Ask Jules: Prom Confidence

The Ask Jules email below brought to my attention how similar it can be to prepare for prom and getting ready to walk the red carpet. As daunting as both can be, it’s important to maintain a healthy mindset, dress in a way that makes you feel your very best, and remember to be kind to yourself. You deserve it!

Hello Julianne,

I just wanted to tell you how much you inspire me through your kindness and motivation. You’re one of the people I look up to most in life and I just want to thank you for showing me how to help others and be the best version of myself! Secondly, I am a senior in high school and prom is coming up so I have a few questions that I’d love to know your advice/opinions about.

My first question is about the dress. I am not a very materialistic person so it is not too important to me that I have a super expensive, fancy dress, but at the same time I still want to feel pretty and princess-y. Do you know of any relatively inexpensive options or any tips on how to feel confident in a dress?

I’ve been eating well and trying to live a more holistic life lately, which has helped a lot to boost my confidence, but there are some days when I still struggle with that. Do you have any tips that you use on red carpets or for formal events that keep you feeling happy and confident even after multiple hours? I know the red carpet and prom are completely different but I think some of the concepts are similar.

Also if you have any input on makeup and hair you’re willing to share I’d love to know!

I know you’re a super busy person and I’ve asked a lot (sorry for that) but if you do read this I would be super, super, appreciative and thrilled if you responded. Thank you for everything!!!

Thank you,

Hi Maddie,

Thank you for your kind words! First things first — let’s talk about that dress. Reading your email I was instantly reminded of the movie, “10 Things I Hate About You.” In the film, the main character Bianca goes to prom in one of the most low-key but still prom-worthy outfits ever. Bianca wore a high waist tulle skirt with a crewneck top. Even though the film is from the ’90s this classically-cool style has stood the test of time. Bianca went with pink from head-to-toe which can be tough to pull off, but I do like the idea of a black top (even a really nice, crispy new tee shirt would be cute!) and a colored tulle skirt. I’ve provided links for inspiration below. Let me know what you end up wearing! I’m sure you’ll look incredible.

Most importantly, let’s address this confidence stuff. I’m happy to hear you’re eating well and taking care of yourself holistically because that also helps me feel my best. I can promise you that nobody (not even me) feels completely confident 100% of the time. You’re right to say the red carpet and prom share commonalities — they both introduce an elevated level of pressure surrounding how you look and what you’re wearing. Totally superficial stuff!

For me, I make a conscious effort not to take the fashion part of it so seriously. For example, if an entertainment reporter or blogger hates what I wore on the red carpet and drags me for it, please believe I’m not at home sobbing over a pint of ice cream! Honestly, I hardly pay their comments any mind at all. I know I chose to wear something that made me feel comfortable, pretty, and happy — and who cares what anyone else thinks? If it’s not their cup of tea — oh, well!

At Prom (and every other day of your life), you should wear what speaks to you and makes you feel great. If it bothers someone else, that’s truly their problem, not yours.

As far as your comment about staying confident and happy after several hours, I say attend prom with an open mind and a go-with-the-flow attitude. If you expect to be bored or uncomfortable beforehand, chances are that’s what you’ll be.

Instead, consider the parts you could look forward to:
• Getting ready (my favorite part!)
• The decorations
• Seeing what all your friends are wearing
• Taking fun pics with your BFFs that you’ll cherish forever
• Seeing all your classmates having fun

Focus on the good and you’ll have a great time!


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Comments 4

  1. When I went shopping for prom, my mom insisted on getting this powder blue ballgown. It was as close to Cinderella as you can get. I felt as if it was overwhelming for my petite frame. I had my eye on this white mermaid dress with a simplistic beaded belt. It kind of had this bridal esque feel, and maybe that’s what attracted me to it. I loved it though. My mom could see how attached I was to it and finally pulled the trigger

  2. Take a look at Rent The Runway! You will find thousands of extremely high-end dresses that you can rent for SUPER CHEAP!! I did this for my senior year prom and I spent $80 to wear the most perfect prom dress and feel like a literal princess (the dress was upwards of $8,000). They have amazing customer service, they are very detailed about sizing on each dress, and they clean the dress for you so you don’t have to stress about spilling on it at dinner! After prom you just send the dress back and bam you just had a rockin prom with a fab dress without having to spend $300+ on a dress you’ll never wear again!!!

  3. I am also getting ready to go to prom and this has helped me so much! Thank you Maddie for speaking for all of us girls and thank you Julianne for the sister-like advice. You are literally like a big-sister that I have never had 🙂

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