You’re psyched to party like it’s 500 B.C., and the outfit is the finishing touch on your theme for the dance. But wait –are you guilty of one of these fashion faux pas? As a four-year school dance veteran/fanatic/evangelist, I’ve seen it all, and these are some of the most common style mistakes that turn heads in a bad way.
1. The semi-decent polo you wore to school yesterday when you spilled that spaghetti sauce–This one’s self-explanatory. Guys, the girls are inevitably going to put at least three times as much time and effort into their appearance on the big night than you do. If nothing else, at least try to clean up for your date.
2. Your baby brother’s outfit –News flash: You grew since elementary school graduation. Congratulations! Now get pants that cover your ankles and a shirt that goes past your elbows.
3. A great suit and then … tennis shoes–You were so close! Don’t worry about having to make a quick escape or not sporting the right athletic gear; there is life after track practice. Remember, the word “semi-formal” applies to the entire outfit, shoes and socks included!
4. A ninja headband, wife beater and running shorts–You must be nostalgic for the Back to School Dance! That was in August. No matter how fierce you think you look baring upper thigh muscles, the Homecoming Dance is not the time.
1. Curled, straightened, braided, crimped and dyed updo–So you’ve nailed the outfit, but as a female you still have one more important element to take care of: the hair. Instead of short-circuiting your house by making simultaneous use of all the electronic hair devices you own, keep it simple yet elegant. You want people to wonder how you got your hair to look so shiny, not what is eating your head. Besides, crafting an elaborate hairstyle for Homecoming is similar to monogramming your bathrobe; only a few people will see it until it inevitably gets soaked.
2. A classy mini-toga–While tempting because of the ancient civilizations theme, dressing slut-chic is not in this season, nor will it ever be. Take the phrase “semi-formal” as a personal invitation to cover up more than you would for hot tubbing, at least this one night. Double the amount of fabric on your body before you even think about getting past the administration on the way into the dance. Don’t try to pretend you didn’t know it was sheer. Here’s a quick check: If you feel the wind on both sets of cheeks, you may need to add some garments.
3. The jeweled/glitter/rhinestone/extra-sparkle dress–Dressing up like shopping Barbie is not only tacky, it’s dangerous for all eyes that have to fend off the glare from your dress that looks like it was bedazzled twice by a three-year-old. “Special occasion” is not code for princess-status bling coating your dress. Keep it simple with one or two sparkly ornaments to avoid overwhelming the dress itself.
4. The floor-length white gown–Don’t forget the “semi” part of the “semi-formal” concept just to compensate for the guys’ oblivious donning of t-shirts and jeans. Keep the dresses that are so expensive you could retire after selling them safely in the closet until Prom or your very own wedding. After all, it’s only Homecoming.