While there are some distinct differences between cocktail dresses and prom dresses, it is entirely possible to wear a cocktail dress to prom. In fact, it is very practical to purchase a cocktail dress for prom, because a cocktail dress is a versatile dress that’s perfect to wear for a variety of occasions.
A girl who prefers a less formal prom dress or who wants to be able to wear her prom dress for years to come should most definitely buy a cocktail dress for prom. Terani Couture prom dresses are a great selection of cocktail-style dresses that are perfect for prom. Rina Di Montella is a similar designer whose dresses offer the versatility of a cocktail dress combined with the formality of a prom dress.
And now for the differences:
Embellishment. Cocktail dresses are strikingly simple, while prom dresses are dressed up with a lot of extras such as sequins, extra materials, and styles like ruching. Cocktail dresses are dressed up or down by adding jewelry and other accessories, while prom dresses don’t usually demand a lot of extra adornment.
But consider: A simple, but elegant prom dress can be the perfect outfit to highlight your natural beauty.
Length. As a general rule, prom dresses are floor length and cocktail dresses are knee length or shorter. Many cocktail dresses are quite a bit shorter, in fact. Tea length dresses, which fall mid-calf, are considered daytime dresses and are not often worn to prom, but they can be considered evening dresses when combined with an empire waist.
But consider: There’s no official rule against short prom dresses, which can also be worn to semi-formal events and parties.
Color. A cocktail dress is known as “the little black dress.” That’s because black is the most versatile dress color. Conversely, black is not as common when it comes to prom dresses. In fact, shades of white are very popular formal dress colors right now, and bright colors and prints are very trendy as well.
But consider: A black dress for prom can become your first little black dress after high school. A long-short dress in black offers two levels of formality and two different dress options for the ultimate little black dress.
Flair. It’s very common for a cocktail dress to hug the body. A sheath style dress with a short skirt is the classic cocktail dress style. Prom dresses tend to have more flair in the skirt. Although longer sheath style dresses and mermaid dresses are in style right now, these dresses are often ruched (sheath) and flair out at the bottom (mermaid).
But consider: A longer sheath or mermaid dress can be the perfect prom dress and can also make the perfect cocktail dress later on.
Elegance. Prom dresses are simply meant to be more elegant than cocktail dresses.
But consider: that doesn’t mean that a cocktail dress can’t be stepped up in the elegance department. After all, that’s part of what a little black dress should do.