How to Dress for Homecoming

While homecoming might not be as formal as prom, it’s still a special occasion and a fun chance to dress up. Even if you’ve never been to a homecoming dance before, you can find the perfect look for the dance! Whether you’re going with a date, sticking with friends, or rocking out solo, the right outfit can make you look and feel great!

EditSteps
EditWearing a Dress
Check your school’s dress code. Some schools have a relaxed dress code for dances, but others still expect students to abide by certain rules, like wearing skirts of a certain length or covering their shoulders. You should know these rules before you buy your homecoming outfit.[1]

Choose a color that will flatter your skin tone. Look for clothes in the colors you think look best on you. If you have a warmer skin tone, choose shades like gold, red, coral, or fuschia. If your skin tone is cool, opt for silver, blue, green, or purple.[2]
You can determine your skin tone by checking the veins in your arm. If they appear purplish or blue, you have a cool skin tone. If they seem greenish, you have a warm skin tone. If you can’t tell, you probably have a neutral skin tone, and almost any color will look good on you.

Ask older friends how formal your dress should be. If you need help deciding what to wear, it’s always a good idea to ask someone who’s already been! If you have friends or siblings who have been to Homecoming, ask them what they wore, or what they noticed other people wearing. This will help give you a good idea how formal your school’s Homecoming dance is.
Recent trends in homecoming dresses have favored shorter styles, but a long skirt with a crop top or a fitted floor-length dress would be nice choices as well.[3]
Longer dresses are considered more formal. If your school has a formal Homecoming, you may want to choose a long dress.

Match your dress to your date or your friends. If you’re going to Homecoming with a date or as part of a big group of friends, you can try to coordinate your dress to the colors they’ll be wearing.
If your dress is blue, ask your date to consider wearing a blue shirt or a blue tie in a similar shade.

You don’t have to match exactly what they’re wearing unless you want to. For instance, if your best friend is wearing a pink, you might choose a pink dress in a different shade.

Wear a short sheath dress if you’re girly and you like showing your figure. No matter your shape, if you want to show it off, opt for a sheath dress. Sheath dresses are made to fit close to your figure and are usually nipped in at the waist. Choose that skims close to your body without hugging you too tightly. [4]
Pair a sheath dress with a strappy pair of heels and loose wavy hair for a sophisticated look.

Wear a flowing dress that accentuates your curves if you’re full-figured. There are more options than ever for plus-sized girls these days, and Homecoming is a great time to try out a cute new style. Look for a knee-length dress in a flowy fabric that gently hugs your curves. Avoid styles that are too loose or too tight.[5]
A pretty empire dress with a bow at the waist and a pair of sparkly flats is a great look for Homecoming! Wear your hair half-up and half-down for a feminine finishing touch.

Choose an A-line dress with wide straps if you have broad shoulders. A dress with wider straps will make athletic shoulders look more proportionate to your figure. An A-line dress flares out slightly starting at the waist, can help balance out a narrow bottom half.[6]
Wear your hair in an up-do and choose a pair of pumps in a bold color to complement your A-line dress.

Wear an Empire-waist dress to look taller if you’re short. Empire-waist dresses have a seam beneath the bust. This makes your waist look longer, which makes you seem taller.[7]
Opt for an updo with a lot of volume and the tallest pair of heels you’re comfortable in to look like your tallest self!

Shop at resale shops or online to save money. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a Homecoming dress, try to find one that someone is selling. Many times, girls will wear their Homecoming dress once and then sell it so someone else can enjoy it.
Check classified websites, local marketplaces online, and consignment shops in your area.

EditSuiting Up
Wear nice slacks if your Homecoming is less formal. Some schools have a very relaxed Homecoming. Tuck in a button-down shirt and wear dress shoes for a casual-yet-dressy dance.[8]

Wear a suit and tie for a semi-formal look. Most Homecoming dances are semi-formal. Opt for a nice suit and a button-down shirt. Fit is important for masculine styles, so if you can, have your jacket tailored so it will fit you perfectly.[9]
Wear loafers with a button-down shirt slacks if you want to show off your preppy style.

Pair your suit with a cool pair of sneakers if you prefer a casual look.

Buy or rent a tux for a formal dance. If your Homecoming is formal, you may want to choose to wear a tuxedo. If you don’t already own one, you can rent a tux from many stores which carry menswear.[10]
If classic black isn’t your style, have fun with your look! Tuxedos are available in a wide range of colors to show off your personality.

If you’re not sure if a tux is appropriate for your school’s Homecoming, ask someone who has attended the dance in the past few years.

Opt for a jumpsuit if you want to look feminine without wearing a dress. Dressy jumpsuits or pantsuits are a great way to be comfortable while still being ready for a Homecoming dress! Look a jumpsuit in a flowy material with dressy embellishments like gemstones or a bow.[11]
A long jumpsuit looks great when paired with heels or dressy sandals and a low chignon.

EditAccessorizing
Choose a corsage or boutonniere if you have a date. It’s customary to give your date a corsage or a boutonniere. A boutonniere is a small spray of flowers that is typically worn on a suit lapel, while a corsage is more elaborate and can be worn on the wrist or pinned to a dress.[12]
Talk to your date beforehand to make sure the flowers coordinate with their outfit.

To make sure you get the flowers you want, you should order your corsage or boutonniere at least a week in advance.

Carry a small clutch if you want to bring a purse. You don’t want to have to keep up with a heavy bag while you’re dancing the night away. If you need a bag to keep your lipstick and phone, choose a lightweight wristlet or a clutch that coordinates with your outfit.[13]
You can choose a clutch that is the same color as your dress, or you can make it stand out by choosing a coordinating color. For instance, if you have a black dress, you could choose a sparkly silver clutch.

Choose shoes that will be comfortable for dancing. You might want to wear a sky-high pair of heels or a brand-new pair of wingtips, but make sure that your feet will be comfortable. Nothing will ruin your Homecoming night faster than uncomfortable shoes.[14]
Look for shoes with cushioned insoles and plenty of room in the toes. Make sure there are no embellishments or seams that will rub your feet and cause blisters.

Wear a cummerbund to accentuate a formal look. Cummerbunds are made to cover your waist, and are commonly included with tuxedos. You can choose a classic black cummerbund, or you can match the color to your date’s outfit.[15]

EditStyling Your Hair and Makeup
Ask a friend who loves makeup to help you get ready. If you have a friend who loves all things cosmetic, as them to help you get ready! They’ll probably jump at the chance to help you perfect your Homecoming look.

Have your makeup done at the mall to treat yourself. Many department stores and beauty stores offer professional makeup services. This can be a great way to try out a new look without having to buy a lot of new makeup. Most stores charge a fee for this service, so call in advance.[16]
It’s a good idea to make an appointment ahead of time, since they will probably be busy around the time of the dance.

If you can, bring a little money with you to tip the makeup artist. You may also want to buy one of the products they use on you!

Opt for a makeup style that focuses on one feature of your face. Try emphasizing one area rather than going too heavy all over your face.[17]
If you choose a sultry, smoky eye, try pairing it with a nude or soft pink lip.

A matte red lip is complemented by subtle eyeshadow and winged eyeliner.

Visit a hairstylist if you want an elaborate updo. It can be hard to perfectly arrange piles of curls into a hairstyle that looks great and stays in place all night. If this is the look you have in mind, consider making an appointment to have your hair done the day of the dance.

Do your hair at home if your style is simple. There are a number of pretty styles you can do yourself if you don’t want to get your hair styled professionally.
For a pretty, feminine look, curl your hair, then wear it half-up and half-down. You can even add a braid to the hair that’s pulled up for an unexpected touch.

Use bobby pins to fasten a flower or a tiara into your hair if you wear it down in loose waves.

Wear a low bun or chignon for a classic, sophisticated look.

Use gel or hairspray to style short hair. Depending on your style, you can style your hair into spikes, a side part, or a pompadour. If you need a trim, plan to get one about a week before the dance so your hair will look its best.

EditRelated wikiHows
Find the Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses

Choose Your Prom Dress

EditSources and Citations
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