It sounds simple: go to store, pick out dress, try on said dress, admire how freaking fabulous you look, hand over credit card, go home with a garment bag bursting with glamorous goodness. Stop right there, young lady. Prom dress shopping is not that simple. (However, it’s not that hard either.) Whether you’re looking for a little black dress or a red carpet gown, here are some tips to make prom dress shopping as pleasurable as possible.
Keep reading for a six tips on how to handle the occasionally nerve-wracking retail experience to make your prom dress shopping experience a success!
Do Your Research
Have at least a vague idea of what you want before you leave the house. Cut out photos from magazines, screenshot pics from Instagram, but whatever you do, don’t go shopping with no idea as to the direction you are going. You’ll just be wasting everyone’s time. Instead, wait an extra day if you’re completely clueless. Use that day to cruise websites for evening dress ideas, research trends, and ask your friends what they’re wearing (trust me, you don’t want to end up with a Who Wore It Better situation).
Shop Early, but not too Early
Ideally, you should start looking as early as possible, but don’t bother hitting the shops too far in advance because at your age you’re still growing and your size can change significantly in six or so months. In an ideal world, you’d find and purchase your prom dress two to three months before the event to make sure you can get exactly the style and color you want, and still have time for alterations and accessory shopping.
Credit: FF Designer Mag
Leave Your Boyfriend 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 advises, “come with your mother—never your boyfriend. This is a place for women, and the other girls don’t want to be ogled by your boyfriend.” Scott has seen plenty of arguments start this way and is adamant: “Just bring your mother!”
Keep the Makeup to a Minimum
Nothing is going to annoy a sales clerk like handing her back a little black dress with a big white smear of liquid foundation; especially if you leave the store undecided and come back to get the dress that you can’t get out of your head. You also don’t want to catch a side glimpse of yourself in the mirror and see your mascara or eyeshadow smeared across your face. It is both polite and considerate to keep this in mind before you head out the door and remember ‘less is more’.
This is going to sound like a no-brainer. . .
. . . but wear tights or socks—something, anything covering your feet. Betty Scott laughingly pleaded into the phone, “DO NOT WEAR UGGS!” Apparently not only are these boots unattractive, girls often wear them barefoot. “They smell so bad,” Scott laughed. “Please girls, at least wear some socks!” Also, trying on dresses is sort of like a sport. You are better off to go to the store in very comfortable clothes that are easy to take on and off, appropriate undergarments, and have your hair pulled back. The quicker and easier you can get in and out of the dresses, the closer you are to accomplishing the prom dress mission!
Pick One and Stick With It!
Perhaps it’s the internet’s fault or maybe we’re a nation of ADHD afflicted, but whether you’re looking for a evening dress or a fantastic man, it can always seem like something or someone better might be lurking around the next corner. Stephanie Wolfred, manager of RaeLynn’s Boutique in Greenwood, IN says it is a mistake she sees girls making. “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 says. “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.”
Check out Faviana’s Prom Dresses.