Rebekah 03
Credit: Annette Brown/The CW

On the April 18 episode of The Vampire Diaries, Elena, Stefan, Bonnie, Damon and the rest of the gang trade jeans and leather jackets for taffeta and tuxes. That’s right, it’s prom season in Mystic Falls!

Whether human, vampire, werewolf, or witch, Vampire Diaries costume designer Leigh Leverett said she kept the first rule of prom fashion in mind when dressing each of the characters for the big night — Make sure no one else shows up wearing the same dress. “[The girls] tried on a bunch of gowns, probably 6 to 10 each. We picked a bunch that we liked, so it was just figuring out who [would wear] what so that they weren’t all in the same silhouettes or colors.” As for the guys, it came down to the ties.

Click through the gallery to see the characters in their prom ensembles with special insight from Leverett.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Elena Shocks in Pink

How does Elena (Nina Dobrev) choose her Theia prom dress? You’ll have to watch the episode to find out, but suffice it to say it’s not while she’s on a shopping spree with her girlfriends. “We called it the ‘watercolor’ dress. I thought it was really pretty, but I wasn’t sure it if would work. It has a lot of volume, it’s your quintessential prom dress, and sometimes on this show we go for sexier rather than for [larger] amounts of fabric,” says Leverett. “But [Nina] put it on and it was really beautiful.” When Leverett tried to order the dress online, Dobrev’s size was sold out, so she bought one that was four sizes too big and had it tailored to fit the actress.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

The Prom Queen and Her Vampire King?

Are Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Caroline (Candice Accola) bonding over their hatred of no-humanity Elena, drowning their sorrows, or getting ready to hit the dance floor? “In our show, you never know who’s going to end up with who in what scene. It’s easier for the boys to be in black and white and try to make their ties look as different as possible and let the girls be the color,” explains Leverett, who dressed both Salvatore boys in Armani tuxedos, but gave each of them their own signature cravat. “Stefan’s a four-in-hand kind of tie guy, Damon’s more of a suave James Bond bow tie guy.”

Next: Bonnie

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Bonnie’s Cinderella Moment

After years of being excluded from beauty pageants and parties, Bonnie (Kat Graham) finally has her princess moment. “A lot of the really hardcore, emotional stuff is happening to [Bonnie] this season, and a lot of it happens at the prom,” hints Leverett, who dressed the character in a navy blue chiffon gown by Theia. “She does a lot of walking around, with purpose, so we wanted it to be really pretty [as she moved].”

Next: Rebekah

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

The First Dance

Because the episode marks Rebekah’s (Claire Holt) first school dance, Leverett put her in a traditional prom look. “We don’t get to do a lot of color on the show, so we figured with the prom, we could at least throw in a splash of color,” the costume designer says of choosing the Jolene gown. “It felt like the big, yellow, quintessential prom dress, [which] worked perfectly for her.”

Next: Elijah

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

It’s a Rental

Elijah (Daniel Gillies) doesn’t actually attend the prom, but he’s still dressed for the occasion. “We have the guys in suits that they like that fit them. And then we usually change up the suits and ties or try not to have a tie, because there are quite a few of them. [But] you can only vary it so much when you have 4 or 5 or 6 guys,” says Leverett. Unlike Damon and Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) designer tuxes, Elijah’s is a rental. Still, declares Leverett, “that man can wear a suit!”

Next: Caroline

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Mystic Falls Barbie

Caroline finds a dress at the eleventh hour, which explains why it doesn’t look like a traditional prom gown. “I was trying to find something vintage-looking but one that was still new,” Leverett says of the character’s Sherri Hill dress. “I tend to go a little more feminine [with Caroline]… She’s into the glamour of everything.”

Next: Matt

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC


He’s not dressed in Armani like the Salvatore boys, but Matt’s (Zach Roerig) tux isn’t anything to scoff at. Though Leverett says Matt is the type who “wouldn’t own a tux,” she bought him this dapper Brooks Brothers ensemble earlier in the season just in case.

The Vampire Diaries prom episode airs on April 18 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Read more:

Episode Recaps

Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.

  • TV Show
  • The CW