Prom Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Katya Bychkova - National Prom Day 2016 - StyleSprinter

I talked about my prom story on the blog way back in 2015 where I shared with you some of my hair styling tips for your big night. However, my epic prom failure didn’t stop with that. Somehow, I managed to pick the wrong dress, wear uncomfortable shoes, and totally forget about my manicure… In other words, my prom was a complete disaster and I’m writing this post to help you prevent any potential mistakes that you or your beloved ones might make.

I’m happy to collaborate on this post with PromGirl, the major prom dresses retailer that will help you to avoid at least one prom mistake and pick a dress that looks amazing and has a super comfy fit. I wish I’d had my prom in the US where I had access to that tremendous collection of gorgeous PromGirl gowns!

Mistake #1: Picking a Dress That Is Too Tight

PromGirl - Short Babydoll Style Homecoming Dress 9118

My Story: For my prom, I picked a long brown gown decorated with blue beads (see my #TBT photo at the end of the post!). It had an in-built corset that I was thinking would help emphasize my waistline. As it turned out, the dress became very uncomfortable after a heavy Russian-style dinner. I got tired and irritated and didn’t even think about how my waistline looked: I wanted to get rid of my dress and breathe normally again!

Lesson Learned: Every dress, even the most expensive designer dress, needs a bit of tailoring. Make sure to try on your gown a week before prom to verify that everything fits perfectly!

Mistake #2: Dramatically Changing Your Hairstyle

Short Babydoll Style Homecoming Dress

My Story: On the day of my prom, I got an appointment at Minsk’s top hair salon for a haircut and color. I spent more than five hours at the salon, and my mom cried when she saw the result. From a classy brunette, I turned into a lady with a bright orange asymmetric pixie cut. I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but my new hair no longer matched my dress. Not to mention that none of my friends recognized me at the prom.

Lesson Learned: Plan your hairstyle ahead of time, but never, ever change your hair color the day before or on the day of your prom. There are so many things that could go wrong with the new hair color, and you don’t want to ruin prom photos that you’ll be looking at for many years to come.

Mistake #3: Wearing Brand-New Shoes

promgirlxo - Short Babydoll Homecoming Dress

My Story: I can’t find any photos of the expensive shoes that I wore for my prom, but trust me—they were gorgeous! Black satin pumps decorated with blue beads, they were The Prom Shoes of my dreams that I picked and objectified for months before prom night. It slipped my attention though to wear my new shoes at home so I could avoid blisters on prom night. As you might have guessed, my biggest shoe obsession turned into my biggest shoe problem and I ruined my feet dancing in new shoes my feet hadn’t yet adjusted to.

Lesson Learned: Don’t assume that the price of your shoes equals comfort. Wear your shoes at home at least a few times prior to prom night. None of the spoiler alert will happen if you just walk around in your prom shoes at home. Refuse to post photos of your feet on Instagram though!

Mistake #4: Spanxing Your Curves Out

PromGirl Lace Floor Length Long Sleeve Dress by Emerald Sundae

My Story: I had an in-built corset in my dress that I was thinking of combining with compression underwear for a further effect. Luckily, I forgot my torture device at home before going to the hair salon (see Mistake #1), so my dress was only partially uncomfortable.

Lesson Learned: You’ve heard it a million times: All celebrities wear shaping underwear for the Oscars. That’s right, but they also don’t eat or drink the day before, so they don’t need to use the bathroom during the ceremony. Prom is a different type of event! Even though you feel that some lines on your body could use correction undies, it’s better to stay away from anything that makes you feel uncomfortable—especially if you’re planning on wearing your Spanx for the first time.

Mistake #5: Trying New Makeup

Katya Bychkova (StyleSprinter)- National Prom Day 2016

My Story: Since my hair color dramatically changed on the day of my prom, I didn’t have time to experiment with my makeup and had to come up with a new look right then and there. I missed my makeup appointment because the hair coloring took longer than expected, so I had no other choice than to experiment with my eyeshadow palette myself.

Lesson Learned: If you have the funds, let a professional makeup artist do your prom makeup. First of all, having someone who will take care of your look makes the prom day even more special. Second, the pros know which makeup will look better on camera.

Mistake #6: Having The Freshest Manicure

Pink Pretzel - National Prom Day 2016

My Story: This mistake is related (again!) to my hair color change. I spent so much time doing my hair, that I missed my nails appointment too! I don’t know why I scheduled all beauty procedures for the same day (perhaps it was to have a whole day of pampering), but if I could replay that week, I would do my nails a day or two before prom (especially if you’re getting gel or acrylic nails).

Lesson Learned: A pretty manicure is what you will see on each and every photo from your prom. Here is your hand with a wrist corsage, here is a closeup of your elegant jewelry, a portrait from the dance floor… Make sure that your nails look well kept and elegant, but not too edgy, as it might not work with the gown.

Mistake #7: Outglowing Everyone

Long Strapless Empire Waist Prom Dress

My Story: Luckily, I figured out pretty early in life that self-tanners do not work for me so I didn’t try to impress everyone with my amazing tan on prom night. However, there were a few girls at my prom with leopard-print legs due to the self-tanner failure.

Lesson Learned: I am older now and my prom took place before the era of spray-tanning, but I still want to warn all the beauty DIYers: Before your prom night, wear only those tanning products that you’ve tried at least a few times before. Otherwise, try a trusted spray-tan salon—again, only one you’ve had experience with before.

Mistake #8: Accessorizing To The Max

National Prom Day 2016 - Prom Corsage

My Story: I can’t recall who came out with the idea of matching my necklace to the pattern on my dress, but the whole combo looked way too matchy-matchy. As you can see in the photos, with my new hairstyle and a statement necklace, I looked too eccentric for a girl graduating from a high school.

Lesson Learned: An evening gown is already a statement in itself, so there’s no need to accompany it with attention-getting accessories. Otherwise, you’ll look like you’re trying too hard. Let your dress be a major focal point of your prom attire and use the ‘less is more’ rule while picking accessories.

PromGirl Collage

Short Babydoll Style Homecoming Dress ($149) / Lace Floor Length Long Sleeve Dress by Emerald Sundae ($99)
Long Strapless Empire Waist Prom Dress ($129)

There are so many things that can go wrong on prom night and it’s important to stay on top of any potential prom failures. Let me put it this way: if you have a perfect dress that you picked and (if needed) tailored ahead of time, you’re pretty much all set. Try not to make any dramatic changes in your appearance a day before prom night and you’ll be fine!

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By the way, did you know that today, March 31st, has been designated National Prom Day by the National Day Calendar? I would like to encourage you to share your prom story, whether it was a success or a complete failure, and use hashtags #NationalPromDay and #TBT (don’t forget to tag @PromGirlxo).
prom TBT

How did your prom go? Please share your stories and photos in the comment area below.