By Jean Patteson
1. Your prom dress should reflect your personal style, so choose a dress that makes you feel wonderful -- not the one the sales associate, your mother or best friend prefers. For the best selection, shop early.
2. The prom is not a music-video set or the MTV Awards. It's a high school event. So skip the plunging neckline, bare midriff and sheer fabrics. Think classy, not trashy.
3. Looking to save money? Many consignment shops have beautiful prom dresses for a fraction of their original cost.
4. Want a one-of-a-kind dress? Check out the styles in vintage shops.
5. Many bridesmaids dresses look just like prom gowns but often don't cost as much.
6. Short dresses usually are less expensive than long ones. They're also more versatile.
7. Choose just one or two pieces of jewelry for maximum impact. Sure, the magazines show models dripping with jewelry, but that's just because they want to showcase as many pieces as possible in each picture.
8. To wear something unique (and save money), borrow jewelry from someone special -- your mother, grandmother, big sister or super-stylish cousin.
9. Looks count when choosing shoes, but so does comfort -- especially when dancing is involved.
10. Where hair and makeup are concerned, think DIY. Instead of spending big bucks on hairstylists, nail techs and makeup artists, practice doing your own hair, nails and makeup. Or invite talented friends or relatives over on the afternoon of the prom to help get you and your girlfriends picture-perfect.
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