Prom is right around the corner, and although we’re a bit too old for the unforgettable celebration, we still find ourselves scrolling through the pages of tulle and halter-neck gowns every year. We’ve found that formal dresses often become monotonous, so we compiled the coolest styles that will ensure you avoid any fashion faux pas (like showing up in the same dress as another attendee). Even better: these looks will also work for black-tie events or weddings, so be sure to click through to get inspiration from the most stylish girls in Hollywood and score a covetable outfit for any formal affair.
A high neckline, like Williams’ Emilia Wickstead gown, is unpredictably sexy, especially when paired with pulled back hair, which elongates the neck.
On Williams: Emilia Wickstead gown from the F/W 14 collection.
Silky and sleek, this gown will undoubtedly turn heads.
Sheer lace might not be the first thing you consider for formalwear, but hear us out. With longer sleeves and a slip underneath, a lace gown can be an elegant and ethereal choice. Consider a vintage gown for this one!
A vintage-inspired dress with a modern plunging back? Count us in!
A black gown can read as understated, but throw an unexpected texture, like suede or velvet, into the mix and the results are seriously chic. Texture can be overwhelming on a bright gown, so a black dress is the perfect vehicle to try out a new fabric.
Black Halo Drea Gown ($800)
The velvet paneling on this structured gown pushes its cool factor over the edge.
Honestly, is there anything chicer than a gown with a cape? Gwenyth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, and Lupita Nyong’o don’t think so. Perhaps the most fashion forward and daring of all the gowns, a cape dress is easy to wear and super modern.
On Nyong’o: Ralph Lauren Collection gown from the S/S 14 collection.
One of the most interesting ways to show some skin is with low-skimming back cutouts, especially if your dress is more conservative in the front. A diamond shape feels current, which is exactly what you want for the big night.
This boldly hued dress with illusion straps feels simple, sexy, and is sure to turn heads.
In lieu of a full-length gown, try a tea-length hemline! The figure-flattering silhouette is perfect for showing off statement heels. Opt for lighter fabrics with a fuller skirt to achieve a fresh, ladylike look a la Collins.