Carleigh Joy Tackett, Miss Diamond Lakes 2016 and The Pageant Planet's Queen of Style, pictured with her date.
Who says prom can’t be as glamorous as a pageant? They are a lot alike. You have the anticipation the week before, the preparation months before, the gown, pictures, tan skin, hair and makeup, and maybe even a crown at the end of the night. What’s different? Prom has a pretty big crowd, which can be pretty intimidating trying not to get lost in. Here’s how to stand out from among the rest at prom.
This sounds like an oxymoron, but pretty feet is just a common term for the typical pageant stance where the heel of one foot is placed in front of the arch of the other, making a T with your feet. If you are a dancer, it's like third position. (You know what will make your feet even prettier? A pair of these prom shoes.) Why is this important? You would not believe the difference this makes in photos. Standing in pretty feet forces your body into a flattering angle that standing with your feet parallel does not. When you look back at pictures, all eyes will be on you!
Walk the walk
To begin, let's address posture. There is no way to make slouching pretty, but as humans, we are guilty. Try to be aware of your posture and pretend there is a string being pulled from the center of your chest. It is the easiest way to improve your posture and the most natural looking. Lift up your chin, too. The floor isn't that interesting, I promise. Next, practice, practice, practice walking in your prom heels. Break them in and get comfortable walking and moving around in them, since you'll be spending the night dancing in them! (Read: How to Strengthen Your Ankles to Walk in Heels) Finally, walk into the room as if you are gracing a stage in evening gown. Smile! Don’t be so focused on how you look that you forget to have fun, and never compare yourself to anyone else. That is the quickest way to ruin your night and your confidence.
Even the most beautiful gown can lose its luster if not properly fitted, so right after you find your gown make any necessary alterations. You want to ensure that your prom gown fits you to a T and that you are completely comfortable in it. There is bound to be an alteration expert near you. Check with the dress boutique you buy your dress from, or the person you buy/loan/borrow from.
Classic hair and makeup
Search Pinterest for prom hair to find a plethora of braided updos and tight, Shirley Temple curls. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's just not the best way to stand out. If you prefer an updo, try a sleek chignon or chic pony. These updos are nice, especially for a night of dancing. You don't have you worry about curls falling out or sweaty hair in your face. However, if you like to wear your hair down, try loose curls or classic waves. Hint, hint: middle parts are a sure-fire way to stand out. To help you decide, know that some dresses are better for certain hairstyles. For example, updos look gorgeous with halter dresses and with dresses with a tall neckline. Down or half-up styles look beautiful with strapless and off-the-shoulder dresses. This also depends on the look you want to achieve, so try to have that image in mind before you start getting ready. Think classy, edgy, cute, or elegant; whatever your style! Don't forget the jewelry to match.
As you try on different dresses, ask yourself if you would find it onstage at a pageant. It is usually pretty easy to distinguish between pageant and prom gowns, and if it is hard to tell, that’s the kind of dress you want – a crossover dress. That way, you can also get a little extra wear out of it. (Read: Can I Wear a Prom Dress in my Local Pageant?)
For that initial WOW, make a choice that is different than all the rest. It may take some more searching, but find a gown that flatters you. Ask the sales representatives for their honest opinions. They can guide you to what looks best and what hasn’t been sold yet. Most boutiques keep up with which dresses are going to which proms so that no two girls are alike. If you have a few gown to choose from after finding what flatters your figure, be bold. You know what’s trending right now. Try going against the current trends for prom this year to stand out.
Take it from beauty queens themselves.
"You will sparkle just by being you. I love simple dresses when you can accessorize them with jewelry." – Kyla Soden, Miss Metro 2016 “ your dress hemmed to the proper length for long dresses – not dragging, not too much shoe showing.” – Jesse Ladoue, The Pageant Planet’s Queen of Fashion
“Know how to walk properly in heels.” – Ebony Sherrill, Miss Queen State 2015
“Walk into the venue like it’s the evening gown competition.” – Kellen Takenaka, Ms. US World 2015
“Know how to cover areas that need to be covered and maximize assets.” – Stephanie McGrane, The Pageant Planet's Director of Operations
One last way to stand out like a beauty queen? Kellen says, “Know how to secure a prom queen crown.” You might need it. Wink, wink.
Her tip is: "Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”Learn More