Prom mistakes and How to Avoid

You'll have a lot to think about and plan for in the days leading up to prom, but some prom blunders slip through the cracks as you focus on the pretty dress and arranging your group plans. Avoiding these prom mistakes will not only help you look and feel your best, you'll have a safer and more fun night, too.

Mistake: You let the plan control your fun.
Avoid it: No matter how much you plan ahead, something might pop up that makes you feel self-conscious. Whether it's a prom day pimple, a bad haircut, or a mean girl you'd rather avoid, don't sweat the small stuff. The only way the little hiccups will ruin your prom memories is if you focus on them. Plan ahead by taking care of your skin, scheduling haircuts a week ahead of the event (at the latest), and choosing prom companions who make you feel good, but also remember that it's not a catastrophe if things don't go according to plan.

Mistake: You only shop online for your dress.
Avoid it: With all the beautiful dresses on online boutiques or pinned on Pinterest, it can be tempting to buy your dress, shoes, and accessories without ever leaving the house. The internet is a great place to start shopping, get ideas and compare prices, but don't purchase your dress before at least trying your local boutiques and department stores. Many details, such as colors, beading, or fabric texture might seem different in person than what an online picture can show you. A dress that doesn't dazzle online could be perfect in person. Plus, stores might run specials that you couldn't get online. At the very least, go shopping for the experience with your mom or girlfriends. Even if you end up buying your dress online, you'll have had a fun day trying on dresses and getting a sense of what styles really look good on you.

Mistake: You're so uncomfortable you can't have fun.
Avoid it: Maybe the stiletto heels, corset-tight dress, or plunging neckline seemed like a good idea for the pictures, but you'll want to be able to move and enjoy yourself on the dance floor without being uncomfortable or self-conscious. Obviously your prom outfit won't be as comfortable as yoga pants, but don't completely choose style over comfort. When you try on your dress and shoes, really think, Will I be able to dance in this? Can I wear it all night? You don't want your most lasting memory of prom to be how badly your feet hurt.

Mistake: You blow your budget.
Avoid it: The only way to avoid blowing your budget is to keep track of your spending and hold yourself accountable. Discuss your prom budget with your parents or make a budget based on what you make at work. You can stick to your budget by shopping sales and taking advantage of special offers like free shipping. Sometimes winter formal dresses go on deep discount in December and you can score a gorgeous dress for a little price. You don't have to splurge to sparkle.

Mistake: You choose the wrong date.
Avoid it: Although TV and movies would have you think that who you go to prom with is a crucial life decision, you don't have to have a date. For example, if your prom date is likely to get you in trouble, he's probably not a good date. If you don't have anything to talk about or aren't comfortable dancing with him, he's probably not a good date. Or, if you're only still dating him because of prom, he's probably not a good date. Instead of going with Mr. Wrong because you feel obligated or think he's popular, go with a male friend you trust and have fun with. Or, band together with other girls who aren't taking dates and make a night of it. Go in for your own limo, or dress up your car with streamers and window chalk. Dress up and go out on the town for dinner and dancing. The most important part of prom is having fun and that means being with people who you really have fun with.

Mistake: You get yourself into a risky situation.
Avoid it: There's a lot of talk about drinking and sex ahead of prom night. PSAs, teachers, and parents all tell you to be safe and make responsible decisions. Ultimately, you're in control of the decisions you make on prom night. Talk to your parents about their expectations and talk to the people you're going to prom and after-prom with to establish a plan and boundaries. If you don't assume that everyone is on the same page, then you won't run the risk of an uncomfortable situation bringing you down on prom night. These conversations might be tough to have, but you'll be stronger for taking the initiative. Make sure you have a backup plan in-case trouble finds you anyway. Keep your phone and mad money for a cab in your purse. For extra safety, you can even get a little pink pepper spray keychain, too. Talk to your parents or a trusted friend about a code word you can use to let them know you want them to come get you. Even if you don't think you'll have a problem, thinking ahead can save you worry on the big night.

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