What Not to Wear to Prom

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Choosing the right clothing for prom is an important part of the event.
Choosing the right clothing for prom is an important part of the event. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Going to your senior prom can be a positive, lasting school memory. While personal preference should play an important role in what you choose to wear to your prom (no one can tell you what to wear), there are guidelines that can help you choose an outfit for your prom that will help ensure you look good without standing out in a negative fashion.

Dress and Suit Types

Prom dresses are typically elegant, but should also be comfortable and light on elements that are consider "poofy." For girls, long dress and short dresses are acceptable, but avoid wearing miniskirts. For guys, avoid the tuxedo and opt for a dress shirt, light suit jacket and slacks. Avoid matching your outfit with your best friend. This may show your connection to one another, but it takes away from your individuality.

Dress and Suit Colors

While you should always choose a color for your dress that complements your skin tone, certain colors are almost always unacceptable at a prom. Bright, or loud, colors are typically out. This includes neon colors. Bright yellow is a color that generally doesn't work with the type of fancy dress you might wear to a prom. Maroon, white, dark blue or green, tan or cream and black are colors that are more appropriate and tend to complement prom guests. These same color schemes apply to guys and their suits.

Footwear and Jewelry

For ladies, high heels can be acceptable, but wearing very high heels isn't recommended. The prom means dancing. Avoid stiletto heels. Other footwear to avoid includes combat boots and sneakers. Jewelry is acceptable, but avoid nose rings or any jewelry that will flop around a great deal.

Fashion Faux Pas

While being who you are is always an acceptable way to live your life, a prom isn't the place for jeans, sneakers or combat fatigues. It's debatable whether you should be allowed to dress the way you always dress for a prom, but if you do, you risk being ostracized. Your senior prom is once in a lifetime, so consider changing your preferred mode of dress to suit the situation. For ladies and men, avoid any revealing clothing (anything consider lewd by the standards of your school), and avoid dressing in costumes. Save those for Halloween.

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