For most high school students, prom is one of the most important days thus far in your lives. It is the culmination of your young adult life, and a transition into true adulthood. It’s also a last chance to party with your close friends, and look great while doing it before you all move your separate ways for college. Even if you’re just starting your senior year, or if you’re lucky enough to be younger and get invited to a senior prom, it’s never too early to start thinking about what you’re going to wear, and how you’re going to look. Here are some tips and advice to get you ready for your big dance.

The Total Package
One thing to remember is that there will probably be a ton of photos taken on prom day, from before the event at you or your date’s house, to Instagram photos at the dance. So you’re going to want to look your absolute best. This means you should think about every detail, not only your dress, but your shoes, earrings, makeup, and hair as well. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to use some whitening strips or toothpaste to help get an extra sparkling smile for those snapshots!

When to Shop
Make sure you start dress shopping a few months before the prom. It might take longer than you think to find something that you really like, so give yourself plenty of time. Think about what trends are in this season, what colors look best on you, and what type of fit you want. If you find a dress that you love but can’t find it in your size, this extra planning time will also allow you to take the dress to a tailor to have it fitted.

Once you have your dress picked out, pick a pair of shoes that work well with the dress. You’ll most likely want high heels, especially for the photos, but pick a pair of fancy flats as well, as chances are you won’t be doing much dancing in your heels. If you’re lucky, you can find a pair of flats that are the same color as your heels. If you’re not used to walking around in high heels, practice at home for a while, no one wants to be the girl that falls on prom night. Don’t forget to shop early for shoes as well – you may need to have them dyed the same color as your dress and that can take time!

Hair and Makeup
Last but not least is hair and makeup. If you’re able to go to a professional you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of styles and looks, but if you’re going to do it at home, make sure you don’t go overboard on the makeup. Schedule a practice run for both – the LAST thing you want is to NOT like your look the day of the prom. You want to look beautiful, but you don’t want to look like you tried too hard.

Finally, remember to have fun, this is a night you’ll remember forever!