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Prom preparation advice to ensure a memorable night

After preparing the appropriate wardrobe, hair, makeup and shoes, many Palo Alto High School students will congregate on April 16 at the Design Galleria to celebrate Prom.

It is the night all juniors and seniors dream of, but all the wallets dread: Prom. Some might think that starting to plan for Prom in January or February is too early, but that is far from the truth — all the elements that go into this special night need to be arranged months ahead in order to schedule all the hair and makeup appointments, as well as to ensure that you will not match with anyone.

With tickets, hair, makeup, dresses and more, preparation for the culminating dance of  high school can become extremely pricey. As many students are on a tight budget, choosing the perfect outfits and preparation routine for Prom can be difficult. However, if you look in the right places, your budget will not be a problem.


A girl will probably spend most of her Prom budget on her outfit, primarily for the pre-Prom pictures, which will be plastered all over social media for everyone to see. Finding a luxurious dress can be time-consuming and unnecessarily expensive. Here are some stores that will help you save money while looking stylish.

For girls, Lulus offers over a hundred prom dresses to buy ranging from $25 to $150. But hurry — if you care about twinning, dresses from this website are getting claimed very quickly. For those who do not want to spend over $100, Rent the Runway has many designer dresses for customers to rent. Although you are likely to find a dress you will love, you might find an issue with the sizing since you cannot alter it.

While buying a dress is generally more expensive than renting a tuxedo, there are small yet pricey details of the guys’ outfit that are overlooked. Cuff links, pocket squares, shoes and bow ties can start to add up, on top of the tuxedo itself. Men’s Wearhouse offers full suits for as low as $129 and rentals at a low of $59.99. However, the cheapest options tend to be very boxy, so the extra money can be worth the tailored fit. If guys want to avoid buying a whole suit and just want certain accessories, ASOS carries a wide range of options to choose from, such as belts, watches and ties.


While doing your hair at home would be the more affordable option, many girls opt to get their hair done at a salon as a treat for a special occasion. Additionally, a salon service is likely to last longer because of professional products and equipment.

Drybar, located at the Stanford Shopping Center, is a premier blow dry bar where many girls may opt to get their hair done. They offer blowouts at a standard price of $40, not including tips, and  charge more for an added braid or bow. With a wide variety of stylistic options, Drybar has enough hairstyles to satisfy anyone’s needs.

If you want curly or wavy hair, The Cosmo, The Mai Tai or the Dirty Martini are the best options. For a more simple hairstyle, The Manhattan, Southern Comfort or The Straightup are the go to styles. DryBar now has a new addition “Dry on the Fly,” which allows customers to order a stylist to come to their home and style their hair. However, it comes at a more expensive cost of $75 (tips included).

Another option is Halo Blow Dry Bar, located in Town and Country. Even though it has fewer hairstyle options than DryBar, Halo promises a complete blowout in 45 minutes or less with a standard price of $49 plus a recommended tip of $15-$20. For more glamorous hairstyles, Party Curls, Pretty Please and Glam-a rama are suitable choices. You can also go to MeOnly Better and Give It to Me Straight for more simple hairstyles.

For guys, schedule a haircut one to two weeks before Prom, so the hair can have a little time to grow out, but still look clean cut.


This is the trickiest step in preparing for Prom, because ideally, you want makeup to look flawless and last all night. One option in regards to makeup is watching Prom makeup tutorials on YouTube, and doing your makeup by yourself. However, you can also choose to get your makeup professionally done.

Although known for giving blowouts, Halo Blow Dry Bar offers makeovers administered by professionally trained makeup artists. The “All Night Long Make Up” look creates a glamorous tone, takes 45 minutes to complete and costs $55.

A more natural option is the “Day Make Up,” which costs $45. Another popular makeup locations is Sephora, where you only need to spend $50 on products the day of to qualify. You can either buy the products minutes prior to the session for the makeup artist to use, or you can ask for the makeover to be done and then buy the products. At a counter at any department store, such as Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus, also have options similar to those at Sephora.


To tie the whole outfit together, you need good shoes to keep you dancing on your feet all night. Designer Shoe Warehouse carries a multitude of different options for both men and women at a reasonably low price.

Any local department store including Macy’s, Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, also carries a variety of diverse shoe options from high heels to flats but at a more expensive price point.

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