Look your best on prom night with these tips

By Erika Ostroff


As the end of the school year is inching to its end, the hype of prom is just beginning. To avoid those last-minute, dress-ripping, flower-rotting nightmares, consider these tips to help create a seamless and fashionable prom night.


Shopping for a prom dress can be overwhelming. With numerous colors and a wide selection of styles, it is often hard to pick one.

First, figure out what kind of overall look you’re going for.

If you want a glamorous, Oscar-worthy look, a ball gown is a must. For a more playful look, go for a tea-length dress. Tea-length dresses allow for a slight peek of the leg and come in various styles: bubble, empire waist and straight cut.

Finally, for a simple and classic look, consider every girl’s most prized possession: the Little Black Dress.

If you want an edgier look, Rhonda Brown, a fashion representative for Bloomingdale’s, suggests throwing on a leather jacket or big, bold jewelry over your dress.


Suits come in a wide variety of styles, ranging from the classic cut to long coats, pinstripes or solids. For the classic prom look, it is customary to match your vest, tie or bow tie with the color of your date’s dress.

Coordination is not a strict must, but if done well, yields a perfectly stylish couple. Remember not to go overboard, as a little color goes a long way. To be dressed for the queen, make sure your pants meet the floor and your tie is the proper length. Also, stick to black socks. Nobody wants to see white tube socks peeking out from under your pants.


Stilettos, pumps, wedges and straps - the list goes on. Depending on the dress, shoes can make or break an outfit.

For a long dress, comfort outweighs style because only the tips of the shoes will show.

For short dresses, however, shoes tie the outfit together. Keep in mind that although you want to look presentable, hours of pictures, dancing and socializing require a great amount of standing.

Most importantly, it is crucial to wear shoes that fit. Too small of shoes can result in the ultimate prom night mishap ending in blisters, sores or cuts. Unless you want accessorize your outfit with Band-Aids, make sure your shoes aren’t too tight or loose. And while you’d like to live out your perfect “Cinderella” story on prom night, losing a shoe that’s too big will not yield a fairy-tale ending.

For the guys, it is time to ditch the Vans, Etnies and Converse (pairing those with a suit is so 2004). Sport some chic, formal kicks. A classic black loafer adds to a sharp look.


Prom is the one night to wow the crowd with a new look. What better way to switch up the rhythm of your life than with a different hairstyle? If you usually sport a curly-do, try straightening your hair for a smoothed appearance. If you usually have straight hair, grace the dance floor with waves or curls.

Target styles that complement the shape of your face and do not compete with your dress.

For boys, you can never go wrong with a clean-cut look. Whether it is slickly gelled back or brushed to the side, make sure there are no stragglers getting in the way of the camera.

La Jolla hairstylist Mark Dearinger of Dearinger Salon La Jolla suggests gracing prom in a more natural fashion.

“Prom night is the night to stand out and carry an original look rather than an outdated look full of hair spray,” Dearinger said.


An even base of makeup is most important for girls. For those who are leaning toward a more delicate approach, bronze, pink, gold and silver hues complement the natural tones of skin. For the lips, a light pink gloss creates a soft look. For those who wish to make a statement with their makeup, a colorful eyeliner or red lipstick (think Lauren Conrad on the yacht in “The Hills” Season Five opener) is key to wowing the crowd.


Since April showers bring May flowers, there is an abundance of freshly bloomed flowers to choose from for the perfect corsage. Roses, chrysanthemums and orchids are among the most popular choices.

Erika Ostroff is a junior at La Jolla High School.

Prom dates

-Canyon Crest Academy: May 23

-Cathedral Catholic: May 9

-La Jolla Country Day School: May 16

-La Jolla High School: May 29

-San Diego Jewish Academy: June 6

-Santa Fe Christian: May 16

-Torrey Pines High School: May 9