We've been dishing out tips ALL week on how to have the perfect prom. From the shoes to the dress to the hair, we've done it all, but... have you thought what you're going to wear after the dance is over? *cricket chirping* Don't worry, we rounded up some amazing ensembles for wherever you decide to go post-prom. The guidelines: comfort and affordability are key while still looking hella cute (obvi). Let's get to it!

FANCY AFTER PARTY

After Prom Dresses

After-prom dresses!
Photo: Courtesy of ASOS/Topshop

If you're heading somewhere else fancy after the big dance, make sure to pick a frock that doesn't compete with your prom dress (and has that extra party-girl edge). We love this bright peach lace-insert shift dress ($92) because it's bold and can be dressed up or down as much as you'd like. (Think of all the killer accessories you could sport with this bad boy!) If you seriously want to channel the spirit of spring, we suggest this chic-yet-girly floral print bandeau dress ($92), which you can rock with your updo from the dance. For the gals that want to go ALL OUT, we recommend this neon and gold sequin panel skater dress ($160) that is totally show-stopping. Just throw on some coral lipstick, and you're good to go!

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clutches

Can your clutch hold all of your prom emergency items?!
Photo: ASOS/ Shopbop/ Urban Outfitters

Sure, it might look simple, but let's be real here— packing your purse for prom is NO easy task. If you're doing the whole pre-prom photo sesh, fancy dinner, the dance itself, and the after-party, well, chances are you'll need a bunch of stuff to get you through this epic marathon night. So let's talk strategy, shall we?! First of all, the bag you're carrying will most likely be a tiny clutch, which is heavy on the style factor but not so much on the whole practicality thing. If you're still on the hunt for a bag, we're loving this seafoam green envelope clutch from ASOS, the Jillian Minaudiere sparkly number from Club Monaco, and House of Harlow's reptile pouch for their slightly-larger-than-average storage capability and undeniable chicness. But regardless of which clutch you bring, the stuff you take with you will need to be small, posses multitasking capabilities... or better yet, both. Because NOBODY wants to be left stranded on prom night, we've dutifully rounded up our favorite tried-and-true essentials to pack in your purse in case of any beauty emergency. See our must-bring list of products below!

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From dream dates to unrealistic movie expectations, there is a LOT of romanticizing when it comes to prom. The real fact of the matter is, though: this thing costs an arm and a leg. Between the tickets, the limo rental, the dinner, the boutonniere, and your outfit, you can find yourself racking up thousands of dollars for just one night. Granted, it is a magical rite of passage, but STILL. You can't help but feel it's a little crazy. If you worked your butt off on your summer job and saved up money to cop your dream prom dress, then more power to you! HOWEVER, if you're primarily interested in prom as an experience and are just trying to keep from breaking the bank (while still maintaining your style integrity, of course), we've got your answer: complete prom outfits for *drumrollll* UNDER $100! Yup. It's possible.

A prom outfit for under $100.
Photo: Forever 21

TOTAL: $85.40

Can we just shine a light on the fact that Forever 21 is a frikkin' BOON??? I mean, where else can you score an ENTIRE prom-ready look—dress, shoes, and bag—for less than 100 bones? Riddle me that. This pastel number is prom-perfect with a mint minidress ($29.80) dripping with tulle, patterned AND sequined pumps ($27.80), and a hard-case, heart-shaped clutch ($27.80) covered in spikes to keep the ensemble from looking overly saccharine.

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Welp, when you spend as many hours as we do thinking about prom (AFTER having graduated from high school a long, long time ago), it's only a matter of time until you start daydreaming about who you'd like to take as your date if it all went down today. Rather than just waxing nostalgic about our teenage glory days, we're taking prom to the next level (translation: our brains have been thoroughly broken by looking for a few too many princess dresses) and picking out our DREAM prom dates (for this year, anyway). It's a harder task than it sounds—we can't ALL take Ryan Gosling or Justin Timberlake or Kanye or hey, even Beyonce (uhhhh, HELLO, having a Single Ladies night with King Bey would be un-freaking-believable)—but someone's gotta we elected to do it. Read on as we delve deep into who we'd take, why we'd take him, what he'd wear and sooooo much more. Enjoy and try not to be too creeped out in the process!

CHRISSY MAHLMEISTER <3 JOE JONAS

Calvin Harris

Joe Jonas.
Photo: Via 'Paper' Magazine

Why he'd be a good date: Well, let me just put it this way, if this was Joe Jonas' response to a girl asking him to her spring formal then, well, prom is gonna be a ball, y'all. Between him staring longingly into the distance sans shirt (over a saxy jam, mind you) and talking about pulling his weight in the relationship while lifting dumbbells in skin-tight shorts, it's obvious Joe is total boyfriend, er, prom date material. He's funny, downright adorable, and, in case you've been living on a remote, internetless island for the past 10ish years, boy can SANG. Also, thanks to being in a band with his bros, he can dance/play guitar/do jazz hands/the whole shebang, so prom is basically that minus a million screaming girls and just me. Alone. In his arms.

What he'd wear: Not to be all, "Joe's the best-dressed dude EVAR," but he kiiinda is. Even GQ (reluctantly) admitted that he's a style star, so I'd hope he would pull out ALL the stops for his prom look. I'm guessing he'd sport a show-stopping tailored suit, a punchy shirt, skinny tie, classic oxfords, a hipster accessory (think: plastic glasses or bowler hat), and, of course, his signature stubble.

What we'd do: He'd probably want to do some semi-embarrassing-yet-still-adorable prom photo sesh before we leave (um, have you seen those pics of him jumping on a trampoline in a tux?), then we'd hit the dance floor until we sweat our balls off, and head out just before the dance ended. He'd take me to the beach where would we chill as he played some ditties on his guitar (about how gorge and amazing I am, obvi) and then we'd jump in the water—still wearing our clothes—because, um, haiiiii wet Joe Jonas. O____O Annnnd this is where I'll stop because I'm creepy and disgusting and I don't want y'all to judge me. Love you, Joe. Bye.

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Perhaps by now you've realized that we, the loyal attendants of the MTV Style brain trust, prepare for prom like most prepare for Christmas. Over the past few weeks, we've made it our goal to present you with a carefully curated guide to this one night, THE ultimate high school soiree. However, we feel there are certain parameters we need to discuss. Movies set ridic standards for prom by packing drama, hi-jinx, and MAJOR sartorial showmanship, but there is one aspect of fictional proms that seems slightly overlooked: the entertainment. Have you ever noticed how certain movies feature a prom band that is just a little too famous to be believable? I mean, not to dock the history teacher who moonlighted as a DJ at MY prom, but let's face it, most prom committees just don't have these kind of connections. Let's break it down.

USHER - SHE'S ALL THAT

usher

Usher DJ's the prom in 'She's All That.'
Photo: Courtesy of Miramax Films

She’s All That is an insta-classic for several reasons, one of them being the legendary non-sequitur dance scene that takes place at the prom. Usher just so happens to be the "Campus DJ" [Ed Note: a campus which includes LIL KIM amongst its student body, BTW] who, pristinely outfitted in a tux and bowler hat, leads the entire senior class in an impeccably choreographed dance to Fatboy Slim’s iconic big-beat jam, “The Rockafeller Skank." Because we all know that practicing dance routines is exactly what high school students do in their free time. The dance number has ZERO plot-thickening merits, but there is something very satisfying about watching the same R&B superstar who sings “Nice & Slow” preside over a Bob Fosse-inspired skank routine.

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Prom is one of the only GREAT excuses a girl gets in high school to get dressed to the nines (or whatever the lady-equivalent is of "suit and tie s***"). HOWEVER, it is also a night of dancing, standing, dancing, mobilizing from house to dinner to party to after-party, and more dancing. Point being, you're going to be on your feet. A lot. To this effect, we're taking a beat to look out for your podiatric health. We understand that some of you may be married to the idea of sticking it out in your gam-glorifying high-heeled best for your special night, but just in case you're willing to venture outside of the stiletto-shaped box, we've rounded up some of the cutest, less-ankle-breaking styles the e-retail world has to offer. PLUS, a general idea of the kind of dress that works with each shoe silhouette! *dusts shoulders off* We know. You're welcome.

OXFORDS

prom oxfords

Switch out your high heels for oxfords this prom!
Photo: ModCloth/UrbanOutfitters/Nasty Gal

Oxfords are HUGE this season in so many prints, styles, and colorways, making now the perfect time to implement them into all your wardrobe needs. Including prom! Since there's an unmistakable menswear-ness to oxfords, we like the idea of pairing them with a hyper-feminine prom dress with a big fluffy skirt. A short one, at that. All the better to show off your boundary-pushing kicks.

+ White Prom Dress: ModCloth ($79.99)
+ Color Block Oxfords: Urban Outfitters ($150.00)
+ Printed Oxfords: Nasty Gal ($148.00)
+ Holographic Oxfords: Urban Outfitters ($186.00)

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nasty gal

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Photo: Nasty Gal's new 'Anti-Prom' lookbook.
Courtesy of Nasty Gal

Prom season is officially in full swing, and by now, the message should be coming through loud and clear: there's NO one right way to do prom. You could rock a short dress, you could go ultra-glam, hey, you can even go as a hamburger if you wanted...but leave it to Nasty Gal to show us some of the coolest options yet. If you know NG, then you already know that Sophia Amoruso & co. have never really done things the traditional way. Luckily, the retailer's "break all the rules" philosophy applies to their newest lookbook as well, aptly titled "Anti-Prom." Stocked with tons of dresses (duh), plus unexpected pieces like spiky stud accessories, leather jackets, and even bright blue creepers, this is prom like you've never seen it before (and it's awesome).

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Let's face it. This time of year it's impossible not to get caught up in all of the glorious hype surrounding prom. Whether you're a freshman going with a hot upperclassman or dancing the night away with a big group of girlfriends at your last dance, prom is nostalgic and wonderful and overrated all at the same time. And if you're like me, where your senior prom was in an events center that held a livestock show a few hours before (yes, it still smelled like cattle and hayfeed), the lights kept brightly on the whole time and the "DJ" "spun" from an iPod set up, prom certainly was a night to remember. (Shout out to my Nebraska youth!) But no matter, because luckily, network television always delivers an excellent prom night with dramatic king and queen announcements, outrageous themes and a pretty sparkling bow on the high school coming-of-age sitcom. We've sorted through the gowns and corsages of our favorite TV proms EVER, including the glory days of The WB line-up (oh yeah, we went there). Get ready to relive it all.

GLEE "PROM-A-SAUROUS"

glee prom

Rachel and Finn win Prom Queen and King at the dinosaur-themed prom in 'Glee.'
Photo: Courtesy of FOX

We don't have to go too far back in time (literally) to remember the prom of Glee's McKinley high school, but we do have to go back several million years to embrace Brittany's "Dinosaurs" theme. Although fossilization and spiked punch don't seem to go hand in hand, the Cheerio cheerleader-turned-class president selects the theme and institutes a "no hair gel" ban, targeting dear Blaine who has never made a public appearance without slathering his normally frizzy fro with product. In protest, Kurt, Blaine and Rachel decide to throw an anti-prom, but gathering in a damp and dirty motel with nothing to do and no good Bravo TV to watch the crew quickly turns around and heads to the Mesozoic era with the rest of the kids. Of course what's a dinosaur themed prom without some modern day pop song performances? The girls perform the Selena Gomez anthem "Love You Like A Love Song" while the boys croon 1D's "What Makes You Beautiful." We conclude with a "Take My Breath Away" ballad as Finnchel (Finn + Rachel) take the title of prom king and queen and ride off into a Brontosaurus-filled sunset.

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Prom Pastel Nail Art

Photo: Via Julia Martinez

Prom is in full swing, y'all, which means it's time to get that head-to-toe look whipped into shape ASAP. By now, you've (hopefully) swiped up a super fun frock, played with some amazing 'dos, and tested out the perfect makeup look. But we still have one very, very important detail that we can't overlook: the nails! Nothing pulls an entire outfit together like a set of seriously gorgeous tips, and we rounded up some springy, pastel-themed designs that are super easy to recreate on your own—we promise! Think of it this way: If you can do a simple stripe or polka dot, you're totally in the clear. Oh, and that Caviar manicure set? We have a tutorial on that, too.

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Romance, you guys. Prom is a great many things—a chance to have one more night with all your friends before high school ends and the big, bad future swallows you up, a chance to look AMAZING in a fancy dress, you know—but it's also a big deal in terms of puppy love. Relationships and crushes alike feel SO MAJOR in high school that one slow dance can feel like you've died and gone to swoonsville and being asked to prom is a very exciting prospect. When I was in high school, I went with my best dude friend Dave, and I can't even remember how he asked me, I think we were walking through the halls after choir and he was just like, "Hey, wanna go to prom with me?" and so we did. This was before YouTube, OK? Stakes are way higher for today's prom Don Juans, though, with flash mobs, viral everything, and the internet getting all up in everyone's business. Which brings us to the topic at hand: THE PROMPOSAL. You kids these days, you're CA-UTE. Just a quick spin through the #promposal hashtag on Twitter is enough to melt the stoniest of bitter hearts—from the expected roses all over cars and hallway banners to the, well, downright weird, people are getting CREATIVE. We found a few promposals that we thought really captured the spirit of the trend, and the girls who received them were kind enough to share their photos with us!

Allison Murphy's promposal.
Photo: @alimurphy735

After doing some research on both Allison Murphy and her boyfriend Luke's twitter accounts, we have learned that they REALLY dig cereal. In particular, they're really into Barbara's Bakery Puffins. We assume that this means the two of them, you know, hang out after school and snack on cereal, so wasn't Luke being sneaky when he altered a box of their fave treat to ask his lady to be his prom date? Cute, cute, cute. Love a man who can get crafty. Also, he wore a tie (we're hoping he did it for the occasion and not as part of a school uniform) when he did it, which is so on point. Gentlemen, take note: when asking a lady to prom, make sure you look right. You hear us?

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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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