Short Prom Dresses

753 Items

Since the early days of the high school prom, the term "prom dress" been associated with the kind of long, finely-detailed gowns evocative of traditional formal wear. However, a recent trend toward short prom dresses opens up new possibilities -- not just for proms, but for everything from homecoming dances, to winter formals, and more.

Longstanding Tradition

The high school prom first emerged in the 1930s and '40s, as we can see from yearbooks of the period. It may be rooted in traditions even earlier than that, with some historians suggesting that proms may have started as a college tradition as early as the late 19th century.

Early prom fashions were rooted in the idea of wearing one's "Sunday best," which is to say the kind of clothes you'd wear to church. This explains the beautiful long dresses that persist as a prom staple even to this day.

Evolving Styles

Formal wear is more rooted in tradition, and thus slower to change, than everyday or casual fashion, but we've still seen a number of changes in prom dresses over the decades.

In the 1940s, the norm was full, long gowns with covered shoulders and long sleeves. This evolved over time, from the more form-fitting dresses of the 1950s and '60s, back to fuller and more flowing gowns in the disco '70s, to a thankfully short-lived fascination with metallic colors in the '80s, to the off-the-shoulder looks of the '90s and trend toward higher necklines of the early 2000s.

The Era of Short?

More recent years have seen formal wear trends move toward beautiful simplicity and a less-is-more aesthetic, which may explain why shorter dresses are starting to come into vogue.

There are also shifting ideas of what constitutes "formal" in the first place. Years of fashion-forward celebrity fashion at awards shows and movie premiers has expanded the range of acceptable styles for formal occasions. A short dress can have as much fine detail, be made of luxurious fabric, and exude as much glamor as any of its longer, more traditional cousins, and designers and prom-goers alike are starting to recognize this.

The trend toward short prom dresses also reflects a growing trend toward practicality and usability in women's fashion. It's much harder to dance all night at prom or other celebratory occasions in a long, flowing gown. There's also the fact shorter dresses are more at-home in a larger variety of settings than long, elaborate dresses that you may pick up for prom and then never wear again.

Choices

Short prom dresses might just be the wave of the future, and there are reasons you might want to wear them over long dresses, but that doesn't mean you have to. You might prefer the style of the traditional long prom dress, and that's perfectly okay! Modern prom-goers have a wider array of dress options than ever before, and you should absolutely go with whatever you're most comfortable with or interested in.

What the evolution of formal dresses really shows is that we've moved from an era where fashion choices were limited by a fairly strict set of rules to one where individual expression and comfort plays a larger role. The idea of the short prom dress, for so long something that would be completely unthinkable, perfectly encapsulates this.

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Style
Neckline
Sleeves
Features
Brands
Price
Alyce Paris 4159

Alyce Paris 4159
Off the shoulder sweetheart neckline ruched waistband glitter jersey $198.00

Alyce Paris 3840

Alyce Paris 3840
V Neckline Short Dress $298.00

Alyce Paris 4036

Alyce Paris 4036
Halter Neckline Fitted Lace Short Dress $278.00

Alyce Paris 3811

Alyce Paris 3811
Two Piece Halter Neckline Short Dress $238.00 $198.00

Alyce Paris 3779

Alyce Paris 3779
Short strapless sweetheart neckline floral mikado/jacquard $198.00

Alyce Paris 3847

Alyce Paris 3847
Halter Neckline Short Dress $228.00

Alyce Paris 3863

Alyce Paris 3863
V Neckline Short Dress $258.00

Alyce Paris 3833

Alyce Paris 3833
Sweetheart neckline adjustable straps lace-chiffon short gown $198.00

La Femme 28156

La Femme 28156
Scoop neckline low back mikado bodice with tulle skirt $178.00

Alyce Paris 3825

Alyce Paris 3825
Two piece halter neckline open back lace-lux silk satin $228.00

Alyce Paris 4181

Alyce Paris 4181
v neckline open back short fitted cracked ice taffeta $188.00

Alyce Paris 4090

Alyce Paris 4090
V neckline open corset back short fitted luxe jersey $158.00

Alyce Paris 3864

Alyce Paris 3864
V Neckline Short Dress $268.00

Alyce Paris 4083

Alyce Paris 4083
Halter neckline open back side cut outs short fitted stretch crepe $318.00

Alyce Paris 2656

Alyce Paris 2656
Off-The-Shoulder Diamond Lace Short Gown $298.00 $98.00

Alyce Paris 3810

Alyce Paris 3810
Halter Neckline Short Dress $238.00 $118.00

Alyce Paris 4182

Alyce Paris 4182
V Neckline Short Dress $198.00

Alyce Paris 4111

Alyce Paris 4111
High neckline two piece short fitted bandage jersey $158.00 $148.00

Sherri Hill 52919

Sherri Hill 52919
Two Piece Animal Print $450.00

Alyce Paris 3892

Alyce Paris 3892
Short Jacquard Dress with Sweetheart Neckline $168.00

Alyce Paris 3883

Alyce Paris 3883
Short Halter with Pockets $258.00

Alyce Paris 2662

Alyce Paris 2662
Halter Neckline Two Piece with Back Cut Outs $228.00 $198.00

Alyce Paris 3879

Alyce Paris 3879
V neckline open back side cut outs short mikado $168.00

Alyce Paris 4201

Alyce Paris 4201
Full Sequin with Dainty Straps $198.00

Sherri Hill 52400

Sherri Hill 52400
Strapless Lace High Low Gown $750.00

Alyce Paris 3795

Alyce Paris 3795
Short off the shoulder lace mikado two piece $198.00 $88.00

Alyce Paris 4126

Alyce Paris 4126
V neckline low back short lace satin $198.00

Alyce Paris 3859

Alyce Paris 3859
Floral Embroidered Tulle Halter with Open Back $298.00

Alyce Paris 3828

Alyce Paris 3828
Off the Shoulder Sweetheart Neckline Short Dress $248.00

La Femme 28182

La Femme 28182
Off the Shoulder Fitted Short Dress $178.00

Alyce Paris 3905

Alyce Paris 3905
Strapless sweetheart neckline short a line shimmer mikado $198.00

Alyce Paris 4139

Alyce Paris 4139
High Neckline Lace Short Dress $228.00

La Femme 27652

La Femme 27652
Long Sleeve with Sheer Skirt $550.00

Alyce Paris 3822

Alyce Paris 3822
Scoop neckline short a line lace satin $198.00

Alyce Paris 4058

Alyce Paris 4058
V Neckline Fitted Short Dress $238.00 $98.00

Alyce Paris 4172

Alyce Paris 4172
V Neckline Short Dress $178.00

Alyce Paris 4130

Alyce Paris 4130
V neckline open corset back fitted lace-jersey $198.00

Sherri Hill 52669

Sherri Hill 52669
Short V-Neck with Floral Detail $498.00

Alyce Paris 4210

Alyce Paris 4210
Short Sequin with Sleeves $198.00

Alyce Paris 3807

Alyce Paris 3807
Short two piece halter neckline open back mikado $238.00 $198.00

Alyce Paris 4153

Alyce Paris 4153
Halter Glitter Jersey $198.00

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