The Big Night
Brightly colored prom dresses, mermaid prom dresses, and sparkly prom dresses on a clothing rack

Dressing Up For Prom In 2022 Is All About Looking And Feeling Your Best

You can find two-piece styles, Y2K inspo, and jumpsuits on this year’s lineup.

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Prom season is fast approaching, which means it’s time to stop doom-scrolling and commit to a prom look. Lucky for you, regardless of the theme, dress code, or vibe of your specific prom experience, the prom dress trends of 2022 are stunning and more inclusive than ever. There’s a major “go big or go home” feel to this year’s most in-demand styles and an even wider range of inspo behind the trends. What’s even better is you can snag any of 2022’s top prom dress (or suit!) trends for less than $100.

If you want to *go big*, suits are having a major moment — both two-piece suits and jumpsuits are showing up all over, featuring embellishments like pearls and beading on luxe fabrics like satin and velvet. If suits aren’t your style, you’ll be happy to hear that those fabrics are also taking familiar prom dress silhouettes like mermaid cuts and ball gowns to new levels. Either way, there will be no *going home* for you until the big night is long over.

The Y2K mania taking over fashion and beauty right now has also gotten its hands on 2022 prom trends. While styles are leaning more toward the strappy silhouettes of the ‘90s, you’re going to be seeing quite a bit of Y2K inspo in the colorways of this year’s prom dresses. Think neons, along with the kind of metallics that would make Y2K Princess Paris Hilton proud.

There’s also a very “to thine own self be true” vibe taking over prom trends post-lockdown. Want to let your inner goth flag fly? Awesome. The same goes for vintage-inspired looks, menswear turned on its head courtesy of oversized tuxedo jackets, and glitzed up everything. We’re talking stacks on stacks of sequins.

Ahead you’ll find 18 dresses that are guaranteed to feel fresh AF at prom this year, along with tips from fashion experts on how to style them. And, let me repeat, they’re all under $100. Happy shopping!

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01

Sheer Corset Prom Dresses

“I love this style,” says fashion stylist Becca Gross, “because it’s supportive for a lot of body types, but adds an edge.” This full-length gown from Fashion Nova comes in sizes XS to 2X and features a sheer corseted top that will leave you looking snatched.

02

Satin Corset Prom Dresses

This Zara satin midi gown takes a different approach to the corset prom dress style. Rather than a full bodice, it features an underbust-style corset. It’s a more subtle look for sure, but the delicate boning and the mid-thigh front slit keep things looking sultry.

03

Mermaid Prom Dresses

The mermaid silhouette is a prom mainstay for a reason: It hugs curves and makes a statement. That said, the mermaid prom dresses of 2022 are not the same as the mermaid prom dresses of years past.

As Lizzie Dawson, Fashion Director at Nasty Gal, explains, “Feminine but with a twist, this trend has seen a newer take on prom dressing in liquid satins, statement sequins, and soft tulle dresses.” This Windsor mermaid gown features padded cups, adjustable spaghetti straps, and an all-over damask sequin pattern.

04

Two-Piece Prom Dresses

“I love the idea of remixing something typically traditional,” says Gross. “We’ve seen a lot of two-piece formal wear on the runways recently and I’m all for it!” Same, girl, honestly.

This fully sequined two-piece prom gown combines traditional elegant prom vibes with a modern pop of midriff.

05

Two-Piece Mini Prom Dresses

Dawson calls the two-piece prom dress, “the ultimate modern prom look.” Not only has “the two-piece fast become the trend ‘look’ of the season,” but it’s the most customizable in terms of creating a vibe. This rhinestone and vinyl approach to the two-piece prom look lifts the hemline up a notch while keeping the flirty midriff touch.

06

Ball Gown Prom Dresses

“There are only so many moments that most of us have to wear a gown, so why not go all out?” asks Gross. “I love the idea of mixing the ball gown style with modern and clean fabrics.” This Jules and Cleo halter ball gown does just that, combining the full-skirted feel from days of old with the clean, athletic-inspired lines of a halter top in a bright, whimsical shade of pale blue.

07

Sparkly Prom Dresses

“Sparkly prom dresses are classic and elegant. Depending on the cut, it can ooze old Hollywood nostalgia and I am here for it!” The all-over sequins on this sparkly Fashion Nova prom dress combined with the thigh-high front slit are certainly making a statement and, yes, the vibe is all old Hollywood glamour.

08

Vintage Velvet Prom Dresses

Another way to channel old-school Hollywood glamour is to opt for a vintage-inspired silhouette like the one featured on this gorgeous, curve-hugging midi gown from Pretty Little Thing. The fabric — a dreamy velvet — also says vintage loud and clear.

09

Sparkly Short Prom Dresses

No matter the length of the prom dress, you can make a statement if you spackle on the sequins. This wrap mini dress features a more casual silhouette, but the sequins are serving major look. They’re also literally everywhere, even on the ties of the wrap dress closure.

10

Prom Suits

“When comfort and chic meet, you can’t go wrong,” says Gross. This Shein two-piece, pearl-studded suit mixes sharp tailoring with softer, feminine embellishments, thanks to pearls decorating the shoulders and collar.

11

Prom Suit Dresses

A slightly different take on the prom suit, the oversized blazer gives an androgynous edge without, well, you know, pants. The lines of this blazer mini dress from Nasty Gal are still decidedly traditional menswear and very sharp.

12

Goth Prom Dresses

“I’ve seen some people really nail this look,” says Gross. Goth prom dresses like this one from Dolls Kill can be dressed up for a full Morticia Addams moment or dressed down with more subtle accessories.

13

Velvet Goth Prom Dress

“The goth dress is the ultimate in unique prom dressing,” says Dawson. “Accessorized with statement boots, tights, and jewelry, a gothic fairy tale moment can be enviable.”

14

Vintage Prom Dresses

Vintage-inspired prom dresses this year dip into the past while including modern vibes. The embellishments on this ASOS DESIGN midi dress are very vintage — feathers, pearls, and delicate art deco beading — on top while the cut of the gown from the waist down toes the line of body con and features a tasteful slit up to the knee.

15

Tulle Prom Dresses

Tulle is a go-to prom fabric and works wonders in a wide range of prom dress silhouettes like the ballgown silhouette you see here. Choosing tulle as the main fabric is one way to modernize a familiar prom dress style. The ballgown shape here is softened and given a dreamy, romantic quality by the tulle.

16

‘90s Prom Dresses

A shiny satin is pure ‘90s as is pairing the eye-catching fabric with a pastel shade like this nearly neon lilac. Another nod to the ‘90s? The structured bust of this midi dress and its square-cut neckline. It’s giving Clueless and I am totally here for it.

17

Prom Jumpsuits

Similar to how prom suits play with hard and soft lines, the prom jumpsuit toys with structure, flow, and draping while offering up all the elegance of a gown. As a bonus, you can really get low in a jumpsuit. Trust. This velvet one-shoulder jumpsuit from Pretty Little Thing is elevated by a luxe velvet fabric. Flashy fabric choices like this one are a guaranteed way to elevate a more casual silhouette.

18

Prom Dresses With Sleeves

If you’re looking for a prom dress that’s alluring without showing too much skin, a gown with full-length sleeves might be the way to do. This graphic full-sequined gown features a thigh-high slit, and art deco-inspired patterning across the bodice. It makes a loud, glam statement while still offering up some coverage.

Experts cited:

Lizzie Dawson, Fashion Director at Nasty Gal

Becca Gross, Fashion Stylist