The infamous season of prom is here. Young ladies are in search of the perfect dress for their prom night. They’re busy planning out the make-up, their nails, the color of their dress, and so forth. What are the young men doing? Nothing. That’s exactly it…nothing. Generally the young lady leads the way on this special evening. It starts months in advance for her, but for him, it seems to start a month before the actual dance. Generally the young man waits for his date or girlfriend to tell him when to go shopping for a tuxedo or suit and what color her dress will be so they can be the perfect match.
The young man is left with three specific details to this mission that he has chosen to accept. First, make dinner reservations at a restaurant. Second, place your order for a corsage. Third, order your tuxedo or suit. This all seems pretty simple right, but the truth is it can be a bit overwhelming and expensive. A true gentleman will take the lead and let his lady know that he has everything taken care over. Let’s talk about a few things to consider when preparing to attend prom.
Keep it fun. Gentlemen keep prom fun. Remember you’re not getting married and this isn’t a job or job interview. You’re still a teenager in high school. Take your time and learn to enjoy your prom. Make sure you focus on your date. In my previous article “A Gentlemen’s First Date” I talk about proper etiquette. Check it out.
Keep it Classic. Guys, classic will always trump the latest trends. Take something old and classic and give it a modern twist. Do everyone a favor and don’t be that guy who’s wearing the annoying brightly colored tuxedo or suit. Remember you’re not a road flare for an accident. You’re there as a dapper gentleman who wants to have fun with his date.
Stay Away from Sales. If you think you’re the only one who found that great suit sale at Macy’s you’re wrong. Everybody and their mother knows about it and was there. The last thing you want is to show up at prom wearing the same suit as everyone else. This is why I suggest you keep it classic and go with a tuxedo or find a unique dark colored suit at a thrift store and have it tailored to fit you. The bonus about a suit is you get to keep it, unlike a tuxedo. Be wise and remember that your wardrobe is an investment.
No Bright Colors. I honestly don’t care what the mall “fashonistas” tell you. Stay away from bright colors. Your date will look timeless and stunning and you’ll end up looking like a brightly colored piece of fruit from across the room. Trust me on this and stick with the classic black and white colors.
Don’t wear this to prom.
The Tuxedo. Gentleman, if you want to look dapper then the classic tuxedo is the way to go. If you choose this option the jacket and trousers will match properly in color. It will create and endless stream of black. Your trousers should have a stripe of satin down the outside of each trouser leg. Your trousers should be held up by suspenders and not a belt. Stay away from the cheaper metal suspenders that clip on to your trousers. While you’re trying to bust a move on the dance floor the metal will be showing. You will have a nice crisp white shirt. Your tie will be a plain black bow tie. Ask for the one that you have to tie yourself. There are plenty of “how-to” guides on the Internet. Guys, I wear a lot of bow ties and trust me, people will notice if it’s a clip on. They will try and sell you formal shoes with the tuxedo. If you have a nice pair of black Oxfords, polish them and wear those instead. If you are going accent your tuxedo make sure that you don’t mix and match gold and silver. Pick one and stick to it.
The Dark Suit. Let’s keep this simple. You’re going to pay the same amount of money to rent a tuxedo for as much as you would pay to by a new suit that you will keep. Think it through. For prom go with a dark colored suit. Take it to the dry cleaners a week before and ask them to clean and press your suit for you. Once you pick it up keep it in the protective bag until you’re ready to wear it. This will prevent it from collecting dust. Make sure your dress shirt is pressed and that you stick with a mild tone and not a bright colored shirt. Your tie selection should be colored, but toned down and a simplistic pattern. Stay away from matching outfits for prom. It just doesn’t work. If you want to try and match the best way to do this is to compliment each other with a little contrast. Take advantage of using your tie or pocket square to create some contrast with your prom date.
Good luck gentlemen on your journey to your prom. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below. Also please post your thoughts on this article as well as any other subjects you’d like to see on The Dapper Gentleman. Thank you again for all your support.