Speaking from experience, prom dresses (similar to wedding dresses, unless you're Keira Knightley) fall in the neighborhood of one-time wear pieces, often neglected and left to lurk in the inner depths of a closet, only to resurface during nostalgic spring cleaning sprees. But it doesn't have to be that way. With prom season upon us, we took it upon ourselves to find worthy creations that are as pretty as they are re-wearable.
To note: Hiked hems are higher in versatility. Pair mini- and midi-length dresses (like the red lace Rachel Comey one, above) with a blazer and pumps to take it from the office to an evening out. For the day, dress it down with a utilitarian coat or a leather moto-style jacket, and menswear-inspired brogues.
Separates, too, make for the modern prom night look. Imagine sweeping the dance floor in a pretty printed top with a matching full ball skirt, like the pairing above from Alice + Olivia. Or, look seriously on-point with a crop top and a full midi. And the versatile thing about separates is that you can wear them apart post-prom.
Gowns work for equally formal occasions, like a baby shower or a wedding. Or, treat it like a summery maxi dress, and top it off with a denim jacket, if you so choose.
Prom dresses aren't exclusive for one night, and if we had known that in high school, we would have approached dress shopping a little differently. Regardless of whether you will be going to prom this year or just on the lookout for a killer frock, shop these 17 highly versatile dresses that will go further than one night only.
1. Alice + Olivia
$275 for top, $698 for bottom; aliceandolivia.com
2. Rachel Comey
7. Paper London
9. Needle & Thread
12. Rebecca Taylor
13. Michael Michael Kors
$64 for top, $90 for bottom; topshop.com
15. Helmut Lang
16. French Connection