for prom often revolves around the girl — and the
what about the guys? The prom also is a chance for young
men to look and feel their best.
dressing up in tie and tails for a night on the town isn’t
intuitive, there are ways guys can brush up on what to
wear and how to be a polite, memorable date.
are some quick tips for how to make sure the dance is a
fun experience for you and your friends.
TO BE A STANDOUT DATE
clear with your prom invite. Leave out phrases such as
"do you sort of want …" or "would you
maybe want …" that can send mixed signals.
a potential date in person or over the phone. Don’t
have a text message or email do it for you.
clear and up-front about budgets. Typically the person
who extends the invitation pays for the event and other
activities such as dinner. (But girls, it’s polite to
offer to help cover some of the costs.)
the style of flower arrangement she wants — a
wristlet, pin-on corsage or small bouquet. She may have
a preference based on what she’s wearing (or might
want to pick it out and/or buy it herself).
you’re going with a group, designate from the start
how the cost for such things as a limousine, dinner,
etc., will be divided, who’s collecting the money and
the dance, strike a balance between spending time with
your date and with your friends (or other members of
your party if attending as a group). If you see other
people you’d like to visit, ask your date if it’d be
OK for you to take a few minutes to mingle (and make
sure she has someone else to hang out with in the
meantime. Don’t just abandon her).
is charming but not welcomed by all. Ask your date: May
I take your coat? May I get the door for you? May I help
you with your chair? If she declines, at least you
what feels comfortable. If slow dances aren’t your
thing, use that time to grab a drink or a snack with
your date or just talk. On the other hand, don’t go
overboard with PDA on the dance floor.
cell phone use. If you have to make a call or respond to
texts, let your date know so she doesn’t feel like her
company isn’t enough to keep you entertained. Also,
limit social media use until a break in festivities or
after the dance, and ask your date or other group
members if they’re OK with you sharing photos and
comments of your night with them on social media sites.
sure your date or group is home by curfew. No need to
ruin an otherwise good time by getting back late and
Lizzie Post, co-author of "Emily Post’s
Etiquette," 18th edition, and "The Art of
you desire a tux, opt to rent. Chances are you won’t
get much wear out of one (or will grow out of it by the
time you need it again) if you buy one.
BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM)
Wearhouse, Tuxedo Junction (www.tuxedojunction.com) and
Valotta’s Tuxedo (valottastuxedo.com) are a few
choices in the region. Tuxedo rentals at Men’s
Wearhouse start at about $60, but most rentals easily
can run into the $150 range or higher, depending upon
the designer and the accessories selected.
MensWearhouse.com. The site offers several resources for
helping guys pinpoint their style and get discounts on
rentals. There’s even an interactive where young men
can pick a model with comparable features and dress him
in different tux and suit looks with the click of a
an older brother? A father with a similar physique? Don’t
be afraid to ask if you can borrow something to wear. If
they don’t want it anymore, have it tailored and —
voila! — you’re the proud owner of a
customized-to-fit suit or tuxedo.
for thrifting. Secondhand stores can be treasure troves
for designer finds. Just be sure to start early — it
might take a few tries.
out discount websites such as CheapTux.com or
Overstock.com. They carry designer attire for prom at
severely slashed prices (and you can use the extra money
to have a piece altered if the fit is off).
beyond the tux. A suit in black, navy or charcoal styled
with a skinny tie, bow tie or vest is another option.
Plus, if you buy it, it’s a better investment than
renting or purchasing a tuxedo. Leave behind the bow tie
and vest, and the suit can be worn later for a job
interview, family wedding, school awards banquet or
another formal function.
on fit, particularly for arm holes of jackets. If you
can jump up and complete a couple pull-ups in the
jacket, then you’ve found an ideal fit.
count out box stores and retail chains. Macy’s,
H&M, Brooks Brothers and JoS. A. Bank are a few
places to find more affordable formal wear. Many of
these retailers also often have coupons and sales, so
keep an eye out for those and shop when you can snag the
what suits you. Don’t feel like you have to sport the
same thing as everyone else. Dabble in color, skinny
ties, checkered prints, etc.
feel the need to dress too over-the-top (think top hat,
cane, patent leather shoes — although there is nothing
wrong with these accessories if that’s your style). A
suit or tux in a traditional color with a good fit will
turn just as many heads as a brightly colored vest or
unusual sport coat — or maybe more!
Antonio Centeno, founder of www.RealMenRealStyle.com.