Prom Panic: several decisions to be made in successful prom dress selection

With the new year comes the rush of a large population of high school girls who are determined to find the perfect prom dress. There are a little less than four months left before prom on May 3, and many girls are scrambling to find the prom dress to suit their needs. Girls who are veterans to the prom dress hunt know exactly what to look for and where to go, but those who have never attended prom before may be slightly confused.

Senior Anna Hubbard in her dress that she wore to her junior prom last year.

Senior Anna Hubbard in her dress that she wore to her junior prom last year.

There are three very important factors to consider when selecting a prom dress: style, comfort and price. These, along with other minor factors, are what all girls need to think about when debating on buying one dress or another, as one flaw in any of these areas could make prom night incredibly miserable.

It is quite possible that the first thing girls consider when picking out a prom dress is the style of it. With so many growing types and colors of dresses in the world, it can be incredibly hard to know what you are looking for or what style will look best. Choosing the perfect style of dress requires hundreds of decisions: strapless or one shoulder or halter top, sweetheart or straight neckline, mermaid or princess or straight-lined skirt, short or long skirt, open or closed back, lots of detail or simplicity? On top of that one must choose from all of the colors a girl could possibly imagine. The best solution to finding out what you prefer is doing research. The Internet is incredibly crucial to this, as you can browse through millions of different prom dress styles online, and even though they are not a good reference for body type, models in prom dresses online can give you a good idea of what color of dress looks good with what skin tone. The next step is to go out and try on different styles of dresses to find out what looks good with your body type. The best thing you can do is experiment, it gives you all of the freedom to find out what you like with no commitment necessary. The most important thing to consider in this situation is that you may not find the perfect prom dress at the first store you visit, and that’s OK because most girls don’t.

Another important factor to consider in selecting a prom dress is comfort. Surprisingly, a lot of girls do not think about the fact that they will be dancing all night in their dress and do not factor comfort into their decision. However, it is crucial to the success of your prom night to wear a dress you feel comfortable in. If you are not prepared for the possibility of your arms being cut up and bleeding by the end of the night, do not wear a dress with sequins or ginormous jewels completely covering the top. Long dresses occasionally require effort to keep the skirts from dragging on the ground and getting dirty as you walk to a restaurant pre-prom, so if you don’t want to have to constantly be lifting your skirt, a short dress may be preferable. Strapless dresses provide the possibility of a similar problem, as dancing may require you to be constantly pulling up your dress. Shoes are also an important part of prom comfort. If you wish to wear heels specifically for pictures, but don’t want to deal with the pain of dancing in them all night, the best solution is to bring a pair of flats (or even cheap, foldable flats that are easily stored in a purse and found at Walmart) along with you. Otherwise, if you are OK with walking barefoot on the dance floor with the risk of being stepped on, just drop your heels in a safe place until you have danced to your heart’s content.

By far the most important part of prom dress shopping is making sure that you are within your price limit. Since a lot of high school girls have to pay for their dresses themselves, it is incredibly important that they know where they can go to find the perfect dress for a decent price. For those with a higher budget who wish to find unique dresses that are very unlikely to also be worn by someone else, bridal stores, such as An Elegant Affair on Main Street or Simply “I Do” are usually your best bet. Girls who have a flexible budget that’s still in the lower price range should visit Dillard’s, as it contains a wide selection of great looking prom dresses that cost anywhere from $24 to $300. Finally, possibly the best place to shop for a prom dress is on On this site you can easily look for high-quality, stylish dresses within your price range. For those with a smaller budget, the dresses on PromGirl can cost as low as $39. Those with a very high or no budget can spend up to $1,150 on a dress from PromGirl. The website has an incredibly large selection, in which you are bound to find something you like. Also, for those who are afraid of shopping online because they are afraid the dress will not fit right, the best option is to order the dress a size bigger than you think it needs to be, and then it can be altered in town easily for a small fee.

As long as all of the above factors are considered when buying a prom dress, your prom is guaranteed to be enjoyable. Once you stop worrying about finding the perfect dress, all you have to do is put it on, be confident and have the time of your life at prom.

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