Homecoming is one of the important moments in your high school life. It’s the one day everyone looks forward to. You might be spending months planning your outfit, organizing a limo for you and your friends, or thinking of how to ask your crush out to homecoming. One thing we often overlook is homecoming dress codes.
Your homecoming photos are ones that will stay with you for the rest of your life. While schools will typically have their own homecoming dress codes, there are a few general rules that you should keep in mind. Your homecoming dress is one of the first ‘big purchases’ that you’ll make as an adult, and you want to choose a style that you can re-wear and that won’t become dated.
We’re sharing everything that you need to know about the homecoming dress code and what kind of dresses to wear for your homecoming.
What is the homecoming dress code?
The best way to think of the homecoming dress code is as being a cross between wedding guest attire and what you might wear to a cocktail party. While it’s not black tie, your homecoming will still call for an evening dress. Although full-length dresses are the standard for ladies, you can choose to opt for a shorter midi-length, especially if your homecoming is in a warmer climate.
The general homecoming dress code
- Allows strapless dresses where they are properly fitted. However, excessive cleavage is a no-go.
- Your dress can be backless, so long as it does not cut below your naval.
- If you’re wearing a 2-piece dress, each piece needs to overlap at your waist, with the top overlapping the waistband of your skirt.
- Your midriff cannot be exposed on either the front or sides.
- Dress slits cannot go higher than your mid-thigh, which amounts to being fingertip length when your arms are by your side.
- Your undergarments shouldn’t be visible through the dress.
It’s worth checking if your school has any specific homecoming dress codes or regulations. Some schools are more lenient with their dress code, while others impose a more modest dress code. If your homecoming dress doesn’t meet the specific regulations of your school, you may not be allowed to attend.
What to think about when choosing your homecoming dress
There are lots to consider when choosing your homecoming dress. You want to find the one that ticks all the boxes and will work for your homecoming and any other event you’ll want to wear it to.
If you’re going to your homecoming with a date, you’ll want to coordinate with them to find an aesthetic for your look. Most of your photos will be taken together, so you want to ensure that your outfits look coordinated. Generally, you’ll want to coordinate the colors and overall look of your outfits together.
If you’re going solo or with your girlfriends, you can have more freedom with your look or all wear coordinating outfits for a fun bonding experience. Just keep in mind that this is a dress you’ll be photographed in throughout the night, and you want to put your best foot forward.
It’s also important to not get too caught up in the style of your dress. You also want a homecoming dress that is comfortable to wear. While it’s good to get out of your comfort zone, you don’t want to wear a dress that makes you feel shy or nervous. Look for a dress that complements your natural silhouette, makes you feel confident and is comfortable to wear while dancing the night away.
What kind of dresses to wear to your homecoming dance
Now that you know what to consider when buying your homecoming dress, it’s time for us to recommend which styles of homecoming dresses to look out for. These dress styles offer something for everyone, and you might find that more than one appeals to you. Consider the venue that your homecoming is being hosted in, and don’t forget to account for the climate!
- Cocktail dress
Cocktail dresses are the perfect choice for shorter girls or those who want a more versatile look. The benefit of a cocktail dress is that it’s easier to re-wear for another occasion, such as a birthday event, holiday party, or graduation. Cocktail dresses range anywhere from a classic little black dress to an elaborate ‘Great Gatsby’ inspired look.
You can choose a strapless, one-shoulder, or long-sleeve silhouette, depending on the season. Whatever style you choose, a cocktail dress lets you have fun with your footwear and show off your latest dancing shoes.
- Two-piece dress
Dresses aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, look out for two separates that can work together as a dress. You’ll want to ensure that they overlap at the waist to meet the homecoming dress code. Separates are a trending look and have a more contemporary feel than a cocktail or full-length dress.
You can wear separates as a homecoming dress if they have a luxurious fabric, such as silk. Look out for a skirt with a midi-length and a top with a fitted bodice. You could have fun with your look by choosing a solid color top and mixing it with a printed skirt – or vice versa.
- Full-length evening dress
The most classic kind of dress for homecoming is a full-length evening dress. These dresses are typically floor-length – or will at least come to your ankle. It’s a go-to choice and timeless silhouette that is a popular choice for homecoming dresses.
You want to consider your height when choosing this style of homecoming dress. If you’re on the shorter side, you might need to have the dress altered to work with your height to avoid excess fabric. If you’re taller, you may need to look for a dress that offers extra length.
Your homecoming is one of the most important events in your social calenar as a student. It’s a night you’ll never forget. When you’re shopping for your homecoming dress, you’ll want to consider the dress code and choose a style that works for you.