popular prom dress colors

The 5 Most Popular Prom Dress Colors

In Seasonal & Travel Fashion Tips by marketninjas

Going to prom is a defining event in most girl’s lives.  They’ve been looking forward to it for years, awaiting the time when they are old enough to attend.

And for good reason, it’s a magical night where you get to wear a beautiful dress and spend the evening dancing.  You may even rent a limousine to make the experience extra special.

In short, you get to feel like a princess for a day.  The time leading up to prom is also exciting, full of hair and nail appointments, doing your makeup, and feeling the anticipation build.  If you want to learn how to do your makeup and get it just right for that special night we recommend any one of these great online makeup courses.

Deciding on a dress is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make.  You want to look stunning in photos but also feel great so you can dance the night away.  With that in mind, you want the best.  If you’re read to shop we recommend checking out this lineup of the Best Selling Women’s Formal Dresses on Amazon.

You’ll be in your dress for several hours, so it’s key that it fit right and be flattering from every angle. From the color to the style, there are so many to choose from and the trends are always changing.

Prom dress styles and colors reflect current fashions, so even if you’re not planning to attend prom anytime soon, or have already graduated, it’s helpful to stay abreast of these styles.  They can inform other fashion choices in your life and make sure you always look stylish.

In this article we’ll outline everything you need to know, starting with understanding colors and how they look on you.  This is based mostly on your skin’s tone, so we will go over this first so you start with a good foundation.

Wearing colors based on your skin’s undertones

  • Warm tones
  • Cool tones
  • Neutral

Next, we’ll get into the top 5 colors to get a prom dress in.  We’ll explain these colors and the variations in each one, as well as who they might look best on.

women's sleeveless bridesmaid's dress

Our top 5 prom dress colors

  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Red
  • Jewel Tones

Then we’ll touch on some more amazing colors to reflect your personality and mood.

Other Great Colors

  • Nude
  • Pastel colors
  • Yellow
  • Metallic
  • Rose pink

Once you’ve decided on a color you like, then it’s time to start thinking about styles. What is the theme of your prom?  What cuts of dresses look best on your body shape?  Those are a few things to think about in this section.

What kind of dress do you wear to prom?

  • Mermaid cut gown
  • Shorter skirts
  • Asymmetrical Dress
  • Cut out gown
  • Empire waist ballgown
  • Two-piece dress

Now that you’ve got a picture in your head of what you want your prom dress to look like, it’s time to start the best part: shopping.  But when do you start looking?  During what months do prom dresses start to show up in stores?

When you should start prom dress shopping

By the end, you will have some great options for color and style of dress.  Then you can begin planning out where you will shop and when you will begin going to stores.

With such a great strategy, you are sure to find a dream dress to make your prom amazing.  You’ll learn some new things about how to choose a great dress which is information you can use to look great long after prom is over.

elegant sleeveless chiffon bridesmaid's dress

And so here we are: prom. Every girl (almost) looks forward to this event – it’s a night of magic, dancing, and wearing a beautiful dress. Through the years, prom dresses have evolved considerably; from modest and princess-y ball gowns to sultry dresses and red carpet-inspired looks. Aside from the styles, even the most trending colors have changed from year to year.

Whether you’ve yet to go to prom or graduated from high school years ago, it’s great to know what prom dress colors are trending at the moment.

Wearing Colors Based on Your Skin’s Undertones

A lot of considerations go into finding the prom dress that looks good on you. From the type of dress that suits your body shape type to the color, each aspect can make an enormous difference. In the end, it’s always possible that what looks amazing on someone else can look average on you.

That’s why it pays off to carefully look at every aspect of a dress and see how you look in it before actually wearing it. But other than choosing a dress that complements your body shape type, you should select a color that highlights your skin’s undertone.

Warm Tones

If your skin has warm undertones, there’s a likelihood of your skin having a honey brown, golden olive, peachy beige, or creamy white shade. Naturally, people with warm undertones have hair colors like red, copper, dark brown, strawberry blonde, or caramel brown. 

If you can’t tell by your hair color, another easy way to tell is by looking at the veins on your wrist. Warm tones tend are usually identified by green-colored veins.

Cool Tones

People with cool undertones have skin colors with rosy tones such as brown and beige. Or, you might have olive or dark skin with blue undertones. Naturally, having cool undertones means that your hair color is auburn, bluish-black, dark brown, sandy blonde, or even ash-blonde.

If you can’t tell whether you have warm or cool undertones by your skin, one way to check is by the color of the veins in your wrist. Cool undertones generally mean that the veins are violet or blue colored.


People with neutral undertones have a mixture of both cool and warm undertones. Hence, their skin has a color such as light brown, light olive, beige, or ivory. When it comes to hair color, they often have gray, red, brown, or even blonde hair. Not to mention, their eye colors have both cool and warm tones.

People with neutral tones can’t really distinguish between their features enough to determine whether they’re cool or warm-toned.

Our Top 5 Prom Dress Colors

We looked at the top prom trends throughout the years and found that the following 5 colors have always been a teen favorite when it comes to choosing their prom dress.


Coming in at the top, blue dresses are always popular choices at prom. It doesn’t matter what shade of blue, whether midnight, sky, or aquamarine, there’s a shade that looks amazing on everyone. Blue has the ability to accentuates skin tones, highlight features, and gives you a natural glow.

While one shade of blue may not look appealing on every person, there are so many other shades, each of which can look stunning when combined with the right dress.

Traditionally, blue is considered a cool color so most common hues and shades tend to suit people with cool undertones. But some warm shades, such as thalo blue, can look flattering on people with warm undertones as well.

Deeper shades of blue tend to look amazing on fitted evening gowns with a mermaid tail or even a slit along the side. On the other hand, lighter shades combine well with ball gowns, A-line skirts, or the empire waist.


Since black isn’t on the color spectrum, it isn’t classified as a warm or cool color, so it tends to look great on people with warm and cool undertones. Black is also a flattering color that suits all body shapes by accentuating their best features.

Initially, black wasn’t a popular choice for prom dresses and most girls would prefer pastels, shades of white, and jewel tones. However, trends are changing as black becomes a staple part of every girl’s wardrobe.

Although black has traditionally been used as a base for sultry evening gowns, fashion brands are getting more creative and incorporating it as gorgeous ball gowns as well. Ever since black has started gaining more popularity in the domain, it’s a versatile color used for a number of prom dress styles.


One of the more old-school prom dress colors, white has been an all-time favorite. You’ll often see shades of white whenever girls repurpose their mothers’ prom dresses to make a modern version that suits their own personal style.

Just like with black, white favors both cool and warm undertones because it’s essentially a combination of the color spectrum.

Nonetheless, pure white is almost never used, and it’s often off-white in conjunction with sparkly accents or even floral prints. White tends to look best in flowy fabrics like chiffon and silk, but you can also pull it off in tulle for a princess-like skirt on your gown.


In the case of true red, it favors girls with neutral undertones. Then again, there are shades that suit warmer and cooler undertones as well. Shades like ruby red, copper red, and cinnamon red work well with warm tones.

On the other hand, shades such as brick red, cherry red, crimson red, burgundy red, and berry red accentuate cooler tones. The color red has an attractive appeal that works with cut out, slit, backless, and strapless dresses.

Jewel Tones

While it isn’t a particular color, we needed to add this as a category of its own because it’s a class of many classic and trending colors. Jewel tones include colors like emerald green, maroon, purple, and navy blue. These colors tend to run deeper and richer in tone, so they’re considered to have a romantic appeal. This makes them immensely popular dress color choices for red carpet and prom looks.

Jewel tones, with the right colored accents, can suit a wide array of skin tones with both cool and warm undertones.

Other Great Colors

Of course, your search for the best prom dress shouldn’t be limited to just five colors, because there are many others to choose from. Here are some of the colors that are slowly gaining more attention as fashion brands diversify their color palettes and girls demand versatile prom dresses that they can feel comfortable wearing again.


Initially thought of as a ‘grown-ups’ color, most prom dresses in the early 2000s would have bright colors or spring-like shades. Now, however, with celebrities like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian setting the trends, nude dresses are getting a lot of attention from prom-going girls.

Shades like camel and beige compliment your skin tone or for a true nude look, you can get a dress custom-made according to your skin tone.

Pastel Colors

Pastel colors are usually softened and more feminine hues of colors and they’ve been making rounds in the fashion industry since the last few years. Now, it seems like they’ve become a staple and are here to stay as timeless components of the prom dress color palette.

It includes colors like coral red, mojito green, ice pink, and lavender, which have a flirty and innocent appeal. You’ll often see them in combination with floral prints. The best part about pastel colors? They suit warm and cool undertones.


A happy and whimsical color, yellow is becoming a top color choice for prom dresses as girls stray further from the usual picks. Yellow works well with floral prints and other similar accents for a fairytale-themed look. Ever since Emma Watson sported a gorgeous yellow gown for Beauty and the Beast, it’s changing the general view that yellow isn’t apt for a prom dress.


A delicate and feminine color, rose pink is on this year’s list of most fashionable colors, so it’s set to make an appearance at prom and even red carpet events. You can wear it as a fitted evening gown or as a flared dress, the possibilities are endless.


Why stop at colors when you can wear a sparkling metallic gown to prom? Gold is a classic choice for a prom dress because there’s plenty of inspiration you can get from red carpet looks, and a lot of brands design gold-themed dresses already.

Now, silver, bronze, and rose gold are also making a debut at prom as stunning evening gowns.

What Kind Of Dress Do You Wear To Prom?

You’re probably wondering what kind of dress you should wear to prom, but there’s no right or wrong answer. If you’re trying to follow a trend, don’t. One trend can look good on some people but not on others.

Nonetheless, if you’d like some inspiration, here are some of the most common types of prom dresses.

Mermaid Cut Gown

Why stop at colors when you can wear a sparkling metallic gown to prom? Gold is a classic choice for a prom dress because there’s plenty of inspiration you can get from red carpet looks, and a lot of brands design gold-themed dresses already.

Now, silver, bronze, and rose gold are also making a debut at prom as stunning evening gowns.

Shorter Skirts

If you fall under 5’3”, you have a petite body type. In this case, you want to do the most elongate your legs, which makes shorter skirts a great choice. They show off your legs and also bring more attention to your hips.

Whether you want to wear a fitted or flared skirt, the choice is up to you. But since it’s prom and you’ll be dancing, we’d suggest that a flared skirt is best at adding a few extra curves and giving you a smoother silhouette.

Asymmetrical Dress

Another great choice for shorter and petite frames is an asymmetrical dress. The design acts as an optical illusion that adds more height to your frame.

Cut Out Gown

A new style in the field of prom dresses, cut-out dresses show off skin in clever and subtle ways. This includes places along the waistline or the back. You can get a short dress or a longer skirt, the style will look amazing regardless.

Empire Waist Ballgown

If you have an athletic or rectangular body shape type, wearing an empire waits ballgown can help add more curves to your frame. The skirt is often very full, which creates the illusion of a slimmer waist and fuller waist, which is something that every girl wants.

Two-Piece Dress

Most prom dresses came as a single piece, but now, girls prefer the option of a separate top and skirt. This adds more length to the frame and defines the waistline.

Hourglass and pear-shaped body types look stunning in fitted tops and skirts, while flared skirts that sit higher on the waist complement apple and rectangular body shapes. This creates the effect of a cinched, slimmer waist.

When You Should Start Prom Dress Shopping

We think that the best time to go shopping for your prom dress is early during the year, around January and February. This is when you get a bigger selection of prom dresses to choose from, and it’ll be easier to find your size in the dress you want.

You’ll have a few months until prom, so you can take it to a seamstress or tailor and get appropriate alterations done as well. Let’s not forget that you won’t have to rush to get anything done – you can take your time to pick out accessories and shoes.

In a lot of cases, girls need to save up for their prom dress, especially if they want something extravagant or red carpet-inspired. If that’s so, make sure you start saving up well in advance by checking the price of the dress you want.