The best homecoming dress

Megan Oster

If you're going for a high-glamour look, your safest bet is a homecoming dress that's midi-length or longer.

The homecoming dance and the prom are the two bookend big events of the school year. Homecoming is accompanied by much fanfare, including a rally, a football game and the dance itself. Walking into the dance with your head held high, feeling beautiful and confident, is a top priority. This makes picking out your dress a critical undertaking. 

You’ll find it hard to go wrong with the stunning Morgan & Company Juniors' Sleeveless Illusion A-Line Dress. It features a deep V-neckline with an illusion detail and mesh cutouts at the waist on both sides.  

What to know before you buy a homecoming dress

Long vs. short

Homecoming dresses are created in a wide range of lengths, including mini-length, knee-length, tea-length, midi-length, ankle-length and floor-length. In general, long dresses have a more formal aesthetic and short dresses are less formal. That’s not to say that short dresses aren’t suitable. In fact, they make lovely picks for homecoming; the effect is just different. 

If you’re going for a high-glamour look, your safest bet is a dress that’s midi-length or longer. Remember, you might need to get a long dress hemmed, depending on your height. If you opt to get it hemmed, make sure you wear your shoes of choice for the dance. You want the length to work with the height of the heels you plan to wear that evening. 


The appearance of the dress is important, but so is comfort. You’ll be wearing and dancing in the dress all night long. Avoid the temptation to squeeze into a too-tight size. Otherwise, you might find it difficult to comfortably sit down to rest your feet or get down on the dance floor. 

Sensitivity to fabric is another issue to consider. If you have sensitive skin, certain types of materials might cause your skin to itch or develop unsightly and painful issues like a rash. Leave the dress on for at least 20 minutes to ensure your skin can handle it before you remove the tags. 


The homecoming dance is your opportunity to get glammed up and feel your very best. The jewelry you wear can make a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of your entire look. For this reason, it’s important to accessorize your dress with elegant jewelry. 

Homecoming dress features


You have a large variety of silhouettes at your disposal when it comes to homecoming dresses. There are many choices, but the most popular include:

  • Mermaid
  • Sheath
  • Body-conscious
  • Empire
  • A-line
  • Swing 
  • Slip
  • Trumpet 
  • Bubble
  • Bouffant
  • Drop waist
  • Wrap 
  • Apron 


Whether you want to show off your bust or prefer a more modest approach, there’s a neckline that’ll suit your personal preferences:

  • High halter neckline
  • Low halter neckline
  • Scoop neck
  • Mock neck
  • V-neck
  • Plunge neckline
  • Bateau neckline
  • Square neck
  • Sweetheart neckline
  • Asymmetrical neckline
  • Illusion neckline 
  • Keyhole neckline 
  • Queen Anne neckline 


In addition to the basic sleeve choices of short, three-quarter length and long, you can choose from a significant number of sleeve styles. Options include cap, puff, off-the-shoulder, flutter, batwing, dolman, cape, ruched, tapered, tulip/petal, cold-shoulder and bell sleeves. 

Design details 

Features like lace, embellishments, crochet and illusion mesh are all examples of design details. You might prefer a homecoming dress with minimal design details, some details or many. As a general rule, you should select a dress with design details that make your eyes sparkle. Doing so will help you feel confident on the big night. 

Homecoming dress cost 

Since the homecoming dance is a semi-formal to formal occasion, you can reasonably expect to pay a bit more for your dress. Well-made homecoming dresses start around $75 and can cost upwards of $250 at the high end. 

Homecoming dress FAQ

What are the rules for wearing a two-piece homecoming dress?

A. If you favor two-piece outfits, there are two-piece homecoming dresses available. Since homecoming is a formal event, you should err on the side of caution and choose a dress that doesn’t expose too much skin. Showing off a narrow sliver of your midsection is recommended over a skimpy top and mini skirt. 

What kind of purse looks good with a homecoming dress?

A. Clutch purses are ideal for semi-formal and formal events. These small, compact purses are typically carried in your hand or tucked against your side, at the height of your bust or armpits. While some have detachable straps, the idea is to carry a clutch without them. The small, delicate profile of a clutch will look perfect against your dress. 

Which homecoming dress should I get?

Best of the best homecoming dress

Morgan & Company Juniors' Sleeveless Illusion A-Line Dress: available at Macy’s

Our take: A deep V illusion neckline and mesh cutouts on the sides enhance the glamorous aesthetic of this floor-length dress. 

What we like: It’s the details that make the difference in this striking homecoming dress. The neckline plunges in a deep V that’s finished with an illusion design. Mesh cutouts on each side create a flirty peekaboo effect. A high slit offers a glimpse of leg and the padded bodice keeps you comfortable. 

What we dislike: A couple of buyers reported that the dress ran small and might not be the best pick for curvy ladies. 

Best bang for your buck homecoming dress

City Studios Juniors' V-Neck Glitter Lace Dress: available at Macy’s

Our take: All-over lace and glitter give this ultra-feminine dress a fun, pretty and youthful look. 

What we like: Constructed of lace in a rich emerald green hue, this lovely dress was made for twirling on the dance floor. All-over glitter adds a hefty dose of sparkle. The plunge neck features lace in a scalloped design and an illusion detail. The above-the-knee skirt flares out. 

What we dislike: Shedding glitter was an issue, while one buyer didn’t like the layers of tulle under the skirt. 

Honorable mention homecoming dress

City Studios Juniors' Embellished Illusion Tulip Gown: available at Macy’s

Our take: You’ll feel like a Hollywood starlet in this dreamy soft pink gown designed with embellished illusion crochet details. 

What we like: Floating to the floor in a tulip-style chiffon skirt, this gown has an ethereal feel. The bodice and scalloped scoop neckline are covered in delicate embellished crochet. Molded cups at the bust and an A-line silhouette flatter your feminine curves. A front slit breaks up the long line of the skirt nicely. 

What we dislike: Complaints included an awkward fit at the bust and quality control issues. 

Megan Oster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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