In May 2014, a 17-year old girl in Richmond, Virginia was kicked out of her prom. Parents claimed her dress was too short and her dancing was too provocative and would lead to boys thinking impure thoughts. But the girl’s dress shouldn’t have been a problem—it was longer than her fingertips, per the school’s rules.
So how is it that even though she was wearing attire considered appropriate by school dress code standards, she was kicked out of her own prom? And why should she be held responsible for whatever the boys are thinking?
It’s unfair that many schools still put the burden on girls to cover up to instead of holding boys to a higher standard of respecting their female classmates. But in your search for the perfect prom dress, you should still abide by dress code regulations—however arbitrary, unjust, or outdated they may seem.
Before you start shopping, make sure you know your school’s dress code policy for prom. Nothing’s worse than falling in love with a gown only to realize it’s against the rules! Keep in mind that policies vary by school, so just because your best friend’s school has a more lenient code doesn’t mean your school won’t have stricter regulations.
So how do you play by the rules when you want to look hot? Try these tricks when you go shopping.
Go for skim, not skin.
You don’t have to expose your shape to show it off; many long prom dresses naturally define your figure. Look for an evening dress or mermaid prom dress with a slim, body-skimming silhouette. If a full skirt is more your style, shop for A-line prom dresses. You’ll get a similar look to a ball gown without all the body-obscuring volume.
Color inside the lines.
The style of your dress isn’t the only thing that can be sexy. Bold colors can also add drama. Red prom dresses
Never underestimate the power of a few strategically placed sequins. Finding a dress with a little glitter can keep you covered up while highlighting your curves. There are plenty of unique prom dresses that dazzle the eye with embellishments along the bust line or a dramatic open back. If you really want to define your figure, an all-over sequined prom dress will guarantee you shine in the spotlight.
Don’t agonize; accessorize.
So your dress can’t be “too sexy” – no one said anything about the rest of your look. Pump up the volume of your hair or slick it back to reveal a slender neck. Sport a smoky shadow to draw them in with your eyes, or make pouty lips pop in a bright shade of red or coral. Strappy heels and stilettos have major appeal, or play peekaboo with an open toe. Your makeup, shoes, and jewelry can let your inner vixen come out to play without giving school officials (or your dad) a heart attack.
No matter what kind of dress you choose or how strict your parents or school dress code may be, you can still show up at prom looking sexy. The secret is remembering what makes you unique—because the confidence you bring to whatever you’re wearing is alluring all on its own.