Mai Stiles Takes on Prom — Pt 1. The Dress

I was sitting on the couch doing my normal Instagram surfing — Liking and posting fashion to my stories — When out of the corner of my eye, I notice my 17 year-old sister-in-love pacing. I knew she was about to ask for something —

Layla. What do you want, man?


Mai, can you you help me pick out a prom dress?



Yes! Absolutely!

Me responding thinking this was going to be my time to shine. 🤦🏾‍♀️

Litte. Did. I. Know.

This was NOT my time, it was about Layla. But you know, at this point. I’m still struggling to see it. 😂

We looked at HUNDREDS of dresses online and Layla turned into the yes-machine. She liked EVERYTHING I showed her.

I quickly figured out that she was trying not to upset, or disappoint me with her dress choice. This conversation began to drag on. We can’t even look for a dress in 2019 unless we have an IDEA of where to start.

One morning she came in the kitchen while I was cooking breakfast and showed me a string of dresses she had found on her phone.

Ok, they were hideous to me. All of em.

It was time for my sister-in-love to find herself. That thing in her that makes her feel beautiful so we can highlight it. I sat her down and explained to her —

Layla, you have to find your own style. We aren’t going to like the same things. I need you to figure out what style of dress, and a general color, then get back to me.

Frustrated me talking to an unrelenting prom-crazed teenager.

By this point in the dress hunting journey, I am tired. I have two other children to take care of and my husband’s needs. It has been weeks since catching Layla pacing out of the corner of my eye and we are NO closer to choosing a dress that she would love.

I decided to ditch the 2019 version of prom dress shopping.

We are going to the prom store so you can try stuff on like we did back in my day.

🤷🏾‍♀️ Back in my day for real guys.

Over the years, I’ve had to learn to be both a sister and a parent to Layla. On one of the drives home from one of the kids’ activities, my husband and I talked to her a bit more about her indecisiveness.

The conversation reminded me how much Layla admires me. She wanted and valued my opinion, but she certainly did not want to look like a mini-me. After our pep talk in the car, I was even more resolved to get Layla to the prom dress store.

I longed for her to have the experience that I did. All the mothers ohhing and ahhing over her, dress after dress after dress. I wanted her to find the colors that complimented her skin tone in the flesh and not on the web.


It worked!

Layla figured out what she wanted to wear to the prom and that should be the end of the story right? — Nah.

I want something long, fitted, with sequins.

Layla, supposed-sister-in-love to Mai Stiles, maybe my style ain’t inheritable.

So. I hit the store with renewed zeal. Babygirl wants sequins and all that jazz, then I was going to find it. After all, I am Mai Stiles. I am HYPE about this, remember?! It’s going to be great.



Layla did not like one long, shimmery, sequined-up dress that I chose. Me. Mai Stiles. The STYLE PERSON. I must admit, my feelings were a tidbit hurt. Just a little bit.

I exited stage left and went to the shoe department. If she doesn’t find a dress we can just bring the shoes back. I am clearly not cut out to style a teenager for prom in 2019.

At this point, we are three weeks away from prom, my entire confidence as a stylist, sister, and human being is completely shot — Although I will give part of that blame to my two younger children — Layla finds THE dress.

She LOVED it.

But there was only one left in her size.

You sure you like this dress?

Internally thinking that this dress is kind of ugly

She loved the dress y’all.

And it was TOO BIG!

You heard that right.

But I was done and we had three weeks. I called my husband and we had the dress tailored.


You see that dress? Cool.

But see that smile? Yeah.

I put that there.

But chile. Turns out finding the dress MAY have been the easy part…


This is Prom in the year 2019.

And when you come back, I have some outrageous things to tell you about how I spent the rest of #MAIprom and why in the world I am helping my sister-in-love find her perfect prom dress.

How many of you are preparing for prom or rememeber getting your kids ready? do you remember your prom experience? Let me know in the comments. In the mean time…

Thanks for making Mai Stiles yours.


Follow Mai Stiles on Instagram to stay caught up on all of her daily dishes and hot takes!

Written by Mai Stiles & W.D. Herstun.

Mai Stiles is covering prom 2k19 this season! She’s telling us all about the newest trends with teenagers, her beautiful family, and how she survives it all, exclusively on Herstun.

Huge shoutout to Ms. Layla for sharing her prom-going experience with Herstun.

curated by w.d. herstun

Published by maistiles

Fashion writer.

6 thoughts on “Mai Stiles Takes on Prom — Pt 1. The Dress

  1. Omg! I remember looking for months for my prom dress, and telling my mom I wanted a short dress but ending up getting a satin floor length dress with too much (17 year old) cleavage 😂. Good job Mai on making her happy!

    1. Awww thanks Ash!!!! 😂😂 at least you were the only one who had on your dress 😩😩 3 other people had on the SAME dress as me 😂😂 and I showed up late lol

  2. I remember your prom. How your first dress choice was stolen by one of your friends and how mad you were. Then you found that white dress and you were happy. I just had a flash back.
    You were picky yourself but I must admit you did a great job with Layla. She was glowing with confidence. Very happy. You did great, ESPECIALLY the make up.

    1. Lol!!! You remember everything!! Thank you so much!! I get it from you! This process was long but it just made me appreciate your more 💪🏾

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