It’s truly fascinating to watch the gradual trickle-down process of fashion trends. Take the peplum, for example: the flirty waist-circling frill first began popping up on major runways in 2011, but it wasn’t until later the following year that you began seeing them at literally every cocktail party, wedding and birthday bash you attended. The same goes for the current “ugly shoe” trend, which was born on last year’s Marc Jacobs and Prada runways but is firmly slated to be this summer’s top footwear craze. Why am I bringing up Birkenstocks in a prom feature, you ask? Simply put, it’s to illustrate the basic fact that certain trends need to marinate for months—often for over a year, even—before all of us feel comfortable trying them out ourselves. That gives celebrities enough time to wear them on the red carpet, our favorite magazines enough time to shoot them for various editorials and high street stores adequate notice to manufacture said item by the boatload.
The formal jumpsuit fits squarely into this mold. Major designers have been churning out one-pieces in dressed-up fabrics for several years running, and stylish stars like Shailene Woodley, Emma Watson and Diane Kruger are all on board as well. So while the prospect of wearing a jumpsuit once felt daring and strange, by now this modern garment has been around long enough to make it a bona fide wardrobe essential. Which is why this year, a jumpsuit is an absolutely perfect pick for prom night.
Think about it: any possible design option that applies to a dress also applies to a one-piece. You can go for a long-sleeved, short-sleeved, sleeveless or strapless jumpsuit. They come in body-conscious and free-flowing varieties, as well as in a wide range of fabrications (silk, lace and ponte knit are all smart options for a formal event). Hemlines range from floor-grazing to ultra-short (in which case the item is technically more of a romper or playsuit, but still!). And they look amazing paired with any sort of jewelry imaginable; in fact, their minimalist nature makes them an even better canvas for sparkling necklaces, bold earrings and bangles, not to mention statement shoes and clutches. When you think about it, the only thing a dress offers that a jumpsuit doesn’t is the perilous possibility of constantly tripping on your hem. And when you’re headed out for a night of dancing, who really needs that anyway?
Still not convinced to ditch your dress for a jumpsuit for prom this year? Click through above to shop 25 awesome one-piece options at a variety of price points.