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5 Great Dresses for Prom

Fun with friends at the prom
Fun with friends at the prom
RubberBall Productions/The Agency Collection/Getty Images

Prom is a rite of passage. You'll always remember who your date was, what friends you shared a limo with, where you ate dinner before the party and -- of course -- what you wore. There aren't a whole lot of reasons to get dolled up like a celebrity on the red carpet when you're a teenager -- and even when you're an adult, for that matter -- so seize the moment and choose a dress that makes you feel like a million bucks!

Here are five choices sure to make you stand out from the crowd and look like perfection in your prom pictures.

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Taylor Swift in a mermaid gown at the CMA Awards
Taylor Swift in a mermaid gown at the CMA Awards
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The fishtail hem can go one of two ways: a mermaid hem or a high-low hem. You've probably seen mermaid hems (aka trumpet hems) on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. These dresses usually hug the wearer's curves all the way down to the knee, and then flare out -- like a mermaid's tail. A mermaid style dress is typically a full-length gown.

The high-low hem, also called a fishtail hem, is shorter in the front and longer in the back. The asymmetrical hemline may flare out from the waist or the knee. These dresses can be long or short. Your choice!

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Actress Selena Gomez in a lovely sky blue chiffon gown
Actress Selena Gomez in a lovely sky blue chiffon gown
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

While satin and tulle are certainly still popular prom dress materials, you can get away with wearing comfy fabrics like jersey and chiffon, as well. Jersey has a way of draping and flowing well, which makes it a favorite among designers. And chiffon is a lightweight, somewhat stretchy material that usually acts as an elegant overlay for another fabric. If you're looking for something romantic that doesn't hug every curve like a glove, chiffon is a good choice.

The nice thing about these materials is they're forgiving enough to allow you some movement on the dance floor. Plus, they won't wrinkle as soon as you sit down.

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Actress Celine Buckens in a bold orange
Actress Celine Buckens in a bold orange
Mark Davis/Getty Images

There's no reason to stick with black for prom night. Go bold with colors like red, teal and fuschia -- the brighter the color the better. You might even consider a bold-colored flower print. Any style of dress will do -- empire waist, princess, mermaid, cocktail, maxi, mini.

Here's one tip, though: If you go for a bold color, let it speak for itself, and stick with muted shoes and accessories. You want your accessories to complement, not compete, with your dress.

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Stand out by wearing a neutral like ivory or champagne.
Stand out by wearing a neutral like ivory or champagne.
RubberBall Productions/The Agency Collection/Getty Images

If big and bold isn't for you, embrace the neutrals. Tones like taupe, champagne and alabaster will give you a classy, elegant air. Remember, though, if you're fair-skinned, neutrals may make your skin appear washed out. Fashion experts advise wearing some sort of embellishment to prevent your skin from blending into the fabric.

Neutrals will help you stand out from the crowd; against all the other girls' bold pops of color, you'll be understated and sophisticated. Neutrals lend themselves to all styles of dresses -- from short to long, empire waist to A-line. So just pick a style that flatters your figure.

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Actress Hailee Steinfeld wore a pale dress embellished with beads to the Academy Awards.
Actress Hailee Steinfeld wore a pale dress embellished with beads to the Academy Awards.
Jeff Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images

Don't worry -- you're not going to look like a cheap disco ball. Beads, sequins and sparkly fabrics will make you shine on the dance floor. You'll find dresses with jeweled necklines and waistlines, or a sequined bodice paired with a chiffon skirt. These dresses don't come in just white or neutral colors. Even bold-colored gowns are embellished with beads and sequins that will make you glimmer like a star on a red carpet.

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