Tips on choosing a prom dress

While many fathers of teenage daughters may have mixed feelings about their little princess being escorted to prom by the local high school sports hero, or even worse the drummer in the grungy garage band down the street, many young girls anticipate prom night with great excitement and spend years meticulously planning for the perfect prom dress.

Shopping for the perfect prom dress does not need to be more stressful than last Wednesday’s calculus final. Prom is, after all, about celebrating the end of an era and the dawn of new beginnings. Leave the stress of detail planning to the lucky few taxed with the chore of crafting a valedictorian speech worthy of motivating the masses of college bound troops and use the following advice to help you score the perfect prom dress.


  1. Know your budget and stick to it. While it may be tempting to blow the bank on a beautiful, lace Donna Karen masterpiece, save the lavish couture gowns for when you accept your Nobel Peace Prize for developing a new form of titanium that helped to enrich modern medicine.
  2. Do your research. Granted, the last thing anyone who is about to graduate high school wants to think about it is more homework, but, staying abreast of the latest trends and happenings in the fashion world will help you to build an idea of what sort of style you are looking for.
  3. Upsize! In a body conscious society, the harsh realities of prom dresses is that they tend to run a couple of sizes smaller than they actually are. Fight off the urge to squeeze and prod your way into that size five and breathe comfortably in a seven instead.
  4. Don’t limit yourself to a single style or colour. Queue the movie montage. Bring along your best gal pals and play dress up. Spend a good part of the day trying on many styles and variations of prom dresses, who knows you may fall in love with a dress you never thought you would wear.
  5. Try it on! Simply looking at a dress on a rack or mannequin or skinny magazine model is not enough. Try it on. Pair it with shoes and accessories.
  6. Get feedback from your support team. There is a reason that many girls like to shop in packs. Moms and close girlfriends are a key element to providing valuable insight into the best colors and styles for your body.
  7. Listen to the sales team. They are trained in current styles and proper fitting. A well experienced prom dress sales professional has the tools and knowledge to have you looking your best.
  8. Involve your friends in the action. Not only will this help to keep things fun and light hearted, it will also ensure that the busty blonde (aka, your BFF) doesn’t show up in the same jaw dropping prom dress as you.
  9. Accept that changes may be needed. There is no such thing as a perfect fit when it comes to prom dresses. Nearly all dresses will require alterations or hemming. Be certain to purchase your shoes before meeting with the seamstress so that the dress can be hemmed to the best length
  10. Don’t be afraid to hunt for a discount. The more expensive dress isn’t necessarily always the best. There are many amazing resources for finding affordable, budget friendly prom dresses for those who know where to look. Try thrift shops, online stores, auctions, and rack sale

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