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5 Prom Dresses From Teen Movies That Are Classic & 5 That Are Hopelessly Dated

5 Prom Dresses From Teen Movies That Are Classic & 5 That Are Hopelessly Dated
VOICE OVER: Sophia Franklin WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
Some prom dresses are classic, others are hopelessly dated. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the teen flick party gowns that will never go out of style and the ones that very much feel like a relic of their time. Our countdown includes "Pretty in Pink," "Carrie," "Jawbreaker," and more!

5 Prom Dresses From Teen Movies That Are Classic and 5 That Are Hopelessly Dated

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the teen flick party gowns that will never go out of style and the ones that very much feel like a relic of their time. We’re focusing on prom dresses alone, so no Homecomings, Spring Flings, or any other kind of high school dance today.

#5: Classic: Courtney’s Sheer, Shimmering, Stunner
“Jawbreaker” (1999)

It doesn’t take us long to establish that Courtney’s well “like Satan in heels,” but when it comes to fashion— that girl can slay! She serves some iconic looks throughout the movie. However, when she struts into prom, she’s a vision of elegance and edge. She wears a classic strapless number, opaque up-top, sheer down to the floor—her bold, confident, and fearless personality practically woven into the design. Oh, and that hair accessory! It’s truly a look fit for a Prom Queen, and we have no doubt it would still turn heads today. However, her bombshell look is no match for the explosion of drama that follows that bombshell confession.

#5: Hopelessly Dated: Romy & Michele Go Vogue
“Romy and Michele's High School Reunion” (1997)

Romy and Michele sure know how to make a statement with their unique styles. For instance, during their “A Perfect Affair” prom, while their classmates opt for pastels, ruffles, and florals, these besties look like they rummaged through Madonna’s wardrobe after her latest concert. If your prom’s theme is the ’80s, then go ahead and rock that look! But if time travel isn’t on the agenda, you might stand out as much as Romy and Michele do here. The ’80s were legendary for music, movies, and TV shows, but when it comes to fashion, let’s just say some things are best left in the past.

#4: Classic: Emma & Alyssa’s Modern Individual Looks
“The Prom” (2020)

Meet Emma, an Indiana high schooler set on attending prom with her girlfriend. She’s backed by a group of Broadway stars craving positive publicity. The movie features two prom scenes. However, Emma and Alyssa’s final looks steal the show and serve as powerful symbols of their personal journeys. Emma stuns in an aqua blue suit, totally owning her true self, way better than her earlier conformist dress. Meanwhile, Alyssa’s chosen style hints that she’s still got some mom influence to shake off, but those purple sparkles scream, “I’m done hiding who I am.” These looks are a timeless reminder that you never look better than when you’re true to yourself.

#4: Hopelessly Dated: Ariel’s Pink Off-the-Shoulder Ruffles
“Footloose” (1984)

“Footloose” follows Ren and his fellow seniors rallying to overturn their town’s no-dancing rule so they can throw a prom. Eventually, they find a loophole, and honestly, that’s a triumph worthy of outfits fit for royalty. So, it’s surprising that Ariel, the reverend’s rebellious daughter, goes for such a low-key look. Even so, with all that shoulder flounce, it’s almost like she brought her own plus one to the dance. The dress feels more like something a bride might force her bridesmaid into than a prom choice. We can’t say we’re clamoring to add Julianne Hough’s version from the 2011 remake to our wardrobes, either.

#3: Classic: Carrie’s Simple, Streamlined, Sleeveless Dress
“Carrie” (1976)

Carrie White's high school life is a constant struggle against the cruelty of her peers, with one particularly traumatic incident involving her first period. So, we were happy when Sue Snell stepped in and arranged a prom date for Carrie, hoping to give her a special night. Carrie shows up in this stunning pink gown that could win best-dressed in any decade. You know, one of those Cinderella moments where everyone stops and stares? Sadly, some nasty jerks destroy it in a vicious prank. Chloë Grace Moretz wears an almost identical dress in the 2013 remake, proving its timeless appeal. Some fashion choices never go out of style!

#3: Hopelessly Dated: Bianca’s Very Tulle Dress
“10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

If you attended prom in the late 90s or early 00s, we’re not sure you would’ve encountered too many people sporting Bianca's style—partly because it looks like the movie’s costume crew raided every tulle stash on the planet. Still, it’s not exactly giving Carrie Bradshaw. Now, we're all for a top and skirt combo, but it's almost impressive how that silky pink top clashes with the poufy pink skirt. It's as if Bianca took a wild fashion detour despite being a '90s style icon elsewhere in the movie. We won't say we hate it, but we could definitely whip up a list of ten things we're not loving about this outfit.

#2: Classic: Kat’s Sleek Blue Gown
“10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

On the flip side, while Kat hasn’t shown too much interest in keeping up with trends throughout the movie, prom night is where she truly brings it! Her look is classic and elegant, not trying too hard but effortlessly stunning. The navy slip she chooses is delicate and beautiful, just begging for some personal flair with accessories. Even if pearls and perfectly curled hair aren’t your thing, this outfit is so versatile you can easily make it your own. If we had a dress like that lying around, we’d probably never need to go shopping for formal wear again.

#2: Hopelessly Dated: Andie’s Homemade Pink Polka-Dots
“Pretty in Pink” (1986)

No hate to Andie’s dress-making skills; we’re not sure we could pull off anything resembling a dress ourselves. Still, almost like the Dr. Frankenstein of fashion, Andie creates a new dress from old gowns for her prom look. If you’re all about lace and polka-dots, this could be your prom dress inspo. But let’s face it, there’s just too much happening here. It’s like she tried to squeeze every fashion statement into one outfit, and they’re all shouting over each other. Even Molly Ringwald apparently wasn’t sold. Interestingly, costume designer Marilyn Vance said she aimed to create a timeless look, but she seemingly wouldn’t be too eager to wear it, either.

#1: Classic: Julie, Kayla & Sam’s Vibrant Blend of Trendy & Classic Styles
“Blockers” (2018)

We imagine one day, these friends will look back at their prom dresses and think, “Nailed it!” Each dress reflects the wearer’s unique style rather than conforming to fleeting trends. Maybe, like Julie, you want a dress that mirrors your confident, take-charge personality while still staying somewhat conventional. Or maybe you’re more like Kayla, liking a sportier, figure-hugging two-piece outfit that’s effortlessly eye-catching. Let’s also not overlook the timeless allure of the Wednesday Addams aesthetic! These are the kind of dresses you’d want to wear again and again. If we ever get a prom do-over, you can bet these dresses will be at the top of our list.

#1: Hopelessly Dated: Josie’s Metallic Pink Ruffle Overload
“Never Been Kissed” (1999)

It’s a given that Josie’s “As You Like It” prom dress is meant to be more of a period piece than a timeless classic. Still, we’d choose it over her flashback prom dress any day! Yes, Josie’s supposed to lack style, but that metallic pink number with ruffled sleeves and a sheer lace neckline monstrosity? No, thank you! It’s so flashy we’re surprised anyone could look directly at it! As if the dress wasn’t already enough of a fashion faux pas, her night takes an un-eggs-pected turn before she can even step off her porch! We feel for Josie, but come on, that dress was hopelessly dated even when she wore it.

Which teen movie would you take inspiration from for your prom attire? Let us know in the comments!