Prom 101

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Maia Smith

More stories from Maia Smith

June 1, 2017
Maia Smith, Jen Spadaro, Sarah Headley, Grace McCarthy, Harrison Graham, Kevin Kelly, Andrew LeClair, and Kenny Reid at Junior Prom last year.

Maia Smith, Jen Spadaro, Sarah Headley, Grace McCarthy, Harrison Graham, Kevin Kelly, Andrew LeClair, and Kenny Reid at Junior Prom last year.

Maia Smith, Jen Spadaro, Sarah Headley, Grace McCarthy, Harrison Graham, Kevin Kelly, Andrew LeClair, and Kenny Reid at Junior Prom last year.

It’s everyone’s favorite and least favorite time of year.

On May 6th and May 12th, both starting at 6pm, the junior and senior proms will take place. For half of Stonington High School, it has been the main point of conversation. Where did you get your dress? How are you doing your hair? Who are you going with? Rings in the hallways in every class and every hallway.

For some, it is a day to dress up, to wear your dream dress, and to have everything go perfectly and smoothly as you dance the night away. For others, it’s worrying about how to dance, what to wear, and what to do. The night, unplanned, can become overwhelming to even the most organized of students.

For first time prom-goers, many students from SHS have shared with The Brown & White their best perspectives on the entire evening and getting ready.

Emma Brown, a senior attending junior and senior prom this year, stresses not stressing out this prom season. “It’s not the biggest night of your life. It’s prom,” she says. “There is no need to get your hair or makeup done professionally. Have one of your friends help you. Prom is expensive enough already.”

She also recommends borrowing a dress from one of your friends if you can. Dresses can be expensive if you’re not looking in the right places, and friends or classmates are often open to sharing their once-worn dresses. Another good tip from Brown is to bring back-up shoes. “There is nothing more painful than having to put your five-inch heels back on to go to the bathroom,” she shares.

Hope Murney, about to be attending her third prom at SHS, shares her advice. “Don’t rub your face on anyone’s clothing, your makeup will get on it,” she laughs, explaining that it was a mistake she made last year. She provides more makeup advice: “Make sure you invest in a setting spray for your makeup.” Setting spray keeps your makeup on longer, allowing you to dance the night away without messing up your look.

“Lulu’s, Mystic Boutique, and Macy’s are great options for some last minute or inexpensive dress options,” Murney adds, as one of the biggest concerns for girls every year is where to find the perfect dress.

Guys can also use a little pre-prom advice. Alton Jones, also a senior, shares, “Don’t worry about [prom] too much. It’s only bad if you make it.”

Jones also addresses the tux renting-vs-buying situation that seems to be a big concern for guys before prom. “Just buy a suit,” Jones urges. “You can rent a very nice suit for $180, and also buy one that’s $180. You can keep adjusting it while you grow at Men’s Wearhouse.”

Corsages are also usually a concern for guys, especially when their date reminds them three days before prom that they should have ordered it already. “Get it earlier,” Jones says, “Don’t wait until the last second. McQuades makes good ones, as does Pot of Green across from SHS.”

Dancing at prom, according to everyone I’ve spoken to, is necessary. “If you’re not in the center of the dance floor, you’re not having fun,” exclaims Andrew Rosenberg, who loves to show his dance moves off at prom every year.

Rosenberg also wants others to learn from his mistakes. “Don’t dance with someone else who is not your date,” he says.

Senior Cailee Mathewson also adds that dancing on the outside can be a lot cooler if you’re getting hot or claustrophobic on the dance floor. It’s not uncommon for the small dance floor at the venue to be a little tight!

Overall, the prom experience is what you make it. Below, there is a collection of other great prom tips from fellow students.

General Prom Tips

  • Check out Pinterest for hair, dress, and makeup ideas.
  • Look through old prom pictures from your friends to find dresses.
  • Great places to find dresses: TJ Maxx, JC Penney, Macy’s, Nordstroms, Mystic Dress Boutique, online at, or Lulu’s.
  • If you’re ordering a dress online, order it early! If you order the wrong size and you’re in a time crunch, you might have a problem finding another dress in time.
  • Need a corsage or boutonniere? Try Big Y or McQuades. Go to the floral counter and order them cheaply there. Other nice florists in the area include Blue Butterfly Florist in Westerly and Pot of Green across from Stonington High. Another option is to make it a project, and make a corsage or boutonniere on your own.
  • Good at makeup? Some students are charging or volunteering to do other girl’s makeup for inexpensive prices. If you’ve got talent, offer it out to others who need a little help looking their best at prom.
  • Don’t have a date? Don’t sweat it. Guys or girls can have a fun night with their friends. Your friends are less awkward, and there is less pressure. So if you’re not feeling forced interactions with a guy you’ve never hung out with, don’t do it. Have fun.
  • Don’t expect to wear your heels all night, you’re not going to want to.  
  • What should you bring? If you can get away with just your phone, it might be your best bet. Otherwise, bring a small bag with the essentials: makeup, bobby or safety pins for dress or hair mishaps, bandaids for blisters, and mints or gum.
  • After prom, do not stress about after prom plans. Do something fun with your close friends and be safe.
  • Enjoy yourself, have fun, and appreciate the time with your friends!
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Prom 101