Prom Inspiration Straight from the Runway

New York stylist Kate Schelter offers her top dressing tips for the big night.

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Next to a wedding dress, what you wear to prom is one of the most memorable outfits in a stylish lady's life. We peeled through spring catwalks to find the most inspiring prom looks. Here, a sleek one-shoulder number in peach accented by a matching pillbox clutch and crystal cocktail ring at Diane von Furstenberg.
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New York stylist and brand consultant Kate Schelter advises against the traditional frilly prom fare. "Dresses and gowns with too many ruffles, poufs, and bows are no-no's," she says emphatically. Here, a sleek halter dress in pale mint from Caroline Herrera is finished with a patent leather belt.
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In general, Schelter advises against of-the-moment trends that won't age well. "Opt for something more classic, since prom pictures are notorious for looking outdated." Here, a classically flattering wrap-dress in a strong shade of turquoise at Sophie Theallet.
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A flawless fit is a key prom dress consideration. "Search for elegant tailoring -- but not skin tight -- and cuts with a defined, nipped waist." This fitted navy dress with a swishy skirt and modern cut-out details at the neck would be a perfect prom pick.
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For a more playful prom look, try subtle prints like the polka-dotted pattern on Lela Rose's tiered silk gown.
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ASOS
Not only is ASOS' one-shoulder blue silk dress perfect for a prom (especially with a big gold cuff and glitzy pumps), but it can be dressed down post-graduation with sandals and a straw cap for a chic, summery daytime look. $218 at ASOS.
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If tailored looks aren't your style, try a looser, Grecian-inspired silhouette like this drape-neck gown with a sexy skirt slit by Temperley.
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Topshop
A simple clutch bag is a prom night essential (especially for storing quick-fix beauty essentials). Topshop's textured leather pillbox can be paired with any color, and as an added bonus, is fashioned to fit the dimensions of an iPhone. $28 at Topshop.
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"Have fun with the length," Schelter advises. "Go shorter by adding great accessories like a fun heel and bag, or great drop earrings." Lanvin's sassy yellow cocktail dress with single shoulder styling and a draped skirt is a perfect pick for ladies ready to show off a little leg.
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Black may not be a conventional prom hue, but it can make a serious statement accented with glitzy jewelry and a tousled up 'do. Dior's gorgeous black gown features intricate black beading along the skirt and an unusual asymmetrical neckline.
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For a bit of high-glamour, look for shimmery details like the subtle sequins on Elie Saab's knockout mint green gown.
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ForwardForward
A plunging halter neckline is flattering on ladies of all shapes and sizes. Our top pick? Issa's silky twist-front halter gown in a searing shade of pink. $565 at ForwardForward.
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Full skirts tend to look old-fashioned, but Jason Wu's dramatic silhouettes are anything but dowdy. Pair with a statement-making hair accessory and strappy sandals for maximum effect.
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Net-a-Porter
"Great drop earrings will instantly dress up your look and add radiance to your face with a chic pair of heels," says Schelter. "Plus, accessories can be worn time and time again, whereas the dress might be a one-night wonder." Miu Miu's faux-emerald costume earrings may look like a million bucks, but are priced under $300. $235 at Net-a-Porter.
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Over-the-top embellishments can feel a bit too trendy, but certain textures -- like the elegant feather detailing on this semi-sheer Prabal Gurung dress -- will always look chic and sophisticated.
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