Why do we obsess so much over prom? For months in advance, we plan out our attire, coordinate color schemes with friends and dates, and scour the Internet for the best advice about long-lasting makeup and how to fasten a corsage. It's like the stress of the SATs all over again. But why all this effort for one dance?
Prom is a rite of passage, bringing us one step closer to adulthood. It's a highly anticipated, magical evening of high heels and bow ties with the people we’re more used to seeing in school hallways than in dance halls. One of the best parts about completing high school is leaving behind all the rules, and prom marks the beginning of that adventure. This is the source of its magic. There are no bells ordering you to move from one activity to the next. There are no teachers, and there certainly isn’t anyone grading your performance on the dance floor. Tonight is a celebration. It’s about being with your friends — the people who have helped you make it this far. Tonight, you’re free.
So who says you’ve got to stick the sartorial standards that restrict the possibility for creative freedom when it comes to your outfit? We’ve all seen the movies reproducing the idea that there's some kind of social code dictating how this night should be. And even though we love "Pretty in Pink" just as much as the next person, we’re here to show you that you can step outside the lines (editor's note: major props to Andie Walsh though, whose quintessential '80s, polka-dot-and-lace number was in fact her own creation). After all, the ultimate celebration of you is being comfortable in your own skin. Don’t want to wear a dress? There’s no Official Prom Rule Book that says you have to. Want to ditch the heels and get weird on the dance floor? Shimmy away those memories of 5th period chem lab in a pair of loafers.
Welcome to our Alternative Prom Issue, where there are no rules. Our team of editors and stylists have assembled eight looks ranging from romantic to modern, from breezy to bold. We styled some skirts as tops, and we loved the idea of rolling up to your pre-prom party in a jumpsuit or pants. We found rings shaped like cakes, and a cheetah-print power suit which proves dances are not just for girly girls. So scroll through our editorial to get inspired, and shop the looks at the end to ensure your look will be unique.
Editorial Director: Amanda Randone
Associate Director: Thus Noumong
Photographer: Marwen Farhat
Model: Sophia Dunn-Walker
Stylist: Marina Manesi
Makeup Artist: Dara Senders
Shop the looks from this editorial for your own alternative prom look: