structured jumpsuit is a strong, yet graceful alternative to a dress for prom, because it is still very classy, but creates a powerful-looking persona for whoever wears them. I can’t say I totally agree on the leather dresses for prom, but I think I’d have to see it in person, because I’m sure there are people who would look amazing in one. What was your favorite style on the list?

  • Hi,
    i really, appreciate your thinking and your tips for prom dresses.You gave tips for all the dresses and the way to look beautiful with these dresses.You change the thinking of all the people who thoughts that some dresses are maid for some special figures and i really like your 1 tip it is awesome.

    thank for share.

  • Hi Oana,

    As every girl wishes to look alluring in the prom night, for that they search the best prom dress that looks different and classy from others. I would recommend the “Tulle” because most of the girls wish to look like fairy and to fulfill their wish they would definitely prefer the tulle. Quite helpful blog 🙂

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