12 Best Prom Dresses in 2018
Prom trends change annually, but that doesn’t mean the old trends die as the new ones make their way forward.
In our guide to the best prom dresses below, we will be highlighting a mixture of classic favorites and modern styles.
There isn’t just one style of dress that will work on every shape and size out there, which is why we will also provide you with useful shopping tips to help you understand how to choose a dress based on your body type!
Prom is all about celebrating the end of your high school adventures and saying “hello” to your future.
For a day this important, you don’t just want to look good, you want to feel good, too!
Check out the top 12 dresses in our table, and then head down for shopping tips and then reviews of the top five dresses.
Top 12 Prom Dresses Ultimate Table
Match the Dress to Your Body Type
For some of you shopping for a prom dress, this might be your first evening dress shopping experience. Others may have already worn plenty of formal dresses, but that doesn’t mean you’re an expert at choosing them!
The secret to finding the best prom dresses is knowing which styles flatter your figure.
- Round/Apple – For the apple shape, a dress with an Empire Waist is most flattering.
You can opt for a long or short dress, and if you’re top-heavy, then you’ll probably want something with wider straps or short sleeves to help offer you support; this is especially true if you’re wearing a strapless bra because you will need to prevent everything from sagging!
Some A-Line dresses might work on you, as well, so don’t eliminate them from your selection.
- Pear – Pears, you will look great in a wide variety of styles, including Ball Gowns, Empire Waist, Mermaid and A-Line dresses.
There are a variety of necklines available in these styles, so choose one that you feel comfortable wearing all night long, and that flatters your top half.
- Rectangle – For tall, slender figures with fewer curves, a long dress with Empire Waist is flattering. Belts around the waist or fitted waist panels can create the illusion of curves if you so desire them.
Petite figures without well-defined curves can opt for a shorter dress (this will make you look taller) or a dress with a slim fit. Vertical lines and pleats will also help “elongate” your appearance.
- Hourglass – The two-piece dress would flatter your well-defined waistline, and so would the A-Line with sweetheart neckline, the Ball Gown, the Mermaid or the Empire Waist.
- Inverted Triangle – If you are wider on the top of your body with hips that are narrower than your shoulders, then halter-tops and V-necks are great. Go strapless if possible, and opt for A-Line dresses or those with fuller skirts.
What About Materials?
Here are some of the most common materials used on dresses (and what you should know about them).
- Satin – Satin is a stiff fabric that will yield a very precise, defined look. The majority of satin does not have any stretch to it, but some are woven to be slightly stretchy.
If you’re going for a tailored, elegant look, then this is the right material for you.
Dresses like the Ankang Two-Piece Halter Dress with Pocketed Skirt that are made with satin have an air of sophistication that will help you look like a woman who is ready to conquer the next phase of her life.
- Chiffon – Chiffon is loose and drapes well over the body. It is a favorite for A-Line dresses and gives you a light, delicate look.
- Organza – Organza is like stiff chiffon: it is sheer (see-through) and sometimes has a sparkly effect.
- Sequins – Sequins will help draw attention to you thanks to their sparkle, but they can be a little scratchy!
If there are sequins on the dress where your arms fall, the then chances are that your skin will rub on them and cause you a little discomfort.
Top 5 Best Prom Dresses Reviews
The Ball Gown is a timeless dress that has seen prom after prom for decades, and this one will allow any girl to feel like the princess of her class thanks to the full, ruffled skirt and rich, burgundy color.
The straight neckline will flatter smaller busts, but those with a larger bust size should be careful otherwise it would make you look like you are spilling out over the top.
We loved the crisscross lacing on the back of the bodice and the decorative jewel sash that offered a slimming effect (especially to pear shapes and hourglass figures).
The skirt is almost reminiscent of a beautiful flower, which is quite appropriate for Prom considering that you are a young girl who is blossoming into a young woman.
If you’re aiming for a full skirt, then you will need to buy a petticoat separately because the dress alone isn’t as full as it appears in the photo.
Do keep in mind that there are 16 other colors available if you don’t find this one to your liking.
If you prefer something sweeter and a little more demure, then this V-neck A-Line dress with sleeves will suit your equally sweet personality.
The mixture of lace and jeweled belt give this dress a sophisticated elegance, with a tulle overlay that keeps it flowy and light.
The skirt is long and would work well for taller girls; if you’re shorter, then you’ll need a pair of tall heels to make sure that it isn’t dragging across the floor all evening. Alternatively, you could have the hem taken up if you’re in love with the style and want to purchase it.
There are six other colors to choose from, but only some of them come in the plus size (and this style would definitely flatter the plus size figure). Check to see if the color you like comes in your size.
The white and champagne colors may be a little too “bridal” for prom, but if they match your skin tone and hair color, then you might be able to pull one of them off!
Modern prom-goers will love this two-piece satin dress from Ankang.
The skirt has lovely pleats that almost make it look like a mixture of a delicate Calla Lily and a Petunia.
Remember that you don’t have to be stick thin to pull off a dress like this. If you have a longer torso that is rounder, then this might not be the most flattering fit for you, but even if you’re a bit curvier and you have a short torso, not very much of your skin will actually show between the top of the skirt and the bottom of the bodice: it might work!
Due to the gap between the skirt and the bodice, this dress may not be permitted at some schools (make sure you check your school’s Prom dress code to avoid a huge disappointment upon arrival to the dance).
Hopefully, you won’t have any issues with this dress, and we can guarantee you that you will receive plenty of compliments for your amazing “Audrey Hepburn” taste in fashion.
Manfei’s dress is shorter (just above the knee) and would help you petite girls look a few inches taller.
The color options are gorgeous for prom: peach, red, royal blue and navy blue were our favorite picks.
The sweetheart neckline is adorable and flatters the bust, and this would work on both plus size figures and slimmer, hourglass figures alike.
You will love the lace overlay on the bodice, and for the skirt, they used a flowy, chiffon. The details give it just the right touch of elegance and formality that you need for your Prom night.
Enhance the bodice with some large, sparkly earrings and accessories, and you’ll be the queen of the evening.
Reds and Merlots seem to be “in” this season for formal wear, and this red sequin dress from Kate Kasin fits the bill. Doesn’t it look like the dress that Jessica Rabbit wore in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
This dress will flatter girls with curvier shapes: hourglass figures, this will work well on you.
Considering that the entire dress is sequins, you have to remember that the skin under your arms will rub on them and that it will be a bit scratchy to wear.
Regarding fit and length, you will need to wear heels that are high enough to prevent the hem from dragging.
The dress is stunning on the right figure, but the scratchy factor is something to take into consideration before you purchase it.
It’s hard to limit a list of the best prom dresses to just 12 options since there are so many styles and dresses out there in the world.
We chose these dresses based on current fashion trends, price (they are affordable and well made for their price range) and tried to select a wide range of styles that would flatter the wide range of body types out there.
Again, the secret to getting an unforgettable prom dress isn’t focusing your efforts on what looks good on other people but rather what look good on you.
Use the shape tips we provided to help you narrow down the choices and choose a dress that will make you smile when you look back on those pictures in ten years from now.