Going to dances is a big part of the social aspect of school. From middle school dances to Senior prom, most students love going to dances to socialize, get out of the house, and potentially get with the crush they’ve obsessed over for months. It’s also a great excuse to ask a crush out on a date! Some schools have special dances based on their traditions, but there are a few basic dances with general dress-code expectations. Don’t let yourself (or your young students) stand out in the worst way by not wearing the appropriate attire and use this as a guide to help decide when to get your young men fitted for a suit.
Homecoming: This is often the first dance of the new school year and correlated to the first big football game of the season. These dances are often formal or semiformal. Schools can set the dress code how they want, but anything from slacks and a polo shirt to a full suit may be required. When in doubt, over-dress. If your son wants to go to Homecoming and doesn’t know the dress code, he’ll impress his date regardless of dress code by showing up in a well-fitting suit.
Winter Formal: This dance goes by many names (including Snow Ball) and takes place between 2 of the biggest dances for most schools: prom and homecoming. Dress codes for this type of dance usually encourage a suit and tie. Boys are expected to wear a solid color button-down shirt with slacks, black jeans, or khakis, and often a suit jacket or a nice sweater or blazer. It’s best to wear shoes that compliment the outfit—so it’s best to avoid sneakers (especially dirty ones).
Sadie Hawkins: This commonly referenced dance type traditionally requires girls to ask boys to the dance since it’s often expected of boys to initiate invitations to dances. This is a good chance to help girls gain the confidence to ask out boys (which should never be looked down upon). Like many other dances, dress codes are determined by the school. This dance is often much less formal than homecoming or other events. Semi-formal (leaning more towards informal) is very common and sometimes a theme is applied, or humorous dress codes are encouraged. Some schools run with the hillbilly theme for this dance.
Spring Fling: Made popular by the movie Mean Girls, Spring Fling dances are sometimes student-organized and thrown for underclassmen. Students may strive for more Spring inspired looks by wearing pastels, bright colors, or floral prints. Again, dress code can be determined by the school but guys are safe with button-down shirts, slacks or khakis, and some sort of jacket or sweater, but depending on the weather and temperatures a jacket or sweater may be wise to ignore.
Prom: Prom is the closest thing to a wedding most of these high school girls will experience for up to a decade. Girls dream of their prom night like they do their wedding. This is a dance where a tuxedo isn’t overdoing it, and a full suit is borderline required. Despite the theme of the specific prom, it’s likely that he boy will be expected to wear a nice suit, possibly with a shirt or tie matching the dress of his date. Plan ahead to ensure your guy is able to get his suit or tux in advance to ensure the right fit, color, style, and more. Some rental places may have trouble keeping suits and tuxedos in stock—but not Rose Tuxedo . Start planning for Prom now if you want but we may still be able to help right before Prom.
Other: Some schools over dances for holidays like Valentine’s Day, ends of the semester, and various types of informal dances. Many of these types do not have a dress code beyond the dress code of daily life at the school. These smaller dances do not require suits very often and your boys should be fine in nice jeans or khakis. But, if they want to impress their dates and stand out, by all means let them wear a suit.