14 Alternatives to the Traditional Prom Dress
Your sense of style is straight-up #OOTD gold, so why should your prom look be anything but? Classic ball gowns and sequin-studded sheaths are standard fare for the biggest soiree of the year, but, girl, that’s just not your deal. And that’s totally okay. Ditch the expected prom dress for your big night out and embrace sleek spring jumpsuits, swishy skirts and toppers so shiny they’ll make the disco ball totes jealous. Prepare to make jaws drop the second you step out onto the dance floor — because yup, your getup is straight-up #goals.
1. ASOS Occasion Romper With Maxi Cape Detail ($81): Glide onto the dance floor in true diva fashion sporting a sophisticated romper with a show-stopping cape detail. Bring the drama with a bold red lip, sleek topknot and strappy statement sandals that are anything but short on ‘tude. Slay, girl, slay.
2. Zara Studio Trousers ($100): Sitting pretty just isn’t on your prom night agenda, which is exactly why you need a pair of fluid flares like these. Wear these party-ready pants with an embellished crop top and pointed-toe flats for a look that’s ready to tear it up.
3. Nasty Gal Wild Fire Maxi Skirt ($68): Skirts are the ultimate solution for the girl with a jam-packed social calendar (so many proms, so little time — *hair flip*). Whether you rock it with an embroidered body suit or a sequin-studded bralette, it won’t disappoint. Give this fiery number the glam treatment with dazzling drop earrings and a pair of ankle-strap stilettos.
4. Free People Starry Night Capelet ($298): Smoking jackets are the definition of chic, but if you’re after a look that totally flips the script on formal wear, this is the coverup you need in your closet. Beaded fringe and sparkle-studded embroidery lends everything from tailored trousers to streamlined skirts an instant ethereal feel. Amplify the celestial effect with a metallic smokey eye and glitter-flecked clutch for extra double taps.
5. For Love & Lemons Rosalita Crop Top ($194): Pull out all the bells and whistles with a romantic crop top that will inspire you to do less. Seriously. Do your best T-Swift by layering it over a structured satin maxi for a getup that is beyond glam and anything but overdone.
6. Anthropologie Embellished Tulle Midi Skirt ($288): So much YAS. You’ll have best dressed in the bag when you roll up in this flirty ballerina skirt and a contemporary sequined top — the boxier, the better. Take the ultra-femme bottom in an unexpected direction by busting out the amped-up ankle boots and a glitzy ear cuff with don’t-mess edge.
7. Mango Reversible Sequins Top ($46): Minimalists, rejoice! This sequin-studded top is the secret to pulling off a standout ensemble without betraying your no-frills style. No joke. Slip it in between modern suiting separates for an It-girl take on the traditional tuxedo. Menswear-inspired kicks are obligatory.
8. Nasty Gal Vegas Baby Sequin Halter Romper ($128): Enter the scene-stealing romper that’s ready to take your prom look by storm. In a sea of floor-length gowns and full-skirted frocks, this sassy number is sure to stand out. *Cue the compliments.* The daring open back and sparkling bodice can do no wrong, especially when you throw geometric earrings and a killer glittery sock and platform pump combo into the mix.
9. ASOS White Textured Satin Wide Leg Culottes ($114): Culottes aren’t just for off-duty chillin’ — this satin set is the key to a prom getup that will go down in history. Play off the idea of a swanky two-piece set by styling it alongside a silk cami with low-cut back and a shimmery statement necklace that’s sure to inspire many a Snapchat pic.
10. Johnathan Simkhai Cutout Crepe Jumpsuit ($625): Taking a sartorial risk doesn’t have to mean putting on the glitz. Paring down can have an equally jaw-dropping effect, and this effortless jumpsuit is proof. For a look that would make even the fashion elite green with envy, pair it with a high ponytail and architectural heels.
11. C/MEO Collective This Way Bustier ($160): Let’s be real — prom wear doesn’t have much of an afterlife. This modern bustier, on the other hand, has its sights set on your wardrobe’s inner circle. For the after party, layer a t-shirt underneath and swap out your jazzed-up skirt for boyfriend jeans to get a laid-back look that doesn’t mess around.
12. Rodarte & Other Stories Crushed Velvet Trousers ($125): Run, don’t walk, to snag these crushed velvet trousers for a prom ensemble that is so RN. Play up their ’90s-grunge spirit by pairing them with an of-the-moment choker and a slinky silver top that Kate Moss would swoon over.
13. Missguided Monochrome Lapel Tailored Blazer ($60): Donning a poufy dress to prom is a rite of passage: FALSE. Not on your watch. If you need a good reason to ditch the dress this year, consider this white-hot blazer it. Teamed with jacquard crop flares and metallic Oxfords, your getup is guaranteed to start a style revolution (or make every girl and guy in the room majorly jeals).
14. Nasty Gal Tiering Up My Heart Lace Skirt ($88): Bohemian romance, here you come. Tiers of fringe-flecked lace and delicate scalloped edging are the things dreams are made of. Make the dance floor your catwalk by dressing this ladylike number up with strappy block heels and gilded chandelier earrings with endless Baroque appeal.
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