13 Short Prom Dresses For Every Style

Sure, the automatic mental picture of a perfect prom dress is something sparkling, dramatic, and almost definitely floor-skimming. But that doesn’t mean the only good looks are the long ones! If you’re going for head-turning and statement-making come prom night, a SHORT dress just might be the kind of curve ball steez you’re looking for. The best part? Short prom dresses are arguably way better investments than their longer counterparts thanks to their re-wearability (that is, if sentimentality doesn’t have you putting the look on ice for a few decades). Also, they’re so much easier to dance in! If you’re thinking about a truncated prom dress, but aren’t sure where to start, we rounded up some of our favorite options in a grip of styles.

CROPPED CLASSICS

Short prom dresses.
Photo: ASOS/Topshop

A short hemline doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the princess-factor of your prom dress, and nothing says all that quite like pastels in classic ladylike cuts. With a shorter dress, you can afford to have a bigger, fuller skirt like this pink lace number ($157.94). If spatial subtlety is more your thing, take advantage of the leg-baring steez with a really interesting lace detail at the hem like this Whistles dress ($324.19). Pair it with lucite heels to keep it looking modern and fashion-forward. We’re obsessed with this COMPLETELY embellished midi dress ($79.80) because its high neckline keeps the look very covered-up in the front, but turn it around and those waist cut-outs lead to a wide open back. This is definitely a dress for a messier updo. If total-ensemble embellishment seems too heavy for you, you can always keep it isolated to the top and leave the skirt free and floaty like this pale yellow skater silhouette from Topshop ($280.00).

PRINTS CHARMING

Short prom dresses.
Photo: ASOS/Nordstrom

Prints on a floor-length gown may have been a bit much, but with a shorter prom dress, you can go H.A.M. on patterns because there’s only so much fabric happening. Just make sure to keep the cut and materials fairly dressy. The marbled paint drip on this Fairground Cha Cha Ching dress ($78.97) totally feed into our inner-’90s raver, but the prim and proper cap sleeves and peplum skirt keep things prom-appropriate. We love the way the rich cobalt of this leafy pattern pops against the neon pink background on this Milly sheath ($385.00), and the racer neckline and clean lines give the floral dress a refreshing sportiness. We speak pretty openly about our love of Mara Hoffman here at MTV Style, so it’s no surprise that this asymmetric, geometric printed, party dress ($288.44) was love at first sight.

PUNCHY PRIMARIES

Short prom dresses.
Photo: ASOS/Zara

In the complete opposite direction, some of the most striking looks are the simplest. We really like the idea of standing out on prom night in a solid primary color, and there’s a lot of versatility to that strategy. You can go party-ready in this liquid metallic cobalt mini ($249.38). Or channel your inner Tom Ford Gwyneth Paltrow in an austere, caped look of your own ($89.90). The other benefit of solids is how well they showcase interesting cuts like the details of this flame red fit and flare dress ($179.55).

SLEEVED AND SEQUINED

Short prom dresses.
Photo: ASOS/Topshop

A shorter hemline can also afford you the opportunity to tried out a sleeved ensemble. It’s kind of like taking the fabric that would’ve been your skirt and repurposing it to your arms. More specifically, we’re really into all-over embellishment when working this look. Keep it simple with one color like this iridescent emerald ($96.43), or embrace a sequin-covered pattern ($91.44). OR better yet, get the best of both worlds with a tonal pattern like this beige/silver/gold situation ($220.00). Happy shopping, y’all! *blows kiss, waves*

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