Props to Mean Girls' Janis Ian, who was never one to follow the crowd (or Plastics) at North Shore High. Ironically, the purple tuxedo pantsuit she wore to her fateful early aughts prom would have been right on trend this season—not just for her menswear-inspired silhouette and clever color play—because doing the unexpected is the new black when it comes to spring 2016. Although, if we think about it, being different is actually a classic styling move—just ask Andie Walsh and her DIY pink polka dot concoction in Pretty in Pink.
Plus, with so many chic, cool, and interesting unconventional formal dance looks out there, why not have some fun with getting dressed for the biggest dance of the year? Because sleek trouser suits, red carpet-ready jumpsuits, and distinctive textures beyond lace—and what is Andie's dress made out of, exactly?—will help make your prom the most memorable night ever.
After all, years later, Janis Ian's purple pantsuit is really the only fashion statement we remember from the Mean Girls prom, and those poufy '80s dresses on Andie's oh-so-basic classmates are all a blur. (Duckie's throwback steez is forever a standout though.)
So check out these 10 traditional prom dress alternatives to make some memories at prom.
2. A Sassy Romper
Yes, going with a short cocktail dress is envelope pushing—like back in the '90s. Try an off-the-shoulder romper in a lipstick red instead. A boxier, blouse-y silhouette keeps the look modern and classy.
Topshop romper, $95; topshop.com
3. A Printed Pantsuit
Try a pretty floral print and an elegant silk texture on a sleek, menswear-inspired trouser suit. Add a breezy vibe—and keep the focus on the graphics—by layering a fitted white tee underneath.
4. A Denim...Dress
So wearing jeans to your prom might seem a little too effortless. So how about denim on a formal dress silhouette? Ooh, subversive.
Red Valentino dress, $690; matchesfashion.com
6. A Flouncy Jumpsuit
The jumpsuit is basically the new evening gown if the red carpet has anything to say about it. Up the drama quotient with a low back and flouncy bodice situation that's just made for the dance floor.
H&M jumpsuit, $60; hm.com
7. The Undone Tux
Try a white tuxedo jacket with a black lapel and ditch your tailored trousers for sleek leather leggings instead. Opt for a crisp white shirt to layer underneath the blazer—but wear it untucked, like the rebel that you are.
10. Ladylike Leather
Leather. Dress. How badass is that?
Gucci dress, $7,900; gucci.com