Styled by Ryan Keys. Picture: Supplied.

A Matric dance is one of the most important events in high school. It only happens once and leaving a statement on your last year of school is definitely a must. Finding the perfect outfit, from your dress to your shoes is key. 

Dress  for your body type. Fashion designer Ryan Keys, who has been making matric dresses for over two years says:

“With matric dances I find that a lot of girls that look to  Instagram and pinterest for matric dance fashion inspiration don't actually consider their body type.

  • First things first, whenever we are doing someone a matric dance dress we look at the body type. If it's a big girl you can't be showing too much skin otherwise you’ll be accentuating the wrong areas.
  • You have to accentuate the right areas, should you like to show off, do it in a tasteful way”.

Sheer black and gold dress fit for matric dress by Ryan Keys. Picture: Supplied

Look out for trends. Trends change every season and year, you want  to keep up with them but still maintain a unique and classy look. 

  • For the past two years, bright colours and metallics were in trend. And light silky and lace material too.
  • Sheer and beaded dresses are in, however, it’s best to have a two piece set instead of a full gown.
  •  Separates are the in thing right now, just a little cropped top with a cotton ballgown or silky touch A-line skirt for those who want to make use of the outfit after the event. 

Keep future events in mind when choosing the dress. Always go for something that you will be able to wear after the matric dance.
  • Speak to your designer to change your dress after the ball, perhaps make it short or a pencil skirt as opposed to being a flair skirt and tailor it down.
  • Consider changing the colour of the dress after by dyeing it to another colour.
White feathers with black and gold sheer touch dress by Ryan Keys. Picture: Simon Denier.

Consider your date, it would be nice to have matching outfits. Also keep your date in mind. You don’t want to be all classy alone and have your date looking average.
  • Your date has to meet up the standard and at least match your outfit. Keys says that it’s always best to advise your date to wear a classic style suit with a basic white shirt.
  • If you want to be a little bit edgy, get your designer to have a little piece of fabric from the same one used on the dress, leave the shirt open and have the piece tucked in the pocket of the blazer.
  • Stay away from the big ties, there's nothing worse than being old fashioned.
Get proper makeup. Face beating is essential for such events. It won’t be nice wearing a stylish ravishing dress without a little glow on your face, put on some makeup, but not too much.
  • If it's evening, you can go a little bit dramatic with the eyes, smokey cat eyes always look amazing, dusty blue or metallic tone also goes well on the eyes. Anything that opens the eyes works such as stick on eyelashes but don't go for drag queen big eyelashes, wear something very natural.
  • A statement lip is recommended. Go for colours that stand out, such as red or dark shades.

Make sure your nails are on point.The nails are also a must, having basic nails is good but if you feel having like big tips make you feel better, go ahead and do it.
  • Just don’t have chipped nail polish on, it will just ruin everything.
Get shoes that are comfortable to keep you going for the night. As important as the dress, so are the shoes. You have to choose the most comfortable shoes because you don’t want to be looking gorgeous but failing to walk because corns are killing you.
  • With shoes, wear something that is comfortable because you're wearing them for a few hours.
White short dress fit for a matric dance after party. Picture: Simon Denier.

Take note of the after party. Also remember that matric dance is not just about the gala dinner, there’s still an after party where you still got to serve. And to slay at the after party, you have to make sure that you wear hair that will be suitable for both the dinner and the party.
  • For the after party, a short little sparkling cocktail dress always looks magnificent.
  • Also ask the person who's doing your hair on how you can wear it afterwards.Go for a hairstyle where you can pull out a few hair pins and your hair looks absolutely perfect for the party afterwards.
  • Don't go with your long dress for the after party, it will get dirty.
Plan in time. For a successful and glamorous matric dance, keep away from last minute things. Start planning in time.
  • Book your hair and makeup in time.
  • Don't try to find a designer one week before the dance because you aren't going to be a 100% happy. You might want a neckline dropped a little bit or something like that so rather start looking at styles.
  • Go and try on different dresses in different stores and see what works on you. Also play with different colours against your complexion. Chat to a stylist, most will be willing to help out.
Black glitz dress by Ryan Keys. Picture: Simon Denier.