Bless Me Prom, For I Have Sinned

3 Easy Tips from the Red Carpet To Ensure You and Your Date Never End Up In the Prom Picture Hall of Shame...

Terror, I believe is the correct emotion you're searching for.  What you see above is unfortunately reality at its eye-gougingly worst.  And yet, despite what many would believe would be a generally accepted notion logged deep into the common sense cabinet of the brain, should you ask any male high school student what they're planning on wearing to prom you will undoubtedly receive something along the lines of:  A.) "I'm bustin' out a Pimp Suit, mang!"  or B.) "Errr, you know, probably just some flip-flops and a polo, bro."  Simply devastating, isn't it?  And while I, for one, will not attempt to deny that as a  high schooler I may have contemplated the orange and blue Dumb and Dumber leisure suit idea for a prom of two, the Good Lord never allowed my to commit such an abomination.  Instead, let me suggest some simple tips, taken directly from some of the most stylish gentlemen to grace the red carpet that can easily vamp up your Prom Night style.  Follow these, my coming-of-age pupils, and at least your date will have the most dashing man in the room with which to be photographed in those ridiculously awkward poses.

Tip #1: Clean Up Like a Man

Ditch the notion that the way to be yourself on Prom Night is to keep it as casually and sloppily "you" as possible.  Believe me, that idea has been unfortunately echoed in the head of every would-be "rebel against the institution" in America.  Take the opportunity to look wickedly sharp and refined.  PLEASE avoid the painfully overdone and hideously unoriginal black shirt/black trousers/white tie combo.  Prohibition is over--clean up like a modern gentleman and opt for an irresistibly smart black tux or dark suit (see Ryan Gosling left).  As you can see, it's the go-to for the most dapper gentlemen on the red carpet.

Tip #2: Give Your Date Mono
As in a MONOchromatic-attired escort.  Save yourself the nightmare of roaming through every department store in a 12 light-year radius, hopelessly clutching that demonic square inch of fabric from your date's dress in search of a matching tie and vest.  Instead, go for a classic black suit or tux with a crisp, white shirt.  And as demonstrated by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto (right), once you've got the basic element down, pick the finishing touches that fit you.  Bow tie, slim tie, vest, cummerbund, it's your call-- just keep it muted and dark.

And if you're wondering how people will know you're together...that's easy.  She'll be on your arm, unable to loosen her grasp from the bicep of such a handsomely sharp gentleman.

Tip #3: When in Doubt, Go Classic
Unfortunately, it has become far too easy to pervert the black&white tux/suit rule into shameless, 80s-inspired train wrecks complete with floor-length coat tails, blazingly tacky ascots, and cornea-scorching, sparkling white loafers.  While there's certainly nothing wrong with keeping some of that personal rock star in your look (see Kings of Leon above), do everyone a favor and scale it down a bit.  Set out to be the compliment to your date, not competition.  When in doubt, reach for the classic--simple, elegant, and refined.  If all goes well, you may even be rewarded with your principal cramming a giant, plastic crown on your head...simultaneously making you the talk of the town and messing up that perfectly tousled coif you had going on up top.   

Oh and just for kicks, here's a picture from one of my proms. Much to my delight, we actually nailed these rules pretty well....and yes we all had dates, this was just the guys pose., seriously.


  1. we wanna see the girls!

  2. Replies
    1. Almost all 4 in the final picture are wrong (don't even mention the Kings of Leon) - from left to right: white tie + neck tie, black shirt + neck tie, wing collar (this is only a minor thing), neck tie rather than bow tie

      A tuxedo should always be partnered with a bow tie, the whole idea is for the suit to make the man look taller by crating two distinct blocks of color

  3. I was definitely the leisure suit wearing fool at least twice. I once eschewed the boring tie for a bandana. Once I brought a classy (ill-advised) cane. Once I wore brand new all white reaboks with my light blue suit. Once my nails were painted black. Once it was a black ill-fitting suit with a pink belt...or maybe a sparkly silver belt...I can't remember...It's all a best forgotten haze.

    One tie.....


    a clip on.

    1. Oh, my friend, if we are making confessions of past style sins, I imagine the internet itself would be unable to hold my own. I applaud your courage in your public confession....and with the power vested in me as a fellow gentleman, I absolve you. Say five "Hail McQueen"'s and 3 "Holy Sinatra"'s. A(gentle)MEN.