Homecoming is one of the more important social events in your teenager's high school career -- it might be the first formal event for some teens and it's a precursor to the all-important senior prom for all. If your son is planning for homecoming, his tasks are relatively simple -- a tux, boutonniere and haircut, and he's already halfway there. However, your teenage daughter might have a few more items on her homecoming preparation list.
Help your teenager get organized for homecoming. If she's dining at a restaurant, ensure that reservations are made and that you have an accurate count of the number of diners. Know the transportation arrangements for the evening ahead of time, too. If another parent is providing transportation, call to ensure the plans are concrete. A limousine might make the evening feel even more special, and it can be an economical choice if a group of her friends pitch in together for the cost. While your teen probably won't want to hear it, an open conversation about your rules for the evening will ensure she's well-informed about your expectations.
When you're taking your teen to a hairstylist for a professional up-do, book your appointment plenty of time ahead of time. You might find all spaces with your stylist are booked if you leave it to the last minute. It's also a good idea to arrange a trial appointment if it's within the budget so your teenager can try out her favorite style and ensure it looks just as good as it does in the picture. If your teen is opting to do her own hairstyle, or taking a friend or family member up on their offer to help out, try out a few styles so your teen can find the perfect coif. When homecoming day arrives, have plenty of clips, pins and other hair jewels on hand, and plenty of styling gel and hairspray.
You can book your teenager an appointment with a cosmetologist or makeup artist to make homecoming beauty a cinch. Arrive armed with pictures of what your teen is looking for -- your makeup professional will be able to make any recommendations to accommodate your teen's face shape and skin tone. If you feel this might be overkill -- or too much of a strain on the budget -- there are a few things to consider for a makeup makeover at home. First, help your teen decide on the look she'd like to achieve, such as elegant, youthful or even modern grunge. Flip through magazines and beauty websites to find the makeup examples that best coordinates with your teen's chosen style. Try out a few of the styles in advance so your teen can settle on her favorite. Remember, it's more important to match makeup colors with skin tone and eye color than it is to coordinate the makeup with the dress.
If the mall is your teen's second home, it's time to put her passion to good use and encourage her to shop until she drops. Take a look in as many dress shops as possible and don't buy the first dress you or your teenager likes -- it's OK to see whether the store will hold it for you temporarily, but try to check out all your options before making a decision. Have your teen try on every dress on her list of contenders. A dress that looks great on the rack might not fit her body the way she was hoping. It never hurts to bring a friend along for a second opinion, particularly if your teen will melt down if her friends don't approve of the dress. Above all, ensure that your teen has fun on her homecoming dress pursuit -- and ensure that she has a bra and panty set that works with the dress. Visible bra straps and unsightly panty lines can detract from an elegant dress.
Shoes can make or break an outfit; they can blend in seamlessly to enhance an elegant dress, stand out as the main feature and make a bold fashion statement, or stick out like a sore thumb. Once your teen has settled on the dress, take it on your shoe shopping mission. She probably won't be willing to wear the dress to the store, but it helps to see the color and cut of the dress when making the all-important shoe decision. Just remember, these shoes will be on your teen's feet all evening. She might love the look of 4-inch stilettos, but they're going to get awfully uncomfortable during an evening of dancing. Settle on a more comfortable pair of shoes and she'll end up having more fun at homecoming and look a whole lot more fashionable when she's not limping around the dance floor.