Prom Dress Styles: Past and Present

Is it possible to predict new styles for prom just by looking at how trends have shifted in the past?


Ally Sarver, Reporter

With WPA over and winter sports coming to a close, Saints, as well as many other high schoolers are looking to the next big event: prom! Each year, new styles sweep the lives of high schoolers as they try to stay on top of the current trends without falling behind, and with this comes all new style predictions in the months leading up to prom. So which styles, colors, and looks will be in this year?

Before we take a look at what may be the new looks, let’s take a look at the most popular dresses and styles from over the years. In the early 2000’s halter tops and two piece prom dresses were all the rage. With this was tight, updo hairstyles and floral patterns. The “high low” dress was in, and so were fun patterns on girls’ nails. As we move into the early 2010’s, we see the ballgown style of dress pick up in popularity. Tool and light pastel colors became more common, and girls crimped and twisted and braided their hair. More recently, in the 2020’s, more simple dresses with small cutouts have been seen more often. Girls are likely to choose an accent color to compliment their monochromatic dress (this will be seen in their shoes and nails), and girls favor keeping their hair down, either straight or curled. Patterns on dresses aren’t seen too much anymore for prom, likely to create a more mature and elegant look. 

This image shows a popular dress style in the early 2000’s

While homecoming 2023 showed a repeating trend of cowl necks and strapless mini dresses, many predict prom styles this year will favor more high neck or “mock neck” styles (like a fake turtle neck). Thin spaghetti straps are common, and while patterns could become popular again, it’s unlikely that a wave of Aquinas students will turn to the patterned dress look. Just based on the past three years of proms we can see the solid color dresses are quite popular among our student body. When it comes to colors, kelley green and bright red are popular and will probably show up at the dance, as well as a muted blush color. Crimping hair with three wand barrels has become a fun trend that could possibly make an appearance at prom. And long, acrylic nails will probably make an appearance too. 

This shows one of the current, most popular dresses up for sale on Princess Polly

So where will these dresses come from? Some popular sites in the past have been Revolve, Hello Molly, and Princess Polly. But in the past few years, smaller, less known sites have become the places to look. Some common ones used by Aquinas students are Pepper Mayo, Lulus, and Princess Polly. While online dress shopping is the more common way to do it now, shopping in person is a fun way to make sure the dress you are buying fits like a glove. The best way to get this done is to go to a bridal shop of sorts to find a dress. 

And while it may seem way too early to be thinking about any of this, close your eyes and prom will appear! Second semester is known to fly by, and prom right along with it!


Jack, Lourdes. “While the Dresses Change with the Decades, Prom Never Goes out of Style.”

“La Femme 19607.” La Femme,

“Spotlight Mini Dress Champagne.” Princess Polly USA,