Depending on where you are in the wonderful, wide world, you may or may not be preparing for the ball/dinner dance/prom season. As someone who has always had a keen eye on the fashion scene and a typical girly, girl, I always dreamt of the perfect prom. I want to dedicate this post to my sister, who is about to embark on the journey to her prom. Love you, Julia!
I absolutely loved my dinner dance! Here, in Australia, we call it a Dinner Dance (perhaps that would just be my school). I had huge expectations considering I had been dreaming about it for years, and while some were not met, the whole night was better than expected.
However, the experience is not only the night or the few hours before to get ready or when you begin to get pumped for the night. No, no, no. The experience starts months before with the oh-so crucial choice: finding the right dress.
Finding the right dress was very important for me. I had spent many a night procrastinating/doing extensive research deciding on the style, colour, neckline, accessories, fit, shoes and all the important details along with the outfit. While I had spent so much time and opted for a dark coloured dress with long sleeves, the day I went to a boutique I fell head over heels for a bright apple green dress with no sleeves and an open back. One of the perks of my dress was that I, inevitably, stood out in every photo, especially with the juxtaposition of the colour against my skin. I remember the day, I had walked into the boutique hoping to just try on dress to get a better idea of what I wanted and then I began to fall in love with the most unlikely of dresses.
Going into prom season? Warning: Expect Drama! Problems you didn’t even know could exist start to come into light and you don’t want anything to distract from your night!
From my experience, I tried to come up with 10 Tips to help you preparing for your prom. Everything from finding the perfect dress to hair and make-up decisions to dealing with drama!
1. Make a Pinterest board! Especially when searching for your perfect dress, creating a Pinterest board can help you see similar styles and colours and fits that you are drawn to. This could inspire you to either take your favourite aspects and create your own dress from scratch or to pigeonhole the styles of dresses that you are looking for when you go to boutiques. This is also a fantastic idea for planning hair and make-up ideas (easy to show your make-up and hair artist). [Check out mine! https://au.pinterest.com/plaidskirts/%5D
2. Avoid buying a dress online! There are so many things to be cautious of when buying online and the consequences do not amount to the stress or the value you have for finding the perfect dress. Con – you cannot try on the dress. While this seems obvious, personally I had searched over a few websites and while I thought I had found dresses that I had fell in love with, it was not until I saw myself, clad in top knot and no make-up, that I realised I had found the perfect dress. Another con is that you never know what will arrive in the mail. Lately I have been seeing memes of online shopping disasters and that might not necessarily be a risk worth taking.
3. Organise in groups! Benefits of organising make-up and hair stylists in groups? Group discounts, someone to go to trials with, someone to share the experience with and its so much easier!
4. Organise it early! Imagine all the girls in your grade in your school with the addition of other girls from other schools, considering people who may usually get their make-up done, people who have special events and other girls are all trying to find a make-up artist in the same area, for the same time, on the same date! Sounds way too hectic and stressful for me. Make sure to get in early to prevent stress and to book the best time for you. This also goes for limousines ⏤ in this situation, there are even more people!
5. Use Facebook! I found eight or so potential make-up and hair artists on Facebook. These days everyone creates a Facebook page for their business which makes it really easy to find a lot of people in your area, as well as makes for easy communication! Facebook has a wonderful feature that allows you to see how fast they typically reply as well as a section for reviews. Let Facebook be your best friend!
6. Do a trial! As a female of colour, if there is one tip you follow I beg of you to let it be this one! Organise a trial with your make up artist and do it early! This will give you the opportunity to find someone who can correctly match your skin tone. In general, booking a trial will give you an opportunity to meet the artist, test out a style and give you more confidence in the service. Spread the word to save a life!
7. Make a review! This tip is for after the date, but consider this a ‘thank you’ to the people who made your night fabulous (because I promise it will be). Not only is this good for the business that supported you, but it will allow people after you to find reliable and fabulous make-up and hair artists.
8. Make a playlist! If you’re hosting the pre-ball, this is a must and I’ll explain… Everyone. Loves. Music. There, that’s the only reason you need to make a playlist. Seriously though, making a playlist will help you and your friends get in the right mind space for the night by getting the party started early. Be sure to ask your friends if they have any recommendations (remember: you’re sharing the night with them!) This tip also relates to the limo! We had ‘Night to Remember’ from High School Musical playing on the way there, and everything was fabulous.
9. Talk it out! Drama will come, whether someone is angry with your dress choice or your friends back out of the artist you spent months trying to organise or someone is late. Most of the problems you will find come with miscommunication, so talk it out. It’s not that difficult, I promise. Even if you just call them or text them, you do not want that drama following you to the night and in the end, it all seems petty.
10. And Most Importantly… Hide your dress! Why? While you love it now, put it away. This will make it more special when you pull it out for the big day. Also, there is a chance that if you constantly stare at your dress, every single day in the lead up, you will doubt your choice or fall out of love or maybe even ruin it. My mum graciously held my dress in her cupboard for four months, which made it all the more special once I took it out. Of course I saw it in between, I had to take it for alterations and I wanted to try some complete looks, but I refrained from watching it everyday.
Bonus: Take a lot of photos! While it seems simple and obvious, on the night it can be easy to get caught up in the heat of the night. Don’t be shy, if your dad wants to take a photo, work your angles! Things I regret is not getting a photo with one of my friends, all dolled up and not getting a solo full body shot. Saying that, I am happy with all the amazing photos I did get. Try every angle, do all the cliches. Let your memories last a lifetime!
I hope I could help. Three last things: relax, stay calm and have fun! Trust me, the event will be stressful, but I assure you that everything will work out. Don’t be afraid to take off your shoes and dance and really enjoy yourself. For most, senior dances only come once so make the most of it. Feel fabulous and feel yourself!