There is no right or wrong way to shop for a prom dress. Ok, maybe waiting until the day before prom to buy your dress isn't exactly ideal. But! The best way to find your dream dress will depend on your own personality and style.
If you have no clue where to begin and feel completely lost, try browsing online first. Get a feel for different silhouettes. Do you tend to wear simple, classic styles? Maybe an A-line gown is right for you. How do you feel about embellishment and sparkle? Do you like lace but not glittery stones? Shopping online can also help in terms of setting a budget.
Another factor to consider is your school's rules for prom dresses. Many schools will not allow high slits, open backs or two piece dresses. Make sure you know what's permissible before having your heart set on a sheer dress that will get you turned away at the door!
Going to a brick and mortar store (like Promgirl.net's Showroom!) can also be helpful. There, you'll be able to see gowns in person and try them on. Prices may be higher in stores, and you may not be able to try on your exact size. If you're still lost, try on a variety of different dresses and see what you like and don't like. Ask the sales people for help. They will be able to measure you and recommend sizes.
If you visit a boutique, here are some tips:
- Call ahead to make an appointment. Many boutiques require appointments to try on dresses.
- Bring a pair of heels, especially if you are petite. It can be hard to get the full picture when there's several inches of dress pooling around your ankles!
- Don't bring a crowd. Too many opinions can be distracting!
-Don't shop alone. Some boutiques will require a parent to accompany you to an appointment.
- Wear proper undergarments. A neon pink sports bra will distract from the elegance of a prom gown!
Whether shopping online or in stores it's always advisable to start shopping early, several months before your prom. This will ensure that you have plenty of time to find the right dress, and you'll beat the last minute rush. Shopping early will also make sure that the dress you want is still in stock, especially if you're shopping for plus sizes or hot new styles that sell out fast. You'll also have enough time to have the dress altered. Most evening gowns will require some adjustments to achieve the perfect fit.