Shopping for Prom

When I look back at my prom pictures, I would cringe at the horrible dress I chose, the lack of professional hair and make-up and mis-matched shoes! It was evident in the photographs that none of us seemed to dress our age preferring to force ourselves into long dresses and gowns in an attempt to suit the occasion.

Maybe in this time and age,  it doesn’t happen anymore, because girls now have greater access to fashion and styling tips from magazines, blogs and websites. Besides, there’s always Photoshop. 🙂

Still, just in case anyone is interested to hear some tips from someone who’s been through that phase, here goes:

Tip 1: Dress like your age and body type.

When you’re 19, and your body is not quite developed as a woman yet, don’t try to seek inspiration from models or actresses who are much older. What looks good on Heidi Klum or Charlize Theron may not look good on you. Think Natalie Portman, Sienna Miller or Keira Knightley. If it’s something they would wear, chances are it’s right for your age.

Tip 2: Don’t piece your whole look from one shop

This is just to avoid a clash of outfit. It can be quite embarrassing to turn up in the same outfit, unless of course it was choreographed on purpose.

Tip 3: Don’t choose an all-white outfit

You don’t want to look like it’s your wedding. Besides, it’s also for practical reasons. The princess look is perfect for MTVs but trust me, you’ll cry if you get a stain on your dress. It’ll always haunt you in the pictures for years to come.

Tip 4: Do not pile on too much make-up

You’re still young, you don’t really need all that make-up. Make sure you choose the right shade of foundation, accentuate the eyes and you’re ready to go. Remember most pictures you take that night are going to require flash, so you don’t want to look like you forgot to get out of your Halloween make-up. Keep your hair simple. It’s not a hair show, so you don’t want to go overboard.

Here are some suggestions for picking out your outfit:

1. Colours



Being young has its advantages. You can wear colours without worrying about looking like you work at the circus. Short dresses are youthful and the shape of this dress gives you nice curves if you have a relatively straight body structure.

2. Ruffles



Ruffles are sweet and pretty. I like the idea of pairing a feminine frock with a studded clutch and a pair of cut-out heels. Adds a bit of ruggedness to an otherwise girlish image. Perfect if you want to let your long hair down naturally like this model. It’s all about being effortless.

3. Sequins



Sequins are in this season, but an entire dress made of sequins is almost going out of fashion soon and can easily make you look mature. This dress has a beautiful sequined bow at the back that creates a sexy silhouette. Pair it with a pair of strappy heels and a hard clutch.

4. Low-back



I don’t advocate cleavage-baring dresses for 19-year-olds. Not that I’m a prude, but I just feel that you’ll get your chance later on in life. A low back dress on the other hand has the same “wow” effect. This is a very 80s look, so do make sure the hair and make-up is simple, otherwise, you’d like you were trapped in a different era when you look back at your prom pictures. I am very much for black leggings with ankle boots. I don’t like open-heels or shoes other than black, with leggings because I find that it draws unnecessary attention to the feet. You want the focus to be on your face, not your feet.

Now have fun shopping and enjoy your Prom Night!

26 responses to “Shopping for Prom

  1. Cool post, Joanne 🙂 it helps, especially teenage girls, alot 😀

  2. hi joanne, outfit 1 the blue bag where can i get it? haha. also from asos? thanks!

    awesome post. 🙂

  3. wow, haha. i was thinking of a white dress for my own prom. i’m having second thoughts now.. should i? should i not? it wasn’t just this. i broke more than one DONT rules of yours ! haha.

  4. hey joanne. i was wondering, if you know any places to buy prom dresses as affordable prices for teens? thanks

  5. yap lor somethings cannot be force to wear, we shld wear accordingly to our age, we shld know our limits. I m leaving spore for the time being , u take care gorgeous. I never regret joining yr fan club coz i had fun. BYE.

  6. Hi Joanne, I watched Little Nyonya recently and just discovered your blog from Xiaxue’s blog. I think you did really well in Little Nyonya. And, interesting blog as well, very well written. 🙂


  7. Is white ruffles dress with black heels and clutch suitable for prom? My outfit is like the 2nd outfit but the dress in white with drapes instead of ruffles.

  8. Probably you should visit the below website.
    Diane Kruger has an astute taste,and you will definitely like it. She can be seen wearing Balenciaga,Herve Leger,Fendi,Opening Ceremony&Jason Wu.
    Enjoy reading the lengthy posts.It’s worth the read. *winking smile*

  9. Thanks joanne for those tips! It really does help for teenage girls like me (:

    Supporting u always!

  10. Joanne, go and ask Zoe Tay for advice. Zoe is so expert in choosing her dress for most of the Award engagement.

    Although the contestants are all quite strong in the ATV Awards but everyone must go there with an expectation to win. This mentality will affect your mood, your choices of dress and many others stuffs.
    Well, I still want to bless you for being selected for the ATV Awards.

    Don’t you like the hairstyle in YHIM as Youqing, the most aspiring lawyer.

  11. Hi Joanne, Your advice on shopping for prom is very well written and I hope more young readers are reading this. Most teenagers thought that wearing formal means showing cleavage and bare shoulders and worst, getting a shawl wrap around their bare shoulder…what a fashion faux pas! It is always nice to see young people wearing something funky and creative instead.

    • Hi Lily,

      Oh yes, the shawl! Drop the shawl girls, that’s not your age! If you’re cold, don’t wear a dress, wear a suit instead. If you still want to wear a dress, let it be something u can pair with tights, stockings or other hosiery. That helps keep you warm. Besides, I would think u’d be running around table to table taking photos at a prom, that should be warm enough!

      Otherwise, just bear it out for the night. Yes, looking pretty comes at a price! 😉


    • Hi Lily, before you think of yourself as an authority on your peers’ fashion sense, I first suggest you work on your grammar.

  12. i love this post!!!!!!! even when i’ve passed my age for prom! gee=)

  13. Hi, do you know where i can find pretty prom dresses at a reasonable price? cos i like to try it on first before buying, since i’m rather skinny 🙂

  14. Pingback: Shopping for Prom « OQ China

  15. Hi Joanne,

    Nice and very good post u have written, u sure have your own style.

    Can i add on my 2 cents worth.

    Alot of girls like to buy nice n beautiful clothes but not all will look nice on them.
    Once heard a famous stylist say “Don’t be a hanger of what u buy!”

    Alot would have a misconcept that Nice Clothes/designers will definately look good on them thats not neccassary from what i observed.

    The best will be buy clothes that look good on them when they wear it. The clothes may not look like the best or designer stuff and look normal but when some wear them they turn out to be center of attraction. Just like you lor! lol…

    Maybe u could show us how u bring out the class in normal clothes.


  16. hi joanne, i feel you are very healthy looking & gorgeous, keep it up! =) and this article is very useful. thks!

  17. I think what you’ve written is very informative especially since we know what a dilemma prom can cause!
    Joanne, I wonder if you have any health/diet tips that you are willing to share with us, I will appreciate it greatly!

  18. o love the outfits selected. but the 4th outfit … for prom? really? :p

  19. I’m absolutely bored (don’t mind me), hehe so anyways, here a piece of my mind: honestly, i didnt even wear make-up for prom…not to mention, the only thing I specifically bought for prom are shoes and a cluth…i was totally anti-prom haha
    but leggings are, without a doubt(have to agree with Shirley), more anti-prom than me!!

  20. Hi Joanne, may i know where did you get/ who sponsored for your clothes as your role as You Qing in your hand in mine? Thanks.

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