Since prom is basically the ONLY occasion in our lives that calls for super dressed-up gowns (well, minus our wedding day *crosses fingers*), it means we can FINALLY cop all those drool-worthy red carpet looks that we've been fawning over all year long. Just think—their stylists get paid the big bucks to dish out the top celebs' most killer looks, so why not take a cue from the best in the biz? We gathered some of our favorite awards show ensembles and found an affordable option for all our fashion-forward girls. I know, I know, we're sooooo nice. You can thank us later.

SELENA GOMEZ'S SPARKLY MERMAID DRESS

Red Carpet Prom dresses

Selena Gomez at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Feb. 26.
Photo: Getty Images

We loveloveLOVED Selena Gomez's super glam Oscar party look because it's body-conscious but classy. We tried to match the intricate metallic bead work on her Dolce & Gabbana mermaid dress with an allover silver sequin dress from Bloomingdale's. The Lauren by Ralph Lauren gown ($270) silhouette is SO dead that you could even sport the same vintage-y faux bob and call it a night! To finish the look, grab a studded clutch and call it a night. We particularly like this embellished linen wristlet ($70) from Bebe!

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As far as we know, Michelle Williams and Busy Philipps have never attended a prom together, but this is what it might have looked like if they did.
Photo: Getty Images Illustration: Jason Mitchell

It's prom week, and there are so many things to think about, from the perfect dress to the perfect date and sparkly accessories, and so we enlisted the help of our besties at HelloGiggles to share their infinite wisdom with us. Site co-founder Sophia Rossi is an expert BFF, so we asked her to write about the most important accessory you might have forgotten--your BFF.

Prom is just around the corner and I'm sure you're all wondering what this thirty-something year old inner tween thinks about prom, right? Prom is one the most important nights in a teenager's life and Hellogiggles wants you to know that you have our support. Your biggest support system, always, should come from your BFF (we are willing to act as your BFF now). I will tell you my three basic tips because I tend to be bossy yet informative at all times. Also, I went to prom with my best guy friend and it was truly the best experience ever, but enough about me..

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So, you've sorted out your nail designs, got your hair game figured out, and even found some apps to help you get ready for THE prom night, but now comes the hard part—the dress! Whether you're looking for something long and glamorous or short and spunky, we've got something perfect no matter what budget you're working with. Check out our under $100, under $250, and above $250 options below!

UNDER $100

Prom Dresses

Don't fret if you're allowance is a little tight—it won't stop you from finding your dream dress! If you want ALL eyes on you, go for the Way-In '80s-inspired teal sequin one-shoulder mini ($68). We love the giant bow on the shoulder, and, I mean, how can you NOT have fun at prom in this? For a more vintage-y vibe, opt for the black and beige Trixxi Retro sequin gown ($88). Above the sweetheart bodice is a shimmering nude neck for added drama. Take a cue from the model and go for retro curls too! If you're feeling super girly, go for the flared Little Mistress floral jacquard silver and white prom dress with a sequin belt ($90). Add a bright red platforms, and BAM! You'll put all the other girls (and guys) on the dance floor to shame.

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Prom doesn't have to be all about fancy schmancy updos that have you in a salon chair for hours and shellacked under a helmet of hairspray. Take a cue from some of the hottest starlettes gracing the red carpet this year like Dianna Agron, Rihanna, Sky Ferreira, and Katy Perry, and go for something a little more unexpected, modern, and fun. These ladies have rocked some of the hottest hairstyles of the year (the braided updo, the pin-up look, the old Hollywood waves, and the super sleek pony), and what's more, you can actually cop these looks yourself! Don't believe us? Fire up your styling wands and read on!

THE BRAIDED UPDO

Dianna Agron

Try Dianna Agron's braided updo from the 2012 Screen Actors' Guild Awards.
Photo: Getty Images/Sephora/Ulta/Goody

The braid has been one of the biggest hair trends of the past year, and Dianna's look here for the 2012 Screen Actors' Guild Awards is extra special because it features the ultimate in plaits: the fishtail. In truth, Dianna's hairstyle looks more complicated than it actually is, so crack those knuckles, do a few dexterity warm-ups, and let's get started!

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Prom Apps

Prom iPhone, iPad, and iPod apps.
Photo: Night Moves Prom 2012/Prom Girl/Tux: The Tuxedo Builder/Prom360/Updo Styles/Prom Ping

Thinking about all of the moving parts that go into *deep booming voice from indeterminate origin* PROM NIGHT is enough to send a girl into a full-fledged panic attack. The tickets, the ride, the dinner, the boutonniere (not to mention how to put it on your date without stabbing him), and of course, tracking down the perfect dress. Just thinking about it all is making my head spin (and I've been too old for prom for, like, a bajillion years). Thankfully, we live smack dab in the middle of the Information Age, where the Internet and Google and smart phones reign supreme. While prom goers have been getting along fine for years without the magic Apple touch, it needs to be acknowledged that there are apps out there designed for amplifying and augmenting the entire prom experience from the first flash of sequin to the last clock chime before your curfew, so we've rounded up a few notable ones for you!

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OMG, prom is almost here! You've probably spent a bajillion hours thinking about the perfect dress, hair, and makeup for THE night of your life, but let us not forget one of the biggest ways to make a fashion statement—with your nails. Since you (or your mom, whatevs) will probably be shelling out mad dollars for the dance as it is, we found some totally DIY (and totally head-turning!) nail designs perfectly suited for prom night. Whether you want to go glam rock, a bit more trendy, or keep it classic, we've got something for you that you can ACTUALLY do at home. Warning: Your friends might be in awe of your glam and glittery tips all night long.

OMBRE GLITTER

Prom Nail Art

Photo: Via Omoimono.Tumblr.com

The absolute fail-safe option is the gradient glitter mani. It's sparkly, it's glamorous, and it's pretty much impossible to mess up. Ellen over at Omoimono did a FANTASTIC ombre manicure that we totally want to cop. To achieve her look, she used four polishes: sky blue, teal, and pastel purple for the base, and a thick glitter top coat for the sparkles. For the base gradient, follow this step-by-step tutorial. Then, top it off with some seriously chunky glitter at the tips that cascade down each nail, and voilà! You're done!

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Topshop

Topshop has a Prom Queen Style section.
Photo: Courtesy of Topshop

Spring is definitely in the air. While we're still experiencing our fair share of April showers, there are enough sunny-skied temperate days to remind us that we're on a steady transitional path onto sun-soaked shoulders, freshly cut grass, and balmy evenings. With the onset of Spring comes seasonal twitterpation, merry-making and of course, PROM. We all know Camille La Vie/Group USA and David's Bridal will be stocked for the annual formal function, but it looks like UK retail giant Topshop is getting in on the Prom action, too.

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Prom Dresses

Three prom dresses from Prom Girl.
Photo: Courtesy of Prom Girl

Did you guys read the WSJ article a couple days ago about how high schools are cracking down on dress codes for prom with intricate Power Point presentations and nifty little tricks like using your hand and your collarbone to deduce whether or not you're revealing too much boobage (the exact words are as follows: To deal with cleavage, the dress code asks girls to place the index finger on one side of the collarbone and the thumb on the other. "If any skin shows beneath your hand...your dress is too low-cut.")? It sounds insane and alarmist and conjures all sorts of images of stuffed-shirt administrators mouth-breathing and getting slap-happy with rulers and getting their foppish feathers ruffled over NOTHING. But then, um, I clicked on some of the questionable dresses and they legit bum me out. Is this real and totally a thing? Do high school-age ladies really want to dress like they're on "Dancing With The Stars?" Because: yikes.
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HM Conscious Glamour Collection

Looks from the H&M Conscious exclusive glamour collection.
Photo: Courtesy of H&M

If you're just beginning the highly anticipated prom dress hunt, we've got a place for you to start—H&M! The retailer will launch a collection of red carpet-ready dresses just in time for the big day, and the best part is that they're also eco-friendly. All the frocks are made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, and recycled polyester, so you not only will look super cute, but you're also secretly helping the environment. Score! If you're opting for a floor-length gown, H&M has tons of gorge dresses to choose from—our favorite being the plum and lavender recycled polyester crepe dress with floral embroidery and a removable skirt ($199). Yep, you read that right—if you get too sweaty on the dance floor, you can detach the long dress for an all-night boogie fest. Two-for-one deal? Yes, please. If you want to make quite the entrance, opt for the organic cotton and silk gown with an organza crease meringue skirt ($299). Throw a bold necklace on that bad boy and you're good to go. For a bit more color, go for the plunging lemon recycled polyester gown with a beaded top ($79.95).

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Victoria Justice

Victoria Justice at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

You can stop rubbing your eyes in disbelief, ladies, because YES, you read that headline correctly! You (YOU!) could wear the very dress Victoria Justice sported at the 2010 Video Music Awards to your Prom! "How?!??" you ask. "Don't those things get frozen and archived in some gilded underground cave, only to be resurfaced 10+ years later for museum features and auctions??" WELL, curious minds, that's not the case this time. The Victorious star has given her Jill Stuart red carpet frock to Donate My Dress, an organization that gives girls across the country the opportunity to cop lightly worn prom dresses for free!

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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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