The 'Dancing With the Stars' judge talks prom fashion, shopping at Claire's and more

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Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba joins us again to blog about her style — and all the backstage scoop — on the show’s 16th season. This week, she discusses wearing jewelry from Claire’s and why she loves prom so much.

Well, it’s prom season! Not only on Dancing With the Stars, but in real life as well. This week, my ex- fiancé‘s daughter (who I call “Panchita” and who still continues to be my family; she’s known lovingly as my “Faux-Daughter” and closest friend) is getting ready for prom.

We have a little ritual where we go shopping together to find the right dress, always being mindful of price and the fact that it’s a one-time only occasion. It’s one of my favorite things to do. We get quality time together and catch up on everything that is going on, and I get to implement my DWTS skill set of choosing evening wear and accessories.

I also do her hair and makeup. It’s fun and I can’t wait! This year she’s chosen a beautiful white dress from La Femme, another designer I’ve often worn on the show. There are so many great prom dress designers out there.

This year, Panchita and I decided to put the dress on eBay or Craigslist after she wears it so that someone else can enjoy it, and then she gets some of the expense back. It’s very important to teach our kids how to handle money well, so that they will be able to manage their own when they get older.

So for my own “prom” this week, I chose a dress from BCBG. Panchita has worn many dresses from BCBG; it’s one of our favorite places to go shopping. We also head to Macy’s and they always have a great selection! This dress goes for about $360 and had a nice tangerine color to it. Since I had my prom in Hawaii, I wanted to bring the “tropical” to DWTS.

Gabby, my stylist, helped me pull together my jewels and once again, we mixed it up and had fun. The earrings are from downtown L.A. — one of my favorite places to get jewelry because then if you lose it or break it, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t think you should break the bank over fashion. Save your money for the larger purchases like your home, your education or fulfilling your dreams. The little baby tiara was from Claire’s! Anna Maria Orzano, my friend and hairstylist, spray-painted it gold and added gold crystals to it.

As a reminder of my own prom days, I also wore my Punahou Class of ’86 ring. It still fits! I’m getting sentimental these days and it was a nice reminder of the “good ol’ days” back in the islands. Even back then, I had a lot of prom dresses in my closet. I had a lot of guy friends (I was that girl who was kind of a tomboy) so many of my friends asked me to their proms so they wouldn’t go alone.

From pink taffeta to black crepe to a homemade tuxedo outfit, I had some fun prom choices and I encourage everyone out there to have fun with their prom choices as well. You only live once and you should enjoy each moment when you can.

Now to the real jewelry: I have to say the $275 Alexis Bittar “Siyabona” ring I wore with the sea green semi-precious stone and crystals in 14-kt gold was very special. I would call that my “statement piece”. The other statement piece was the “Mushroom” multi-colored ring from PRB Jewelry. Both of these rings would be great additions to anyone’s collection, especially as summer approaches and the colors come out!

So, that was my prom choice. What is yours going to be? Tweet me at @carrieanninaba and show me your prom looks. I love to see people’s fashion choices. I bet you’re all going to look beautiful. Be safe, and have fun — I certainly did! But that will be in the book I write one day!

Make good memories!