Prom dress shopping sounds simple; you go to store, pick out dress, try it on, admire how freaking fabulous you look, reluctantly hand over your credit card, and then waltz home with a garment bag. Unfortunately, after a few minutes of browsing through styles, you’ll probably discover that searching for that perfect dress is not nearly that simple. Don’t worry too much though, we’re here to assure you that it can be a breeze if you do it right. Whether you’re looking for a little black dress or a red carpet-ready gown, we’ve got you covered with more tips for prom dress shopping that will leave you stress-free.
Do Your Research
Before you start the hunt, you’ll want to develop a vague idea of what you’re looking for. Cut out pages from magazines, screenshot pictures from Instagram, and scroll through Pinterest to gather photos for an inspiration board. Don’t be intimidated by dresses that are out of your price range. Even if you know you won’t buy them, they can still help you determine what stylistic elements and silhouettes appeal to you the most. Also, before hitting the stores, be sure to ask your friends what they’re wearing to make sure you don’t buy the same dress! (Remember, great minds think alike.)
Shop Early, but not too Early
Though shopping early is key, shopping too early may not be your best bet. In just a few months, your size can fluctuate and your taste can change. A dress that you loved five months ago could leave you less than impressed the month of prom. We recommend locking down your prom dress two to three months before the event to make sure you can get exactly what you’re looking for. That way, you will still have time for alterations and finding all your accessories.
Leave Your Date at Home
You may think your date’s opinion is more important than anyone else’s, but Betty Scott of Formals XO in Langhorne, PA says otherwise. “Come with your mother—never your boyfriend”, advises Scott. “This is a place for women, and chances are your boyfriend will be less enthused than your friends.” Scott has seen plenty of arguments break out between girls and their prom dates, so rethink your other half tagging along on shopping day. After all, moms give the most valuable, honest opinions.
Keep the Makeup to a Minimum
Nothing is going to annoy sales clerks more than handing back a gown smeared with your foundation, especially if they don’t make a sale at the end of your time there. Always ask for help putting on dresses if you need it to prevent the dreaded smear, and remember before your head out that day that less is more.
It’s easy to forget this one when you’re getting ready for your day: wear tights or socks when you’re planning on spending time in changing rooms. Betty Scott laughed as she pleaded into the phone, “Do not come in sandals! It is both unsanitary and unsafe for girls to be wandering around the shop barefoot. Please girls, at least bring some socks!” If you’re thinking of wearing cute flats for prom, bring those. If you’re sure you’re going to wear heels, bring a pair! That way, you can also tell if you’ll need to alter your dress of choice. For shopping in general, it’s always a good idea to wear comfortable clothes that are easy to slip on and off, appropriate undergarments and to have a hair elastic on hand. The quicker and easier you can get in and out of the dressing room, the faster you’ll be able to find the dress of your dreams!
Pick One and Stick With It!
Even when it comes to prom dress shopping, it can sometimes seem like something better might be right around the corner, but keep in mind, the grass is not always greener. Stephanie Wolfred, manager of RaeLynn’s Boutique in Greenwood, IN says it is a mistake she sees girls make constantly. “Some customers go from store to store trying on 20 plus dresses, and then they finally find something they love, but they walk away to think about it”, she told us. “So often they second-guess themselves and by the time they come back to buy the dress they fell in love with, it’s unavailable in their size or preferred color. When you find something you love, be confident in your decision and go for it because the reality is with the demand of the season, it will probably be gone tomorrow.”
We hope you found some of our tips for prom shopping useful. What are your shopping for prom tips? Did you already find the perfect dress? Let us know by tagging us on Instagram @Faviana_NY and on Twitter @FavianaNY! Follow us on Snapchat @Faviana_NY and subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch up on our latest vlogs.
Written by The Faviana Team
Edited by Erica Fouts