The prom scene is the best part of so many high school movies, mostly because of the outfits. It’s always so exciting to see the big reveal! Sure, there’s Andie’s masterpiece of a dress in Pretty in Pink, but these four onscreen teens also did prom in their own uniquely flossy ways. Maybe one of them will be your prom-style muse…like one of them was for me!


The movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) is about a popular L.A. babe who spends her days shopping and going to cheerleading practice—until she discovers that she is the Chosen One…a SLAYER. Buffy soon learns, with bad-boy Pike at her side, how to beat up any vampire booty that gets in her way. The fanged creeps end up coming to Buffy’s school dance, thirsty for blood, but luckily she is armed with stakes and wearing an outfit so cool that it inspired the one I wore to my own prom: an A-line, vintage-style dress with white Doc Martens. Buffy threw a leather jacket over it, too, and that perfect mix of princess-ery and badassness STILL makes me sigh. Imagine showing up to prom in your own fancy dress with a tough-girl jacket on top!

Left, top to bottom: Faux leather biker jacket, $116, Topshop. White patent leather Dr. Martens, $120, Journeys. Center, top to bottom: Pewter fangs necklace, $7, GirlProps.  Vinyl lips clutch, $26, Nordstrom. Right: Beaded dress, $209, Trashy Diva.

Clockwise from top left: Faux-leather biker jacket, $100, Topshop; pewter fangs necklace, $7, GirlPROPS; beaded dress, $209, Trashy Diva; Super Trader vinyl lips clutch, $26, Nordstrom; white patent-leather Dr. Martens boots, $120, Journeys.


In Teen Witch (1989), Louise is a shy, nerdy gal who crushes on the class hunk, Brad (aren’t they always named Brad?), but he doesn’t even know she’s alive. One day, Louise meets a psychic who tells her that she is a reincarnated witch with magical powers! It’s not long before Louise starts casting spells to get Brad’s attention. This movie is bursting with deliciously ’80s outfits, including the puffy blue minidress with gem-studded sleeves that Louise wears to prom. In your own sparkly blue dress and matching jewelry, maybe you can re-enact Louise and Brad’s “Finest Hour” with your date?

Left: Sequined dress, $57, ASOS. Center: Sterling silver "Spells" charm, $22, Nestlearning. Right, top to bottom: Sequined clutch, $35, Lulu's. Blue sapphire necklace, $23, Silver heels, $49, 6PM.

Clockwise from far left: Sequined dress, $57, ASOS; sterling silver Spells Book charm, $21.50, Nest Learning; silver sequined clutch, $35, LuLu’s; sapphire necklace, $23, Overstock; silver Nine West heels, $49, 6PM.


10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is a tale of two sisters, Kat and Bianca. Kat is a feminist who doesn’t give an F about dudes or dating, while Bianca has guys groveling at her feet. A couple of these boys want to go out with Bianca, but their dad has a rule: Bianca can’t date unless Kat does, too. Bianca’s suitors come up with a plan to pay the school’s rebel hottie, Patrick, to woo Kat, but he ends up falling in love with her. I could describe more than 10 things I love about 10 Things, but number one is the girls’ keen ’90s-centric fashion sense (mini backpacks!). I don’t want to make this about sibling rivalry or anything, but I have to say, Bianca had the more original prom style. A crop top and a tulle skirt?! SEPARATES TO PROM!??! Pair a sparkly cropped tee with a poofy skirt, and you’ll look too good to be true!

Left, top to bottom: Sequin crop top, $179, ASOS. Transparent clutch, $33, Nordstrom. Center, top to bottom: Necklace, $11, and crystal headband, $13, Claire's. Right: Tulle skirt, $65, Modcloth.

Clockwise from top left: Religion sequined crop top, $179, ASOS; rhinestone necklace, $10.50, Claire’s; black tulle skirt, $65, Modcloth; crystal headband, $12.50, Claire’s; see-through clutch, $32, Nordstrom.


In Valley Girl (1983), a prep, Julie, and a punk, Randy, fall for each other, even though their friends don’t get it. I’ve always wanted to re-create their “I Melt With You” date montage with my own special someone. As you can see, Julie wears a lot of cute outfits in the movie, and her off-the-shoulder prom dress is no exception. I suggest going straight to vintage shops or Etsy to find something similar, like this one or this one.

Left: Off-the-shoulder dress, $390, Bonadrag. Center, top to bottom: Earrings, $13, and bracelet, $25, Claire's. Right, top to bottom: Betsey Johnson purse, $78, Modcloth. Strappy heels, $26, Go Jane.

Clockwise from far left: Off-the-shoulder dress, $390, Bonadrag; crystal earrings, $12.50, Claire’s; white Betsey Johnson clutch, $78, Modcloth; strappy faux-leather heels, $26, Go Jane; crystal bracelet, $24.50, Claire’s.

Now all you need is a corsage (ahem), and a Randy or Randette of your own! ♦