You shall go to the ball
Let's face it, who really wants to spend money on renting a prom dress, when you can find one on the high street, that's just as pretty, won't break the bank, and more importantly, that you can wear again.
Now we know prom automatically brings pink, puffy dresses to mind, but don't worry, you don't really have to look like you've just stepped out of a teen movie (unless your school has a ridiculous dress code).
The main thing to keep in mind is, there are no rules when it comes to prom, and if you're looking for ideas, just take inspiration from the high street.
This season, it's all about sheer, embellished dresses, so go girly with a beaded nude number, or for a bolder look, pick a black dress teamed with biker boots and a leather jacket.
For something a little more laid back, try a style that's more bohemian, like a maxi with trumpet sleeves or a floral print. You'll never go wrong with a little black dress, but we think a ball is the perfect time to inject a bit more colour to your wardrobe. You'll be happy (or not) to hear neon is back, but if that's too much for you, try colour-blocking instead.
Of course, there's really no shame in going old school if you fancy. A pastel off-the-shoulder style or midi-length tulle skirt will never go out of style.
Accessories-wise, we recommend letting the dress do all the talking and keeping it to a minimum. Think minimalist heels, delicate jewellery, or perhaps just a pair of statement earrings. A sleek ponytail adorned with a bow will work well with intricate dresses, but for the simpler ones, messy waves are a great option too. Scroll down for our edit of the best prom dresses on the high street and online, available to buy now. If your heart's still set on something a little pricier, it's worth giving our edit of the best Black Friday dresses a look - you never know which designers are going to show up.
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Video you may like:
MAIYET silk blend dress
Who says you have to go puffy for prom? We love this simple pink dress, which taps into the 90s trend perfectly.
Littlewoods Bardot maxi dress
We love the bohemian feel of this dress, and it’ll be great for your next holiday too.
Oasis tulle midi dress
You can never go wrong with black, especially when there is tulle involved.
Shop now: Tulle midi dress for £90 from Oasis
ASOS SALON bandeau dress
For something a little more summery, look no further than this bold stroke dress, best paired with metallic mules.
Zara embroidered tulle dress
Toughen this up with some biker boots and a leather jacket.
V by Very floral jacquard dress
If you’re after a traditional prom dress, this is it.
New Look grey mesh dress
Hark back to the 50s with this sweet prom dress.
Shop now: Grey mesh dress for £27 from New Look
Mango floral ruffled dress
Just add a swipe of red lipstick.
Miss Selfridge embroidered maxi dress
Go for a vintage look by teaming this lovely embroidered number with gold heels.
Pinko faux leather dress
Embrace the 80s trend revival with this faux leather dress, and tone it down with some simple black heels.
Shop now: Faux leather dress for £433 from Pinko
H&M patterned silk dress
This dress features all the trends we need for spring, from the flared cuffs to the floral print and back slit.
Topshop midi dress
We love the subtle jacquard print and pale pink hue.
Shop now: Topshop midi dress for £59 from Topshop
Needle & Thread Coppelia dress
If you’re a romantic at heart, a tulle skirt is the way forward.
Littlewoods ruffle dress
The elegant black bow details stop this dress from looking too twee.
Shop now: Ruffle dress for £60 from Littlewoods
Warehouse pansy silk dress
Prom is the perfect occasion to embrace the neon trend (again).
Shop now: Pansy silk dress for £89 from Warehouse
Georgia Hardinge gold dress
Make an entrance in this gold pleated number.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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