Just when you thought that you’d left your awkward teenage years behind for good, the latest crop of prom dresses is bringing back all the feels. In fact, they’re so good, you just might be tempted to snag one for yourself. Between swoon-inducing tulle skirts and debutante-inspired ball gowns in every color of the rainbow, there’s no shortage of look-at-me Carrie Bradshaw-esque dresses to go around. In stark comparison to the cringe-worthy prom dress that you may or may not still regret to this very day, these 23 frocks are guaranteed to fit the bill come springtime. With RSVPs to spring weddings already in the mail and hostessing duties to attend to, you’re going to need one (or all) of these prom-like dresses on standby. You’re welcome.
1. Ted Baker LYXA Cut-Out Midi Dress ($369): This fuchsia fit-and-flare gown is practically made for a princess (or a prom queen) in training. But don’t be mistaken — you could just as easily wear it for a spring gala with metallic steppers and a romantic updo.
2. ASOS Bandeau Floral Midi Prom Dress With Bow ($128): Say bye-bye to any tacky and unsightly prom dresses from your past, and hello to this fun floral frock that’s almost making us wish we were 16 again. Wear this garden party-ready strapless dress for endless spring vibes.
3. Reformation Francesca Dress ($488): Found it. Fit for a prom queen or urban sophisticate, this black lace wrap dress is a guaranteed head-turner. Let the dress do all the talking by streamlining your accessories in favor of a tiara and a sultry smokey eye.
4. Chi Chi London Plus Embroidered Halter Maxi Dress ($119): There’s something to be said about a blush pink tulle dress that you can wear for a romantic engagement shoot, a spring formal and beyond. Team this metallic embroidered number with a crystal headband for a little extra sparkle.
5. For Love and Lemon Juliet Maxi Dress ($365): Getting all gussied up for a fête does NOT have to mean sporting a full-length ball gown. Take a sartorial risk by embracing your bohemian side à la this beautiful printed maxi that could double for festival season. For a look that’s so RN, pair it with a high ponytail and suede mules.
6. Topshop Lace-Up Tulle Maxi Dress ($240): THAT back. We’re pretty sure we would redo prom in an instant if this mauve lace-up gown was in the equation. Keep it simple with chandelier earrings and barely there makeup for a flawless look that could double for a fancy banquet or wedding reception.
7. Lucy Paris Masquerade Shift Dress ($150): Now, here’s a party dress with major personality and sass. Hit the dance floor (or a Vegas-themed bachelorette party) in style by pairing this playful sequin number with lace-up ghillies and a black satin blazer.
8. Chi Chi London Midi Prom Dress in Allover Floral ($99): Get ready to pull out all the stops in this ultra-sophisticated floral midi dress that’s definitely worth a twirl (or two). Class it up with a minaudiere clutch, some pearl studs and a timeless topper for an evening soiree.
9. Missguided Do It Any Way Multiway Slinky Maxi Dress ($43): There’s nothing better than a convertible dress that’s designed to be worn a million and one ways. Case in point: This gorgeous lilac maxi has straps that can be transformed into a halter neck, tied around your waist or — our favorite — twisted to perfection to form a Grecian back.
10. Boohoo Anouk Floral Chiffon Wrap Maxi Dress ($44): Boho babes, rejoice! Team this enchanting floral chiffon maxi with a body chain and metallic Birks for a spring getaway or a seaside wedding. A flower crown is obligatory.
11. Free People Velvet Bodice Gown ($350): When the theme for prom is black tie only, THIS is the DDG gown that you show up in. Between the black velvet bodice and the dreamy tulle skirt, rest assured it doesn’t get much more elegant than this. Toughen up your look with some pointed ankle booties and a fierce ear cuff for an after-hours affair.
12. Free People Sail Away Dress ($249): When full-on ball gowns just aren’t cutting it, opt for this ethereal mint maxi that’s practically fit for a goddess. Ditch the heels for a free-wheelin’ pair of gladiators, and rock some beach waves for an understated look worthy of any spring function.
13. BCBGMAXAZRIA Avalon Sheer Cutout Gown ($498): What’s sheer and blush and pink all over? All signs point to this ballerina pink floor-sweeping gown worthy of a formal dinner party or an opera. The cutout back and ruffled tulle can do no wrong, especially when you throw some sparkly heels into the mix.
14. Nasty Gal Sweetheart Beat Lace Dress ($75): So much YAS. There’s no doubt about it — you will straight-up slay in this little white lace number that, dare we say it, might even be a little too risqué for junior prom. Either way, the lingerie-esque style would be perfect for an anniversary dinner with bae.
15. Kate Spade Double Bow Back Dress ($448): Show off your girly side in this bow-tastic Barbie pink frock that can be admired up close and from the dance floor. While this charming LPD (little pink dress) is fit for prom, or even a sweet sixteen shindig, it’s equally perfect for the hostess with the mostess.
16. AQUA Two-Piece Satin Gown ($268): This coral two-piece gown has T-Swift written all over it — just throw in a bright pink pout, and it’s a done deal. The punchy color blocking, teamed with a contemporary silhouette, is equal parts edgy and glam without feeling overdone.
17. Forever 21 Ruffled Chiffon Maxi Dress ($30): Easy-breezy and spring-y is the name of the sartorial game this season. This pretty ruffled maxi in an uplifting shade of yellow not only has major prom potential, but would also be perfect for a spring shower or Easter weekend too.
18. The Jet Set Diaries Chameleon Twist Dress ($198): We spy the quintessential teal Grecian gown for an upcoming spring wedding. Whether you’re attending as a plus one or are serving as your best friend’s bridesmaid, this stunner with a high neck and daring slit won’t disappoint.
19. True Decadence Mini Prom Dress in Allover Floral With High Low Hem ($102): Fact: A dramatic high-low hemline will always do you right. Once the temps warm up, you’ll be tempted to wear this floral dress to Sunday brunch, your sister’s graduation — you name it.
20. Reformation Mezzanine Dress ($198): Attention-grabbing shade of olive green. Check. Plunging neckline with red carpet appeal. Double check. Not for the overly modest, this revealing silk wrap dress has GNO written all over it. Just add some black platforms and a bold red lip for a #girlboss ‘tude.
21. A Star Is Born Luxe Plunge Front Full Tulle Prom Maxi Dress With Embellishment ($356): Nude dresses can sometimes read meh, but not this one. Not to mention the floor-grazing tulle and yellow embroidery, which add visual interest to an already scene-stealing dress. *Adds to cart.*
22. Fame and Partners Tulle Belle ($299): This customizable two-piece ball gown is a shoo-in for all modern-day Cinderellas. Style the light blue tulle skirt and cropped tee with anything from combat boots (and an edgy choker to match!) to clear slippers for an entrance-making look.
23. Loyd/Ford Strapless Ballerina Dress ($1,390): Dreams do come true. While this minty tulle dress is more than a little splurge-worthy, it’s as close to prom perfection as you can get. Whether you’re a non-traditional bride seeking a colorful wedding dress or really do have a spring gala up your sleeve, this showstopper can be styled with white satin bow pumps for a to-die-for look.
Which of these prom-inspired dresses would you wear? Follow us on Pinterest for more colorful style inspo.
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