How to Shop for a Prom Dress: Part 1

A rack full of colorful prom dresses.
Photo Credit: Themocracy

Finding a prom dress can be completely overwhelming. As you scroll through a plethora of websites and explore a multitude of different stores, the thousands of dresses you may discover from all around the world do not exactly make choosing one very easy. Regardless of your stress level, we urge you: don’t commit to a dress just because it’s a popular style or because it looks good on the model! Instead, ensure the color, cut and style looks and feels good on YOU! Choose a dress that will highlight all of your best features.

At Faviana, we like to think of ourselves as prom experts, so we have a ton of tips and tricks that we have collected over the years. This article will present you with a few suggestions for dress shopping that will help narrow your search and ensure that the dress you choose will make you feel like your best self.

First Things First: Set a Budget!

It’s much easier to narrow down designers, stores and dress options after you’ve established a price point. With a specific budget in mind, you won’t find yourself getting your hopes up and then discovering the gown you wanted is way too expensive.

See how much spending money you’re working with, and if need be, ask your parents for some extra help. Once you’ve come to a realistic number, stick to it. Remember, aside from your prom dress, you may also have to purchase shoes, accessories, flowers, undergarments, and a ticket.

8 Tips & Tricks for Social Media |Quick Tip | FavianaUse Faviana’s store locator by simply typing in your zip code to find a retailer closest to you.


Choose a Silhouette

A simple guide for different dress silhouettes.
Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

If you are able to go to a store to try on dresses, we highly recommend you do it. What may look spectacular on the model may look different on you depending on your complexion and body type. If you’re not sure what silhouettes look best on you, try to remember what styles have worked well on you in the past. For instance, have you noticed that strapless tops, v-necks, or halter tops look best on you? Remember, if you want a strapless dress, you may want to test how well it stays up. If it slips easily, you may need to take it to a tailor or use fashion tape so that you’re not pulling it up all night. We promise you that this will help you have a stress-free prom!

Dress for your Body Type

An illustration of different body type categories.
Photo Credit: August Fashion

Are you an apple shape or a pear shape? Do you have an hourglass figure or a slender figure? To easily determine what dress may compliment your shape, look to Hollywood. Celebrities generally have stylists who are experts at finding flattering dresses, so we suggest searching for a star with a similar body type and studying their best red carpet looks to figure out what silhouettes would look best on you.

If you’re not sure what body type you have, a quick way to find out is to take a full-body selfie on your phone, select the edit feature, and darken it until your body is a silhouette. What shape is that silhouette? Here are a few basic guidelines that can help you create balance amongst your proportions and flatter your shape:

  • Busty (hips more narrow than bust with less-prominent waist): Draw attention upwards, or add curves to your hips and define your waist to create balance. A long, flowy dress looks great on this body type.
  • Apple (weight is consecrated around midsection): Dresses with empire waists, A-line or full skirts compliment this body type well.
  • Slender (slim frame throughout): To create the illusion of curves, choose a dress with a dramatic pattern or detailing like ruffles, embellishments or lace. Full skirts also look beautiful on this body type.
  • Petite (5’3” and below): A shorter hemline, asymmetrical hemline or slit looks stunning on petite girls. If you wish to look taller, try vertical prints and a killer pair of heels. 
  • Pear (hips are larger than bust and waist it is defined): To show off your waist and create balance, search for gowns with full skirts and detailed busts.
  • Hourglass (curvy with proportionate a bust and hips): To accentuate your curves, try out a fitted dress. Accented waists, V-necklines and wrap dresses also look great on hourglass shapes.

Color Consideration

A timeless emerald green dress from Faviana.
Faviana style S10255
A gorgeous pink gown from Faviana.
Faviana style S10209
A blue two-piece prom look from Faviana.
Faviana style S10061

Which colors and undertones suit you best? While you should never be afraid to experiment in everyday life, you may not want to take a risk on your prom dress because you’ll want feel as confident in your choice as possible. To easily figure out what your undertones are, take a look at your veins. If your veins are a bluish color, you have cool undertones. If they are  closer to green, you have warm undertones. Another way to check is to see if you look better in silver or gold jewelry; looking best in silver likely means you have cool undertones, and gold suggests warmer undertones. If you’re worried about the tint you’ve chosen, often times, having someone take a photo of you in your dress with flash will tell you instantly if it washes you out or not.

Length: Short or Long

Two pretty pink dress: one long and one short.
Photo Credit: Faviana

Figuring out if you prefer long dresses or short dresses will narrow down your search, and may even reduce the number of potential brands you can buy from.

If your goal is to look elegant, a simple rule of thumb is to highlight one area of your body.  For example, if you are showing a lot of leg, balance it out by selecting a higher neckline. If you opt for a more daring neckline, think about choosing a longer skirt. If you want to pick a shorter dress, you may want to practice sitting down in it to ensure it is comfortable and not too short.

Listen to Your Gut

If you are having second thoughts or doubts about your dress, it probably isn’t the right dress for you. Our number one prom tip is to take the time to find a dress that you love and feel great in. You’ll look back on your prom for years to come, so while it’s fun to take trends into consideration, timeless looks will allow for photos that you’ll cherish forever. You don’t want to be haunted by your photo albums in the future!

Use the search filter on Faviana’ website to narrow down your choices. Start with category, style, and color, and then go from there. We can’t wait to see everyone’s prom choices this year. Have fun looking  for your dress and have an amazing time on prom night! Show us your favorite moments by posting photos on Instagram and tagging  us on Instagram @Faviana_NY and  Twitter @FavianaNY. Also, check out our YouTube channel to watch fun vlogs!



Written by The Faviana Team
Edited by Erica Fouts


Glam & Gowns is a blog curated with content written by authors from Faviana. Here you will get the latest tips and trends on all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

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