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Sure, the automatic mental picture of a perfect prom dress is something sparkling, dramatic, and almost definitely floor-skimming. But that doesn't mean the only good looks are the long ones! If you're going for head-turning and statement-making come prom night, a SHORT dress just might be the kind of curve ball steez you're looking for. The best part? Short prom dresses are arguably way better investments than their longer counterparts thanks to their re-wearability (that is, if sentimentality doesn't have you putting the look on ice for a few decades). Also, they're so much easier to dance in! If you're thinking about a truncated prom dress, but aren't sure where to start, we rounded up some of our favorite options in a grip of styles.

CROPPED CLASSICS

short prom dresses

Short prom dresses.
Photo: ASOS/Topshop

A short hemline doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the princess-factor of your prom dress, and nothing says all that quite like pastels in classic ladylike cuts. With a shorter dress, you can afford to have a bigger, fuller skirt like this pink lace number ($157.94). If spatial subtlety is more your thing, take advantage of the leg-baring steez with a really interesting lace detail at the hem like this Whistles dress ($324.19). Pair it with lucite heels to keep it looking modern and fashion-forward. We're obsessed with this COMPLETELY embellished midi dress ($79.80) because its high neckline keeps the look very covered-up in the front, but turn it around and those waist cut-outs lead to a wide open back. This is definitely a dress for a messier updo. If total-ensemble embellishment seems too heavy for you, you can always keep it isolated to the top and leave the skirt free and floaty like this pale yellow skater silhouette from Topshop ($280.00).

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Sustainable prom looks from The Reformation.
Photo: The Reformation

Despite all the talk of sustainability and environmental consciousness in the fashion industry these days, it can still be hard to find a prom dress that looks amazing but isn't hurting the earth in the process. Not only are a lot of clothes produced using processes and materials that aren't all that good for the environment, the people producing them, or ultimately the girl wearing them, a lot of clothing is produced in such enormous quantities that a certain amount of waste is inevitable. Don't think that means you have to wear hemp to your prom, though. While one of the biggest trends in socially-conscious formal wear are dresses made of cotton alternatives, that is by no means the only option (although there are also some really rad hemp dresses out there, just saying).

BUY DRESSES MADE OF RECYCLED FABRICS

The first is, of course, to buy a sustainably-produced gown. There are some designers making incredible dresses in an environmentally conscious way, most notably New York City's The Reformation, which uses over 80% reclaimed materials to make some of the most eye-catching dresses and rompers around. We're big fans of the whimsically printed Ladybug Dress ($298); the long sleeved, slit backed Gulf romper ($218); and the sweet and effortless red teepee dress ($188). You may ALSO remember that our Editor-At-Large Mary H.K. Choi wore a romper from the brand to this year's Grammy Awards. See y'all, red carpet tested, prom approved.

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We've already loaded you up on tons of dream dress inspiration this prom season, from the wallet-friendly frocks to splurge-worthy options, but you know what? Let's take a break from gowns for a sec because now it's officially time to talk hair. If you think about it, there's no better place to get prom hair ideas than from the red carpet. After all, these two events actually have a LOT in common: the search for the perfect dress, finding comfortable-but-still-chic shoes, and the inevitable time spent in front of the mirror getting ready. The only difference between us and Hollywood's "It" list is the fact that they have a team of experts helping them primp. But because we love you, we tracked down the masterminds behind some of our favorite red carpet hair looks this season from Kristen Stewart, Amanda Seyfried, and Sarah Hyland. These pros gave us the complete breakdown on how to recreate the styles yourself as well as the products they used (although your own bathroom stash will work, too). Check out the step-by-step instructions below!

KRISTEN STEWART AT 2013 KIDS' CHOICE AWARDS

Kristen Stewart at the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards
Photo: Getty Images

Kristen Stewart KNOWS how to get people talking, and at the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards we obsessed over her tousled fishtail braid (as well as her daring short suit!). The actress's hairstylist, Adir Abergel, told us how he achieved the effortless hair look.

1. On slightly damp hair, apply Fekkai Perfectly Luscious Curls Wave Activating Spray from roots to ends.

2. Using a diffuser, blow dry hair and scrunch it with hands to create a rough, voluminous texture.

3. Next, rub a dime-size amount of Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream between your hands and sweep hair back and up off of the face.

4. Starting at the crown, create a fishtail braid down the middle of the head. Secure the end with a clear elastic band. Gently pull the braid apart for a deconstructed look and let a few pieces of hair frame your face.

5. Finish the look by misting Fekkai COIFF Sheer Hold Hairspray all over to keep the style in place all night.

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While our actual prom days may be long behind us, we're using our fashion powers for good, living vicariously through your spring formal adventures while lending out a (well-manicured) helping hand. Let it be known that a knock-'em-dead prom dress can be found at ANY price point (and that back in the day, THIS editor found hers on the clearance rack of an outlet store [DOUBLE BARGAIN, y'all—I ain't ashamed of it]). We've hooked you up with jaw-dropping dresses for under $150 and a mid-range that won't break the bank, but now... Welp, now we're hitting you with 10 pricier ($350+) prom dresses and why we think they're worth the splurge.

MULTI-COLORED METALLICS

Prom dresses

These shiny, sassy dresses are worth shelling out serious dough for.
Photo: ASOS/Forever Unique

Pastel is now and will forever be a huge prom staple. It's springy. It's girly. It's prom-perfect. But if you're going to shell out hundreds of dollars for a pastel prom dress, you might as well go ALL out. To us, that means a rendering in metallics and, when possible, a metric ton of all-over embellishment. Take this sequined French Connection mini ($415.63), this mirrored Forever Unique number (£275.00), and the excellent ombre print and color combo of this House of Hackney frock ($438.90) as collective inspiration.

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The countdown to prom is ON. Yesterday we hooked you up with some amazing dresses that can be yours for under $150, and today we're upping the ante just a little bit more. While it TOTALLY doesn't matter how much you spend on your dress, just the way that you wear it, prom is a big deal and sometimes you want to be a little spendier. There are TONS of low priced options that will have you snatching prom queen crowns all over town, but we also found some breathtaking options between $150 and $350 that will guarantee you're the belle of the ball. From totally trendy to completely classic, the 10 dresses we're going to show you have a little something for everyone.

BEAUTIFUL BEADING

Photo: ASOS/Bloomingdales/Nordstrom

When searching for dress inspiration, we love to think back to some of our favorite historical eras. Now, we're not encouraging dressing up in a costume, but if you don't have the option to hunt for the perfect vintage piece, looking for more modern frocks in old timey cuts or styles can be a great way to get the look you're longing for. One of our favorite eras to pull from is the roaring 20's, when flapper style was all the rage. Sheaths, drop waists and, most essentially, beading were big in the era, and there are some great new options for you to effortlessly channel your inner Daisy Buchanan. In a classic drop waist sheath silhouette, we love ASOS' Frock and Frill Sequined Embellished Dress with Deep V Back ($244.44). For a more red carpet feel, the Adrianna Papel Beaded Gown ($260) sets our hearts aflutter. And finally, somewhere between period and modern is the Pisarro Nights Beaded Mesh Gown ($198)

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Can y'all believe it? Prom is already here, which means it's time to start scoping out your favorite stores for the perfect dress. But, hey, you're not alone! Whether you're looking for a flowy floor-length gown or short flirty frock, we've rounded up the best dresses on the interwebz so you don't have to. The best part, though, is that they're all under $150! Pretty awesome, eh? All right, enough talk—let's get down to business.

PRETTY AND PASTEL

Prom Dresses

Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom/ASOS

What screams "spring!" more than a gorge pastel dress? Um, nothing, duh. If you're looking to go the girly route in an above-the-knee frock, we've got three stellar options that won't break the bank. First up, a vintage-inspired pale yellow number ($141) that features super glam beading and sequin detailing along the front (including flowers!) and a pleated overlay skirt. The keyhole in the back adds an extra touch of edginess. This. Teal. Polka. Dot. Dress. Is. So. Cute. ($62) If you've ever wanted to try the cut-out trend, this is the time to do it! The classy number features metallic dots on a sheer overlay and shiny trim around the waist with a peek-a-boo back. Perf! If you want to go ALL OUT girly, we highly recommended this layered pink chiffon dress ($140). The top is decked-out in white, silver and pink beads that create a faux bustier. On the bottom, it's layers upon layers of the fluffy pink stuff!

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Morgan Saylor, Kiernan Shipka, and Sarah Hyland on the cover of ASOS Magazine.
Photo: ASOS Magazine

Do they put something in the water now to make being a teenager less completely horrifying? It sure seems that way, especially if Kiernan Shipka, Morgan Saylor, and Sarah Hyland are any indication. The three young actresses have pivotal roles on television's biggest shows—Kiernan as Sally Draper on Mad Men, Morgan as Dana Brody on Homeland, and Sarah as Haley Dunphy on Modern Family—and are quickly cementing themselves as red carpet mainstays. The three are the cover stars of the latest edition of ASOS Magazine, and not only do they pose in some super adorable prom looks, but the three open up about their own prom experiences (or lack thereof). Before we get too far into what's inside the pages, though, let's ooh and aah over the overwhelming cuteness that is that cover. The three girls are styled effortlessly, in clean makeup, floral accessories, and dresses that reflect each of their individual styles. Morgan channels Lana Del Rey in a white lace shift and flower headband, Kiernan stays true to her preppy proclivities in a white a-line cocktail dress with a floral collar, and Sarah keeps it modern in a baby blue, semi-sheer frock.

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Bold prints and unexpected accessories will have you in cool girl heaven.
Photo: Topshop

You guys, prom is about to become your EVERYTHING. Get ready to eat, sleep, breathe, and dream sparkly dresses, prom-posals, and photo booth poses. Get ready to answer one of the most important (ok, so not really, but in High School World™, YES) decisions of your life so far: WHAT DRESS ARE YOU WEARING TO YOUR PROM? It may not be for a couple of months yet, but prom season has arrived, and who is kicking it off but one of our all time fave retailers, Topshop. Starting today in New York City, the British company is hosting a PROM PARTY to get you in the mood for the coming onslaught. Tomorrow, Los Angeles Topshoppers will be able to get in on the fun, and finally, Friday you Windy City kids can get in on the action at the Chicago store. Each of the parties goes from 6-9 PM and will feature gifts with purchase, DJs, complimentary makeovers and hairstyling, yummy treats and more. Not only that, but you'll of course be able to shop for your prom look while you're boogieing down. Topshop has a specially curated prom section on their site, and we love how they took a super cool, non-traditional approach to their curation. A varsity jacket ($120) with your bold, mirror printed skater dress ($320)? Absolutely. Some amazing strappy boots ($220)? Duh. Top it all off with a bright pink pout ($15), some fun love/hate rings ($18) (so you can tell your date how you REALLY feel) and a smoky eye ($24) and you're all set to be the coolest girl in school on prom night.

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H&M's Conscious Exclusive Collection.
Photo: H&M

Exactly one year ago today, H&M launched their first eco-friendly red carpet line, just in time for Prom. We can hardly believe it's that time again, but the retailers new Conscious Exclusive collection sure is jogging our memories. Time to pick out your dresses, ladies! If you're looking for an environmentally friendly option, H&M is a great place to start. The collection is made up of dresses that run the gamut from ultra dramatic to cute and simple, plus everything else in between (and rompers!), and everything is made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, tencel, and recycled polyamide. Offering up some of the biggest trends of the year—cutouts, graphic accents, and sheer—the collection is a great way to shop responsibly without sacrificing a hint of style. One of our favorite pieces is the high-necked, completely open-backed dusty rose gown, which features a slim A-line silhouette and is modern and romantic. It's also made of 100% recycled polyester, so you can feel good about your shopping choices while you're dancing the night away. If you're looking to go even edgier, though, the cross-backed navy romper would be sure to cause a scene. We love the idea of wearing a romper to prom, because not only is it totally different, but it's a great opportunity to show off some fierce accessories.

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Let's face it. Prom is EXPENSIVE. Between the tickets and the limo and the dinner and the boutonniere, not to mention your outfit, that's a lot of cash to front for one night. We don't know about you guys, but when we were in high school (and walking up-hill both ways in the snow), our saved up United Colors of Benetton sales associate hourly wages would just barely cover those expenses. With that in mind, we've compiled four complete outfits - dress + shoes + bag, the works! - that you can cop for under $100!

A complete prom outfit for under $100.
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom/ASOS/Forever 21

TOTAL: $79.15

Girly girls need not fret. We're absolutely not suggesting you show up to prom in an all-over jersey dress. You can still look glamorous on a budget in this pink strapless party dress from Nordstrom ($36.90) laden with sequins. Pair it with an equally glittery gold hardcase clutch from Forever 21 ($16.80) and add a romantic touch with these floral peeptoes from ASOS ($25.45).

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MTV Style follows how people express themselves through fashion and beauty, from our favorite pop culture icons to you, the reader. We cover the fun, loud side of the industry with news, trends, interviews, videos, and more — MTV Style is fashion at full volume.

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Editorial Director
Sophia Rai
Staff Editor
Gaby Wilson
West Coast Editor
Chrissy Mahlmeister
Assistant Editor
Maeve Keirans
Editorial Assistant
Jessie Peterson

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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