• +10
  • +2
  • +2
  • +10
  • +4
  • +1
  • +2
  • +2

What to Look for in a Homecoming Dress

Homecoming isn’t as formal as Prom, so you should be looking for a semi-formal Homecoming dress. Typically, this means a dress with a short length, like a cocktail dress. You can go full-length, but as a rule, Homecoming dresses are fun, flirty, and easy to move in. Beyond that, you really are free to choose whatever you like! 

It’s a good idea to have your climate in mind when you start looking, as if you live in a northern state, it may actually be chilly in the evening by the time Homecoming rolls around, so you’ll want a warmer Homecoming dress. Of course, for hot states, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of Homecoming dresses with shorter lengths and light fabrics to keep cool if you’ll be spending much time outside. 

It’s also a good idea to have any school rules in mind when you’re choosing your Homecoming dress, as some schools are more restrictive than others. The rules often aren’t fair, but you might as well choose a dress that you feel amazing in and aligns with the rules, so you don’t get sent away before you have a chance to celebrate being back at school with your friends. 

How to Choose Your Homecoming Dress

Take advantage of the (extra!) long summer break to browse different stores and try on several styles to see which suits you and your body shape the best. Your Homecoming dress needs to fit perfectly, so if you see a dress you love, consider getting it tailored. Simply shortening the straps, hemming, or nipping in at the waist will make an off-the-rack Homecoming dress really sing your figure’s praises! 

Also, talk to your classmates about their Homecoming dresses. If you’re in a group that likes to coordinate (even if it’s just to ensure you’re all wearing different colors), start doing that now. Remember to choose a color that complements your hair, eyes, and skin tone – don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself if your friends want you to wear a color you hate. This is your Homecoming dress, and you should feel amazing in it. 

If you’re going with a date, you’ll want to think about what they’ll be wearing as well. You’ll want to be sure your Homecoming dress will match their outfit, so you two will look fantastic together both on the dance floor and in photographs.

2023 Homecoming Dresses: The Trends

Want to look good and be right on trend with your Homecoming dress? Here are the trends to keep in mind as you shop for Homecoming dresses: 

Off the Shoulder

The off-the-shoulder neckline is a classic look for a Homecoming dress, throwing back to fashion icons like Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot. This is perfect for an elegant appearance and provides more security when moving than a strapless neckline. Off-the-shoulder Homecoming dresses look especially good on girls with a long, lean frame, or on girls who want to enhance their curves and shoulders. 


If you aren’t a Homecoming dress kind of girl, never fear, because jumpsuits are in for Homecoming this year. With so many different jumpsuits to choose from, you could be classy, glam, or edgy, and most importantly, you will stand out from the rest of your classmates. Look to the Kardashians (and Jenners), Zendaya, Emma Stone, and Rihanna for inspiration. A black jumpsuit with embellishments or a statement necklace or belt is always a killer look, and definitely in this year. If black is too harsh, look for blush tones. If you live somewhere warm, you can also consider a romper for Homecoming, which can be either playful or sophisticated, depending on the material, color, and how you style it.


The two-piece look is super on-trend for Homecoming dresses this year, so if you can get away with showing a slip of midriff, do. Two-piece sets give you so many options to mix and match patterns and colors, and you also have more freedom to find a skirt that best suits your silhouette without compromising on the style of the top. This is also a great choice for those in hot climates or who will get warm dancing all night, and it’s a fun way to make sure your Homecoming dress doesn’t look too formal for the occasion.

Spaghetti Straps

For all you late 90s and early 2000s fashion lovers out there, spaghetti straps are back in full force! These simple straps can add a delicate feel to your Homecoming dress and are the perfect option for girls with narrower shoulders. They give you the support you need to dance the night away without making it feel like the dress is wearing you.


Florals are a big trend for Homecoming dresses in 2023. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to find a Homecoming dress covered in huge printed flowers. Dresses with an embroidered floral accent or floral appliques are always feminine, beautiful, and nod back to 50s glamor. If you want to choose a Homecoming dress without florals, you can still take advantage of this trend by wearing a floral headband or a piece of jewelry featuring flowers.

How to Style Your Homecoming Dress

How to style your homecoming dress can be just as important as the dress itself. We’ve gathered everything you need to know to make your look pop.


Don’t Be Afraid of Jewelry


Since homecoming is a semi-formal event, you can be playful with your jewelry - even costume jewelry works great for this. In general, the simpler your homecoming dress, the more elaborate you can be with your jewelry; you can pair a neutral homecoming dress with lots of colorful gems, or make a subtle dress flashier by wearing lots of rhinestones or sparkly accessories. If you have an embellished and loud homecoming dress, you can opt for simpler jewelry, though if you feel like really glamming it up, this is one of the occasions where you can often get away with both an elaborate dress and flashy jewelry.


Wear Shoes You Can Dance In


Sky-high stiletto heels may be the first thing you think of when you think of party shoes, but that doesn’t mean they’re always the best choice. You’ll want something that complements your homecoming dress but that you can also dance easily in. Take some time to walk around in any shoes you’re considering and make sure they’re easy to move on. A slightly lower heel or even a flat may be easier. If higher heels suit your homecoming dress better, consider ones with a thicker heel than a stiletto - these can give you a better sense of balance and more support throughout the night.


Be Playful With Your Hair

While proms often call for highly formal updos, Homecoming offers you more freedom with your hair. You can be a bit playful and choose a look that’s fun but still flatters your homecoming dress. For instance, a more bohemian-style homecoming dress may look best with long, flowing, natural hair, whereas a dress with an elaborate neckline may work best with a non-formal updo (like a loose bun with lots of wispy tendrils) so that your hair doesn’t hide anything.

Find the Perfect Homecoming Dress for You

If you keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to find a gorgeous homecoming dress that will be the hit of the night. But no matter what the trends are or what a style guide tells you, remember - the most important thing is that you love your dress and feel incredible in it. Any homecoming dress that makes you feel as fabulous as you are will always be what you look best in!