Formal accessories on a budget

22 April 2011

I love getting email from readers! Y’all are the best, and Kelly’s email was particularly awesome. She wrote:

“Hello Emily!

I’m an avid reader of Peach and Pearl way up north from Massachusetts. My junior prom is coming up in May, and I have a dress dilemma. I was inspired by your posts on the Rosecliff Ball, and “beauty on a budget.” I decided that I could do the same for my first prom. I have the dress already picked out. However, I have no clue what I should do for my makeup/accessories. I don’t have my ears pierced, so I guess earrings are out of the question. Have any ideas on how to complete the outfit?


First, I have to say that I’m tickled I have at least one reader that’s a junior in high school. Are there any more of you out there? Sound off in the comments! :)

Second, I loved prom, so I’m always happy to help. (John and I went together senior year! I will have to dig out some photos for you…)

Anyway, here’s Kelly’s dress:

It’s by Thread Social, though Kelly’s getting it through Rent the Runway — smart girl! I love the plum color.

I put together three different “looks”: one gold-toned, one silver-toned, and one more colorful. Happily, most of these accessories are interchangeable. And — bonus! — most pieces on here are less than $35, and many are less than $10. The general exception is the shoes… they were too pretty to resist, and all could be worn for years with proper care, so we’ll consider them an investment! The earrings are also all clip-ons, per Kelly’s request.

The Goods

A. Bracelet from Forever 21 ($8.80), heels from Nina ($89.95), clutch from Macy’s ($23.99), clip-on earrings from Macy’s ($32)

B. Clip-on earrings from Forever 21 ($5.80), bracelet set from Forever 21 ($4.80), shoes from Nordstrom ($79.95), clutch from Macy’s ($21.99)

C. Clutch from Macy’s ($34.99), shoes from Nina ($99.95, but I also loved these ruby-toned ones from Payless, and they were just $19.99!), clip-on earrings from Macy’s ($38), bracelet from Forever 21 ($5.80)

I also wanted to point out this pair and this pair of clip-on earrings I found in my search, though they didn’t make it into the final board.

On the topic of makeup I am certainly no expert, so I’ll just say that I love my Great Lash mascara and CoverGirl Lipslicks. Ladies, I’m sure our girl would appreciate any additional advice you could offer!

Kelly, I hope this has been helpful for you! And I hope you have a MARVELOUS time at the prom!!

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Whitney Davis
April 22, 2011 3:28 am

Please, Please, PLEASE dig out the Prom photos!!

Please and thank you!


April 22, 2011 2:08 pm

Emily was mostly in charge of the decorating for her Senior Prom – hard to imagine, I know!! Much tulle was involved! Also, I might be able to help with the photos if Emily can't find any!!

What great ideas here Emily – I hope Kelly finds one that works for her!

April 22, 2011 4:36 pm

Wow! Prom has gone so far in 10 years! I am wishing I could get a re-do!

Love the accessories and the dress!

April 22, 2011 9:31 pm

Ooooooo! I want that last clutch! so sparkly and nice.

For makeup I say focus on eyes. The Sephora Collection eyeshadow palettes are awesome and have lots of color choices to match the dress. ( The shaping tips on the back work really well if you follow them. Buy some real brushes though if you don't already have them. They're such a good investment (if you clean and take care of them) and really do make a big difference. Prom seems a good enough reason to get a few. I suggest the large and mini shaders. Thin eyeliner, lots of that mascara…Bang.

And yes yes yes on the lipslicks. My new favorite lip tip is exfoliating with regular body scrub before applying lip product. The color sticks better.

Ah, so much fun. Have a great time at prom Kelly!

Lindsay K
April 24, 2011 4:19 am

I love prom! What a smart lady to use Rent the Runway- so chic!

May 21, 2011 5:18 am

Nice post