HoCo 2017: Fall Formal Fashion Tips and Trends

Prom is undeniably the formal event of the year, but in fall teens look forward to the second-biggest bash: Homecoming fashion (HoCo). Few students — girls or guys — want to miss this opportunity to dress up and dance the night away, but during the past year, fashion trends have changed so dramatically that many prospective homecoming attendees might not know what to wear.

In the past, HoCo has been less ceremonial than prom at most institutions, meaning there are fewer floor-length gowns and more flirty party skirts. Yet, even that tradition is changing. This guide will help you choose the perfect outfit for your upcoming HoCo Dance.


For years now, female fashion has consisted of callbacks to styles from previous decades. This year, the time period in vogue is the age of peace and love, the era of flower children, the 1960s and ‘70s. Any evening gowns you consider should be reminiscent of hippies and bohemia — or at least boast the following features:

Statement Sleeves

You can throw out your plans for a strapless gown because sleeves are back in a big way. Your sleeves should be more than shoulder coverings — in fact, if they skip over your shoulders, that’s even better. Off-shoulder sleeves, bell sleeves, ruffled sleeves, balloon sleeves, and other interesting and exciting options are definitely in.


Lace creates a cute, innocent look, but embroidery adds color, texture, and more to dresses of all styles, making it more flexible for changing feels. You can find golden embroidery that looks sophisticated or bright, floral embroidery with a playful vibe. Embroidered dresses are intricate but seem effortless, and they are perfect for achieving that boho style.

Florals and Berries

It’s time to get rid of your neon and flashy prints; because ‘60s-era styles have eclipsed ‘90s-era trends, anything to bright or busy looks garish. Instead, you should search for a frock in more muted tones, like berries and jewel hues. Alternatively, you can hunt for a subdued floral pattern — but you should avoid flowery prints that look too young.


The crop top is still in style, but instead of pairing it with low-rise shorts to show as much midriff as possible, you should try to meet the hem of your top with a high-waisted skirt or formal pant. Both parts of your two-piece ensemble should have elements of trends; for example, you might wear an off-shoulder crop with muted embroidery and a bold floral A-line skirt.


While it isn’t uncommon to see guys dressing up in jeans with a button-up and long tie, there is one HoCo outfit that will never go out of style: the tuxedo. Though you can do away with the ruffled shirt and cummerbund, you should seriously consider dressing up with satin lapels and bow tie.

Few teens bother buying their own tuxes, and by renting, you typically limit your choices to a few dull, ill-fitting pants and jackets. This year, you want as many options as possible, considering these common HoCo male fashion trends:


Black is boring. By wearing a colorful tuxedo or suit, you prove your confidence and open yourself up to more outfit options. Cobalt blue is a striking pick that isn’t necessarily outrageous and tends to complement a variety of other colors — so you won’t clash with your crush’s outfit. However, if you want to go bold, you can find tuxes in bright red, deep purple, and any other hue. You should coordinate with your date or party, so you don’t bring them unwanted attention with your fabulous HoCo style.

Patterns and Textures

Traditionally, a tuxedo is marked by splashes of shiny satin on the lapels, buttons, and sides of pant legs, whereas a suit is a matte cotton or linen inside and out. You don’t always have to do what’s normal — especially for homecoming, which tends to be a less-formal, more fun affair. You should look for jackets in unexpected materials, like velvet or suede, which add intriguing texture to your ensemble. Alternatively, you can find shirts with attractive patterns, like tasteful florals or polka dots, which also add interest to your outfit. You should be careful not to wantonly mix and match texture, pattern, and color; everything should flow seamlessly, or else you will look outrageous and off-trend.


The patriarchy is slowly but surely dying, which means you can and should feel comfortable accessorizing your look. Typical male accessories include watches and socks — and your sock game should be strong. Because socks rarely do more than peek out beneath pant legs, you can go wild with patterns and colors; often, far-out socks serve as a conversation-starter. You can also add unconventional male accessories, including cultural elements like beads and headgear as well as traditionally feminine items like bags and earrings.