Ready! Set! Prom Dress!

Dresses — By admin on April 11, 2009 at 8:55 am


Ready to start shopping for the perfect prom dress? Start with the below tips to stay on track.  A little planning goes a long way to make your special night a memorable event! After you find the perfect dress, head over to to register your dress under your high school’s prom to avoid any duplication of dresses during the big night.

Start early with your hunt for the best assortment

Most retailers set up their Prom assortments in February and March.  Many Dresses are ordered in small quantities therefore to get the best availability off the rack go early to get the best choices in your size.  This also applies when special ordering your dress.  Allow time for shipping and alterations.

Determine your Price Range

Set your budget.  There are options for every budget.   There are many different places to shop for your dress- specialty boutiques, department stores, catalogs, websites, bridal stores, off price retailers and second hand shops. Remember retailers normally mark up the dress twice as much as they paid for it therefore remember these tips

  • Shop online for a varied assortment at multiple prices, check the return policy.
  • Many chain stores offer coupon or credit card discounts- Ask your sales associates.
  • Individually owned boutiques may be willing to negotiate on price! It never hurts to ask the owner.
  • Local thrift stores (especially those in areas of town where there tends to be a lot of social functions!) often have great deals on dresses that have only been worn one time.
  • Plan ahead for next year- Buy your dress at clearance prices - Many stores take markdowns on prom immediately after the season ends which allows you to find dresses at over 50% off! Pack away for next year.

Be open-minded about the “Perfect” Dress.

If you know exactly what you want, by all means search for it.  But be open minded and try on many styles, silhouettes, colors, lengths. You may be surprised and find a style you never would have been interested in when looking at it.  Many people fall in love with the dress they never thought they would like and they tried on just for fun. Take a group of trusted friends and family with you! Let everyone pick out one dress for you to try on for fun so you can determine your likes and dislikes.

Overall no matter what the style looks like, make sure you consider these things about the fit and styling of the dress:

  • Does your school have a dress code? Are their certain types of dresses not allowed?
  • Practice sitting, dancing, and walking in your dress- You want to be able to function all night long.
  • Inspect garment for tears, stains, and imperfections! These dresses get tried on a lot so please be sure to check for these things! Often return policies on formal dresses are strict therefore it may be too late if you find something wrong with the dress once you get home.
  • Take all essentials with you dress shopping- shoes/accessories you know you might be wearing, proper undergarments, and a camera if you would like a digital reference of your looks.

Do a Dress Rehearsal.

    After you are lucky enough to find your perfect dress and register it on, make sure you do a trail run of your big day to avoid any stress or mishaps.
  • Try your dress on with all accessories
    • Purse?
    • Panty hose?
    • Shoes?
    • Jewelry?
    • Undergarments?
  • Beauty Time
    • Do a test of your hairstyle- look to magazines for inspiration on ideas
    • Manicured nails and toes - Do this the day before to save time on the big day!
    • No drastic beauty treatments on the big day- any facials, tanning, or hair coloring should be done in advance!

The Big Day

Get plenty of sleep. Stick to a schedule.  All the major things should be done or planned for at this point so all you need to worry about is being fabulous.  Smile and have fun.  This night only happens once and it is up to you to make it great.  You have the perfect dress that will be unique to your own style at prom. Capture all the special moments by camera- you will always want to remember for years to come.

Keely Tober is a expert, retailveteran and merchandise planner from the junior fashion market

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