Long before they were famous and regularly slaying it on red carpets, most celebrities were just regular teens, doing what regular teens do — and that includes making some questionable fashion choices at prom. From pastel suits and feathered hair to rhinestones and blue eyeshadow, see which of these celebs had the best looks, and see which ones totally missed the mark. Take a look back at these totally adorkable prom photos and revel in the fact that no matter how amazing they are now, even Brad Pitt, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé went through the dreaded awkward phase. (We're just kidding, Beyoncé obviously looked amazing at her prom.)
Former One Direction member and teen heartthrob Harry Styles is a total fashion icon now. But when the "Sign of the Times" singer went to prom before his boy band days, he definitely wasn't making any major fashion statements. Harry rocked a basic black suit and a serious Justin Bieber haircut. No where in Harry's ensemble was there a hint that he would one day become a beloved fashion icon whose love of well-fitting patterned suits would send the hearts of women everywhere fluttering. His date wore a one-shoulder yellow dress and accessorized with a matching yellow corsage.
Even though Star Wars star Natalie Portman became famous at a young age, she still fought hard to have a semi-normal childhood. Before she jetted off to attend Harvard University (you know, like a chill, normal teen) that meant going to prom! It might be the '90s nostalgia creeping in, but we have to say, we would still wear Natalie's baby-blue prom dress today. The movie star added a matching shawl and handbag to her prom looked and topped it all off with low-key makeup and a pair of stud earrings. We guess that being a legitimately famous movie star *before* you go to prom helps you nail your prom ensemble, but still major props to Natalie.
Before meeting Tina Fey, becoming a SNL castmember, starring in the massively sucessful TV show Parks and Recreation, or doing any of the other things that made us fall in love with her, Amy Poehler went to prom in this strapless dress paired with pearls and flowers. What's best about this photo is that Amy's wearing a trademark Amy Poehler expression, which only makes us love her even more. We're massively jealous of everyone who got to hang out with the Baby Mama star at prom, because come on how much fun do you think they all had?
Blake Lively and her husband, fellow movie star, Ryan Reynolds, frequently top our list of the best-dressed couples in Hollywood, so it's nice to know that Blake wasn't born with movie star coolness. We simply cannot handle all of the early 2000s goodness going on in this photo. The side bangs! The tiny tiara! The sequins on that dress! Do you think Ryan Reynolds has seen this photo? We hope so. Most importantly though, Blake looks like she had a ton of fun with her friend at prom, which is ultimately what it's all about. We're glad that she's moved onto rocking killer suits, but this peach, ruffled, sequin dress will be in our hearts forever.
Gigi Hadid is an international supermodel who regularly attends the Met Gala and appears on covers of Vogue, so we're used to seeing her go full-on glam. But when Gigi attended her prom in 2013, she opted for a more laid back approach to the event. She wore a short, short-sleeved coral dress with straightened hair pinned away from her face. She looked so cute! While it's not the traditional prom dress, we love the supermodel's chilled out approach. Life is all about balance — sometimes you bring the sizzle and sometimes you bring the lowkey sparkle. Since Gigi gets to regularly wear designer gowns on runways and red carpets, we doubt that she regrets this lovely short look for prom.
Can you spot Lady Gaga in this group photo? She's the very tan girl in the blue dress. Since Lady Gaga is known for her outrageous red carpet looks, we thought that she would have chosen something equally show-stopping for prom. Instead, she wore this low-cut, tea-length dress and accessorized with the prom essentials — a corsage and a clutch. Every single dress in this photo is a blast from the past, as is the Hummer limo that it appears the group is standing in front of. Let's go through the early '00s checklist quickly: matching shawls? uneven hems? curly updos? Check, check, and check!
If we could give Meryl Streep an Oscar for her prom ensemble, we totally would. Like most things the movie star does, Meryl went above and beyond with this look. We're digging the boatneck dress, the smooth updo, and the gloves. We actually adore the gloves and kindly request that gloves come back into style as a formal fashion accessory ASAP. Meryl Streep's date also deserves points for his very classic black suit and bow tie. The classics are classics for a reason! He also looks very nervous to be holding Meryl Streep's hand, as if he knows that she will one-day become beloved American actress Meryl Streep and he'll be telling this story forever.
We have to commend Brad Pitt for doing the impossible when picking this baby blue suit that does not actually look terrible in the year 2019. The 1970s vibes are strong in this photo, and we're loving it. Brad's date has totally nailed it with the off the shoulder white dress and '70s waves. Brad is breaking our hearts with his very respectful one finger placed on his date's upper arm. Despite how cute Brad Pitt looks in this photo, we will also be using it as proof that this man has aged like a fine wine. Brad's babyface and his mullet haircut are definitely cute, but his best days were yet to come.
Of all the coral prom dresses on this list (and there are a lot) Britney Spears's might just be our favorite! This halter top dress with beading on the bodice and the straps looks totally gorgeous on Britney. We also like how she kept it simple, skipping accessories in favor of just bangs and an updo. Even before her massive popularity, it's clear that Britney always knew how to strike a pose. There are plenty of stars who could learn from Britney's perfect yearbook photo stance. The "Hit Me Baby One More Time" star looks so young here, it's hard to believe that in just a few years time she would be rocking our world with bangers like "Toxic" and "Lucky."
As you can see from her tiny tiara in his prom headshot, Robin Wright was clearly destined to play Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride. With her long, slightly curled hair, string of pearls, and strapless dress, this picture of the House of Cards actress feels quintessentially prom. The dark eye makeup and thin brows might date this photo a little bit, but this prom looks is one that we would totally wear today. It's clear that Robin Wright has always had style, even if she's swapped her long locks for the sleek pixie cut she has today.
When Demi Lovato went to prom in 2010, she was already a full-fledged Disney star. Although she was dating fellow teen pop-sensation Joe Jonas at the time, Demi chose to go to her friend Nolan's prom in order to fulfill a childhood promise. Demi chose a strapless coral dress with stripe detailing on the bodice. Nolan chose to not coordinate with his date at all and wore a black and grey tux for the occasion. Come on, Nolan! He did, however, buy Demi a super cute calla lily corsage though, so we suppose that makes up for it.
Beauty YouTuber James Charles has had a meteoric rise to fame. His beauty YouTube channel started only five years ago, and since then he’s gained millions of subscribers and even walked the red carpet at the Met Gala. When the beauty guru went to prom in 2017, he wore a black suit, with matching dark eye shadow and his signature amount of contour and highlight. His date wore a black dress. They both added matching white flowers to their looks. Both the YouTuber and his date looked amazing, but we definitely think that James Charles has stepped up his makeup game since.
When Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie went to prom in the early '90s, she revealed that she had a fashion-forward sense of style. Instead of big hair and bigger sleeves, the "Fergalicious" singer went for a sleek blow out and a sequined dress with spaghetti straps. Do you think they still make this dress? Because we would totally wear it on our next night out. Proving that accessories are what truly make a good outfit, Fergie added above the elbow gloves *and* bracelets. Gloves and bracelets are not a combination for the faint of heart, but Fergie proved that she has more than enough fashion sense to make the combination happen, and we are in awe.
Prom fashion peaked in the 1970s and this picture of George Clooney can prove it. Amal Clooney's husband brought his A-game in this grey suit, complete with massive bow tie and ruffled shirt. Clearly always the ladies' man, George brought his date a massive yellow corsage to pin onto her white, bell-sleeved dress. While the style in this picture definitely cannot be topped, we're having trouble concentrating on anything that's not young George Clooney's face. George's jawline in this photo could be used to cut a block of cheese. His hand-in-pocket pose is so debonaire that we're having trouble focusing. Was this man born suave?
No, this is not a picture of Jennifer Aniston from the prom episode of Friends! This is actually a picture of Jennifer at her real-life prom. If we thought that 'the Rachel' haircut looked like it required a lot of maintenance, we can't even begin to tell you what's going on here with Jennifer Aniston's shaggy prom hair. It might be an updo, but it also might be a shaggy bob. Frankly, we have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. What we do know is that Jennifer kept it classic at her prom with this black strapless dress and teardrop earrings.
Jessica Alba's prom dress is giving us major Snow White vibes! When the movie star went to prom, she wore this fairytale dress with a navy bodice and added flowers in her hair to complete the look. We're in awe of the fact that the Fantastic Four star looks almost exactly like she did when she was a teenager in the 1990s, but then again, we always assumed that Jessica Alba had some kind of superpower that we didn't. Jessica's date looks like such a sweetheart in this picture. I'm sure he's thrilled that his goofy prom smile is immortalized forever on the internet.
We're so glad we found this picture of Mad Men actor Jon Hamm hamming it up at prom. (We're so sorry, we couldn't resist.) Jon Hamm's date is seriously bringing the fashion here with her white choker and tank top dress. Even more impressive though is the seriously complicated hand holding and Jon and his date seem to have going on in this photo. It looks like it would have taken them a good fifteen minutes to untangle whatever that situation is. This photo proves that the best accessory you can bring to prom (or any occasion) is a genuine smile.
Teenaged Matthew McConaughey might be the best coordinated date on this entire list. The young Failure to Launch actor perfectly matched his bowtie to the cobalt blue hue of his date's dress. While his date's frilly sleeves may no longer be the height of fashion, we appreciate the dress as a product of its time. But what we love most about this entire picture is the fact that Matthew's date is wearing a watch while he seems to be wearing a bracelet. Applying a gender binary to accessories is wrong and constraining and we would like to thank this picture of Matthew McConaughey at prom for perfectly illustrating that point for us.
If anyone had any lingering doubts about the fact that Ava Phillipe is basically her mother's doppelganger, may this picture of a young Reese Witherspoon at prom lay them to rest. With her dark lipstick and pulled back hair, Reese looks so much like her oldest daughter in this prom photo that we had to do a double take. The Legally Blonde star looked Elle Woods-approved at her prom with lowkey earings and a flawless updo. Reese and her daughter might look alike, but they didn't match prom looks. When Ava headed to prom in 2018, she wore a yellow spaghetti strap dress and left her hair down.
Singer Taylor Swift is known for being a chameleon when it comes to style. The queen of self-reinvention is constantly changing up her personal look to suit to feel and aesthetic of her latest album. Long before we got the ballgowns and cowboy boots Taylor of the Fearless era or the polished Taylor of the 1989 era, Taylor was just Taylor, a normal teen who went to prom. For her prom, T. Swift sported a white strapless white dress, while her date sported an all-white tux with a matching white hat. We're surprised that this detail has never made it into any of Taylor's songs. It seems like the sort of thing that would really stick with you.
When the Stepbrothers funny man went to prom, he rocked both a bow tie and a tiara, and we have to say, he pulls it off! We would have expected nothing less from the man who gave us the comedic masterpieces of Anchorman and Elf. It seems like Will Ferrell has always had the same sense of humor. Will's date doesn't seem to mind; she's got a pretty big smile in this pic! She wore a dark dress with a scalloped neckline and accessorized with the pearls, a prom classic, and a flower lei.
We're guessing that Josh Duhamel's date wore teal from this picture of the actor in a black suit with matching teal bowtie, cumberbund, and pocket square. While Josh didn't take any risks with his prom attire, we think he did a pretty good job of nailing the basics. Looking cute in a rented suit isn't as easy as it looks! Posing for a picture in his living room, the Safe Haven star is sporting a shell-shocked expression and has his hands in his pockets. We love Josh's 1990s bowl cut. It's a far cry from his current spikey hair, but we think it works
Full House star John Stamos looks almost unrecognizable in this prom picture! His long light brunette hair is a far cry from the signature black locks that the actors had as Uncle Jesse on Full House. The '90s heartthrob dressed in the heigh on 1970s fashion for his prom in a white suit, with large bowtie and ruffled shirt. His date had some truly enviable Farrah Fawcett hair that we imagine must have taken a long time time to get perfect. As cute as this prom picture is, we're glad that John Stamos eventually adopted his signature Uncle Jesse hair for Full House.
It might be the lack of a smile, but Ellen DeGeneres looks very, un-Ellen like in this prom photo. The beloved talk show host wore a long plaid dress with a button up top, tied at the bust. Her date had some on-trend 1970s hair and a red blazer. We have to say that we admire him for being bold with his color combinations, combining his red blazer with pink slacks and a pink shirt. After prom, Ellen and her date stayed on good terms. She invited him onto her show to talk about their infamous prom pic in 2015.
When the son of movie star Will Smith and Jada Pickett-Smith went to prom in 2015, Jaden Smith made an unusual sartorial choice. He wore an all-white Batman suit to prom. We guess a rented tux just wasn't going to cut it, huh? Double shocker — the outfit was also a repeat! Jaden previously wore the superhero outfit to Kim Kardashian and Kayne West's wedding in the Italian countryside. We'll let it slide since Kiyme's wedding is an exceptional circumstance, and he made the extra effort of adding a jacket and a tie over the super suit. Jaden's date also wore all-white.
When actress Ariel Winter went to her prom in 2015, she was already working full time on the hit ABC sitcom, Modern Family. Even though going to red carpet events like the Emmys was part of Ariel’s job at the time, she still brought her red carpet A-game to prom. The sitcom actress wore a navy lace dress with a plunging front and an open back. The overall effect is classy with a hint of sass, and we are digging it. She also found the ideal background for posing for her prom pictures with friends. That golden hour glow is real ya’ll.
Beyoncé has been *Beyoncé* for so long it's easy to forget that before Destiny's Child, she was a sheltered preacher's daughter from Texas. In high school, she attended the senior prom with her longtime boyfriend Lyndall Locke, who, wait for it ... cheated on her! That's right, this dude cheated on Beyoncé. Rumor has it that Lyndall inspired some of the Lemonade singer's pre Jay-Z breakup anthems. I mean, we're really glad Beyoncé wrote "Irreplaceable" and everything, but if people could just not cheat on her, that'd be better. Also, this might go without saying, but Beyoncé looks fantastic. Those cut outs? Those swirls? The woman is a fashion visionary.
Unlike her younger sisters, supermodel Kendall Jenner and billionaire Kylie Jenner, when Kim Kardashian went to prom, she wasn’t famous. She was just a normal (albeit super privileged) teenager. So, like most of us, her prom pictures are actually a little embarrassing and not super glamorous. Like most teenagers in the early 2000s, Kim rocked a curly updo at prom. Since her prom, Kim’s gotten the chance to wear lots of gorgeous designer gowns — including her amazing Givenchy wedding dress, so we doubt she remembers what she wore to prom while escorted by TJ Jackson. We're wondering if momager Kris Jenner took this pic way back in the day. Probably, right?
Now that we’ve found this picture of former 1D member Liam Payne at prom, we’re not sure we can ever look away. Like his former bandmate, Harry Styles, Liam rocked the then-ubiquitous Justin Bieber haircut. He also wore a black suit with a purple tie, which matched his date’s gown. His dated added a small tiara to her black curled hair. There are no less than three full-on ball gowns in this photo, including an excellent example of the ruched skirt trend that dominated all prom and wedding dressed in the mid-2000s. Oh ruched skirts, we don't miss you at all.
Okay, so like Jaden Smith, Elle Fanning’s prom pictures aren’t exactly embarrassing. They’re more like envy-inducing and glamorous. They’re also not *technically* prom photos. In 2016, when it was time for Elle’s senior prom, she unfortunately couldn’t go because she was busy at the Cannes Film Festival promoting her new film The Neon Demon. Instead of going to prom, her date — a childhood friend named Cass — flew to France to help her celebrate instead. Listen, Elle, you didn’t miss anything. Most people go to senior proms that are Cannes Film festival themed, so we’re pretty sure that going to the actual real one is so much better.
Country singer Carrie Underwood has been a superstar for so long that we tend to forget that she got her start as a small town girl in Oklahoma. For her prom, Carrie wore her curly hair pulled back with a thick headband and set everything off with some enviable bangs. Carrie gets extra points for wearing the essential prom staple — a strapless dress. Her date opted for a black and white suit with a boutonniere on his lapel. With big smiles all around, the pair looks like they had a grand ole time. Bring back the bangs, Carrie! They rocked!
Actor Ashton Kutcher has long been known as a funny guy. It appears as if he has always been that way! In this prom photo, the That '70s Show actor seems like he was the life of the party at his prom! A jacket-less Ashton seems to be getting into the groovy spirit of things. We’re big fans of his laid-back look and slicked back hair. We firmly believe that prom is about having fun, and this picture of Ashton Kutcher tearing it up on the dance floor would seem to support our point. No word of whether or not Ashton's date approved on his antics on the dance floor.
By now, YouTuber Tana Mongeau is a full-fledged star. She goes to high profile events, like the MTV Movie & TV Awards, and walks the red carpet. But in 2016, Tana was getting all dressed up to go to prom! In this picture of the star, it seems like she brought her signature attitude and sense of humor to her prom. Her dress had a black skirt and a golden top. Her date wore a grey suit and a blue bowtie. The two definitely slayed it in the looks department, even if Tana does look SO different. Tana later tweeted about the event, giving a shoutout to the song “Prom Night” by Chance the Rapper.
Twitter / Lance Bass
You know both parties in this picture but Danielle Fishel of Boy Meets World fame looks *fire* and this would be nowhere near an "embarrassing" prom pic if it weren't for the NSYNC singer's completely '90s look. The pair dated from '99 to 2000 and though he initially said he couldn't go to prom with her because he was touring in Japan, a week before the biggest night of high school, he sent her roses and told her the plans had changed. Lance is able to admit that this fashion isn't quite "in" nowadays. "Gotta love my platinum hair and oversized tux!" he wrote on Twitter.
Instagram / Snooki
Snooki is a mom of three and already on the rebooted version of Jersey Shore, but just a little while ago she was painting the town red as a high schooler at Marlboro High School in Upstate New York. The reality TV star said this was her junior prom, that she went with her BFF, and that her dress was from JC Penney. Her unnatural tan and delicately bedazzled dress is soooo mid-2000s.
Instagram / Porsha Williams
This The Real Housewives of Atlanta star shared her throwback prom picture on Instagram, too, noting that she was not the one who colored over her date's face! "Wow my cousin sent me this offline!" Porsha captioned the pic. "Prom 1998 [...] Who scratched my date face...he was cute." That corsage looks more like a loofah, but we wish the photo were more high def so we could see what her dress really looked like. It looks like a simple black gown in this post, but that's something we're so not used to from the over-the-top Bravo! star.
Facebook / Tom Brady
Tom Brady could never get away with this look now that he's married to Victoria's Secret model Gisele Bündchen. But back before he was an NFL Superbowl-winning champion, Tom Brady was just a regular kid going to his high school prom. Tom shared this photo to Facebook five years ago, writing, "Who's ready for the weekend?! This guy is!"
Long before John Krasinski was Mr. Emily Blunt, and even before he was goofy Jim Halpert on The Office, he was going to high school — and just so happened to be BJ Novak's classmate! BJ might not be pictured in John's prom pic, but maybe they hung out later that night? John can be pictured in his awkward AF teen years on the left side of the photo with his date dressed in pink and green... *cringe* Little did she know at the time that this photo would go viral!
Instagram / Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson serves lewks no matter what and it seems like she's been a pro at posing since she was a kid. This prom photo just screams "pageant girl" and while it could be worse, the sleeves on the dress are just way too extra. When she posted the picture to her Instagram, she even said she designed the dress herself! Puffy sleeves were in back then, so we can't judge too much!
Twitter / Jimmy Fallon
That is some pale skin that the future Saturday Night Live comedian is sporting in this throwback picture. Jimmy himself called it a prom "fail," writing, "My date didn't tell me she was getting a tan and high heels for the prom. Standing next to her I looked so pale and so small." We can't disagree!