Make no mistake: Selecting the perfect prom dress that suits your personality as well as your figure requires quite an effort, but it's finding the best prom accessories that truly make the look. Stack on too many bangles next to a gold dress and you may be mistaken for Jill Masterson, the Bond femme fatale who drowned in gold paint. However, without the proper accoutrements a monochrome formal ensemble can appear woefully one-dimensional. There is a good reason why celebrities choose trusted stylists as their sartorial guides for the red carpet. Elegant attire is infinitely more difficult to master than your average Sunday brunch outfit or simple black suit.
In order to create an ensemble that is both alluring and prom-appropriate, you can follow several simple guidelines. First, don't be afraid of bold jewelry or footwear, but make sure to select only one or two statement pieces. If your frock is embellished or intricately patterned, maintain attention on its design by keeping the rest of you accessories minimalist. And above all, choose accents that evoke your personality, not someone else's. Read on for your definitive guide to accessories five basic styles of prom dress, and don't forget to snap a few selfies.
1. The LBD
Society Of Chic Dria Bodycon Dress, $88 | BCBG Max Azria Pave Oval Hoop Earrings, $68 | Michael Kors Maritime Statement Cuff, $185 | Kotur Espey Marguerite Clutch, $340 | Report Signature Strappy Caged Heels, $79
Your LBD need not be bland and basic if you inject the ensemble with several metallic accents. A gilded clutch with statement embellishment acts as the ideal counterpart to edgy black heels, hoop earrings, and a gold cuff.
2. The LWD (Little White Dress)
Sheinside White Bodycon Dress, $23 | Sole Society Open Bar Cuff Bracelet, $30 | Marc by Marc Jacobs Lost & Found Octagon Stacking Rings, $98 | Express Fold-Over Convertible Clutch, $40 | Zara High Heel Strappy Slingback Sandals, $80 | Dominique Denaive Lapis Orianne Earrings, $80 | NARS Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil Eyeshadow Palette, $48
Amp up the intrigue of a little white dress by adding on vibrant accessories in the same color family. For a nautical look, step into cobalt cage sandals with a clutch to match, and pile on several strategically-placed gold bangles.
3. The Jewel-Toned Ball Gown
Dresstells Long Sweetheart Dress Prom Dress, $80 | Ivanka Trump Duchess Heels, $78 | BCBG Max Azria Stacey Metal Cage Hard Clutch, $148 | Eddie Borgo Black Enamel Two Finger Ring, $125 | Wallis Mixed Bead Collar, $30 Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Nude Kate, $32 | Tory Burch Divine Bronzer, Blush & Highlighter Palette, $48
A full-length jewel-tone gown is regal by nature, so play up the piece's elegance with gilded accessories and a beautiful nude lip.
4. The Printed Shift
Kenzo Paper Printed Crepe Dress, $595 | Carolee Gold-Tone Kite Chandelier Drop Earrings, $45 | Michael Antonio Lovina Ankle-Strap Platform Sandals, $50 | BCBG Max Azria Deven Lucite Box Clutch, $248 | Kate Spade New York Gold Tone Bow Hinge Bangle Bracelet, $78
A patterned frock of any sort simply begs to be paired with jewelry and footwear in the same hues as its print. Choose one statement gem like a beautiful cuff bracelet or delicate drop earrings, and add on a watercolor clutch with simple ankle-strap sandals to complete the look.
5. The Metallic Mini
Nastydress Women's Bodycon Dress, $29 | Zimmermann Ankle Strap Sandal, $395 | Rebecca Minkoff Leo Envelope Clutch, $95 | Madewell Open Point Ring, $28 | NARS Lip Gloss In Orgasm, $26
A metallic mini dress necessitates pared-down accessories unless you wish to look like a disco ball on the dance floor. Pair a shimmering frock with nude, multi-strap sandals and a corresponding envelope clutch in the same color palette to keep the ensemble from inching into overwhelming territory.
Images: McBeth/Flickr; Polyvore