These are the 2023 prom dress styles that will leave everyone talking—according to the experts

Looking for a prom dress? 2023 will feature everything, from nostalgic styles to this year's micro trends...

Prom dresses 2023: Hailey Bieber pictured wearing a white silk dress, Lily James pictured wearing a pink strapless dress and Halle Bailey pictured wearing a white 'Mermaidcore' gown / in a pink and purple template
(Image credit: Getty Images: (L) Gotham/ (M)Karwai Tang/WireImage/ (R)Jeff Spicer)

If you've sussed out your prom makeup look but are so far, stumped on the outfit front, we've quizzed a trend expert on which prom dresses are guaranteed to steal that show...

While we know strapless and gold dresses are having a major moment right now, prom night is the ultimate excuse to dress to the nines and select a dress you might not normally wear—and hopefully, look back in 10 years' time and still love. So, it's safe to say, it's a big decision and one that has probably been on your mind for some time now.

But we get it, there's so much choice out there—do you go simple and timeless or bold and vibrant? So to narrow down your search, we've enlisted the experts to outline which dress trends are in for this year, and let's just say, you're bound to find the perfect gown in this lineup...

What styles are in for 2023 prom dresses?

While you probably won't be adding your prom dress to your capsule wardrobe rotation, you will have to look back at those pictures for the rest of your life. So, it's important to pick a dress that is you and that you feel confident and beautiful in—take it from someone who decided to go very rogue on their own prom dress and still has regrets...

It's the perfect opportunity to make a statement with your look and to embody your own red carpet-moment, so choose wisely! That being said, the sheer choice out there is pretty dizzying—which is where Wethrift's Trends Expert, Nick Drewe comes in!

Drewe has weighed in on all the biggest formal-wear trends gaining traction for summer 2023...

1. Y2K-inspired prom dresses

Hailey Bieber is seen wearing a silver strapless dress, leaving Rhode launch party at Chiltern Firehouse on May 17, 2023 in London, England.

(Image credit: Getty Images/Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer/GC Images)

Of course, some 2000 fashion had to feature somewhere on the list. Drewe says: "Y2K is the biggest prom dress trend so far this year, with a staggering 285% increase in Pinterest searches over the past 3 months."

The TikTok hashtag of 'Y2Kprom', has over 643K views alone, so opting for a nostalgic look is definitely a great option.

Drewe says to, "think retro, pleats, maximalism, and metallic themes." Right now silver fashion is having a big moment but if you're not vibing with a reflective look, millennial pink is also very 00s and perfect for prom.


Topshop bandeau metallic midi dress in silver

RRP: $130

This dress is a great option if you're a fan of Hailey Bieber's recent strapless look from her Rhode UK launch. Silver is also soo Y2K!


Pretty Little Thing Silver Satin Cut Out Strappy Midi Dress

RRP: $42

This silver slip dress is also very Y2K, and features very trend cut-outs and a midi length. Available in sizes 0 to 12.

2. 'Grunge' prom dress

We're pretty sure we have Wednesday's outfits and her own 'Rave'N dance' dress to thank for this emergent trend. Drewe says: "This year, it’s less about elegant and more about adding a dark, streetwear edge to prom looks, with searches for ‘grunge prom dress.'"

"Likely being driven by the viral popularity of Netflix series Wednesday, it seems that Gen-Z are looking to add a dark twist to prom, which we would typically associate with bright colors and elegant dresses." You could also opt for a dress with sheer ruffles or sleeves for that Wednesday Addams look.

And while you might think prom equals pastel shades, a black gown is always classic and chic. As Drewe reveals: "Black prom dresses are also trending, with an 82% increase in Pinterest searches," adding that the theme seems to be 'sleek, dark, and elegant' for prom this year! 


Jump Apparel One-Shoulder Side Slit Trumpet Gown

RRP: $129

If you want to rock a black prom dress, this is truly elegant option, with it's long length, leg slit and back cut-out.


Anthropologie BHLDN Piper V-Neck Side-Slit Satin Gown

RRP: $248

This dress is both timeless and dramatic, with it's plunging V-neck and leg slit. It's available in a range of shades but we'd recommend black for that grungy vibe, and in sizes 0 to 16.

3. Pretty in pink prom dress

As mentioned, millennial pink is very on-trend for prom this year but so is dopamine-boosting hot pink.

Drewe notes that we can thank Barbiecore for this one, adding that searches for ‘pink prom dresses’ have soared by 115%, "Likely being driven by the ever-growing Barbiecore trend on social media as excited fans anticipate the release of the live-action Barbie movie this summer—hot pink colors are in for this year’s prom season."

We fully support the idea of you having your IRL Barbie moment for prom!


Zara Satin Effect Midi Slip Dress

RRP: $59.90 

This pink moment is the perfect simple, and elegant look for prom and even for vacation styling!


Zara Draped Asymmetric Dress 

RRP: $59.90 

Hot pink is also on-theme for prom 2023. This dress features a fun ruching detail and asymmetrical style.

4. Vintage 90s prom dresses

Sydney Sweeney is seen wearing a white slip dress at the Hotel Martinez during the 76th Cannes film festival on May 21, 2023 in Cannes, France.

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Arnold Jerocki/GC Images)

While '90s' and 'vintage' existing in the same sentence make us millennials see our whole lives flash before our eyes, we do get it. The 90s offered some truly iconic dress moments—think Rachel Green's famous green dress.

"Retro is in this prom season with a 34% increase in searches for 90s prom dresses—think classic 90s slip dresses or baby doll dresses with a Clueless vibe," Drewe says.


Mango Side-slit Satin Dress

RRP: $159.99

This hot pink, maxi slip dress is a great option for prom. It features a leg slit and metallic sheen.

5. Regency prom dresses

Regency fashion is having quite the renaissance thanks to Netflix's Queen Charlotte so, incorporating this regal style into your prom outfit is a no-brainer!

Think florals, soft pink and lilac dresses with either empire waistlines or cute corset detailing!


HOUSE OF CB Josefina Floral Bustier Bodice Stretch Satin Body-Con Dress

RRP: $239

To embody that Regency-era vibe, a floral bustier dress is great choice, especially if your prom is scheduled for summertime!


Free People Confidently Lost Maxi Slip

RRP: $128

This empire waist dress is very reminiscent of the styles in Bridgerton season one. It's flowy and delicate, with a number of other shades available if this pink shade doesn't do it for you!

6. Mermaid prom dresses

Now, we're not saying you have to wear a full-on 'mermaidcore' outfit to prom, but why not take some inspo from the aquatic color palette? Blues and greens are always a prom classic, or of course, you can opt for the classic and timeless mermaid shape.

As Drewe explains: "Gaining the name from the flared bottom bit of the dress, resembling a mermaid's tail, this sleek style of evening dress is designed to accentuate the body’s curves to create an hourglass figure."


Lulus Came to Stun Mermaid Maxi Dress

RRP: $108

If you want to embody Ariel, this gold shimmery dress feature a mermaid tail shape but it's still timeless, with it's classic, strappy neckline


Lulus V-Neck Trumpet Gown

RRP: $88

For a more subtle, mermaidy option—this classic black gown features a mermaid-tale shape, V-neckline and flattering, cinching waist.

7. Ruffled prom dresses

Ruffles are having a big impact on spring/summer styling—with the likes of Zendaya and Rosalía wearing ruffles to Coachella.

Right now, ruffled dresses are both trendy and vintage—so that's two ticks on the prom dresses 2023 trend list! Drewe adds: "Summer 2023 dress trends are all about maximalism, with searches for ruffle dresses up by 89%. Ultra-feminine, these ruffled embellishments can make any formal dress feel a little more regal."


Mango Ruffled Detail Dress

RRP: $159.99

This ruffled dress is elegant and perfectly summery! Available in sizes 2 to 10.


Pretty Little Thing Red Cold Shoulder Ruffle Maxi Dress

RRP: $68

If you want to make a real statement, this ruffled red dress from Pretty Little Thing is the moment.

8. Slit Dresses

Hailey Baldwin Bieber wearing a white silk dress with a leg slit as she attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022 in New York City

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Gotham)

Slit dresses are one way to make a statement at prom, as Drewe notes: "A classic design for summer parties and events, the slit dress saw an increase in searches by 158%.

Drewe says slits are, "ideal for summer when you want to show more skin, but done so in a way that can still keep it classy for a formal event."


Anthropologie HLDN Cali Satin Cowl-Neck Midi Slip Dress

RRP: $168

This dress is the perfect elegant slip dress, complete with small leg slits. It's available in a range of stylish shades including green and pink.


NA-KD x Mimi AR Split Detail Maxi Dress

RRP: $91

This maxi dress has a leg slit and diamante-covered, cross over straps.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.