This post is brought to you by JenJenHouse. All opinions are my own.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 21 years since I shopped for my senior prom dress. Back then, we really didn’t have computers in every house, so I couldn’t just hop online to find the best dress. Instead, my mom had to drive me to every single mall and dress shop within about a 50-mile radius of my house. See, I had a very specific dress idea in mind and unfortunately refused to bend. I barely even looked at the dresses out there, just skimming for the color I wanted (deep burgundy). When I didn’t see it, I moved along. When I did see it, it wasn’t just right.
So basically, this went on for about two months. We went to different stores in different nearby cities and I refused to even try on anything that didn’t fit my ideal dress idea. Finally, with less than two weeks before prom, it became evident that this magical perfect dress in my head just didn’t exist in stores. I had to find something fast, or I was going to the prom in, gasp, my junior prom dress! My aunt took me to a bridal shop and I picked out a dress that was, well, okay. I mean, it was pretty and all, but it wasn’t THE dress!
How to Avoid Buying a So-So Prom Dress
One thing I learned 21 years ago is how to avoid buying a prom dress that you just don’t love. If I could do it all over again, I would follow these tips:
- Don’t lock yourself into one idea of the ideal dress. While it’s good to have a general idea of what you want, don’t go shopping with the mindset that absolutely nothing else will do. At least LOOK at the other dresses out there! You may just change your mind about the “perfect” dress.
- Do shop early! This is actually something I learned both 21 years ago and 2 years ago when I was looking for a bridesmaid dress for my brother’s wedding. I’ve finally learned my lesson. Waiting until the last minute to buy a prom dress greatly restricts your choices and makes you feel pressured to settle.
- Shop for the body you have right now. Look, you’re not going to grow two chest sizes or drop two dress sizes overnight. It takes time and discipline to lose weight. It takes plastic surgery to add to your bust. So just shop for the body you have now, not for the one you hope you have by prom night. If you do shed pounds, you can always have it taken in. You can’t really add to a dress that you bought two sizes too small hoping you’d lose weight. Well, you can’t, but it never quite looks right.
- Shop online. Teens today so have it made, they have a whole world of prom dress options out there! Just make sure you start early and have your exact measurements in front of you when looking.
The dress pictured above is actually pretty close to my ideal dress back then, although I would have gone with a deeper burgundy. That dress comes from JenJenHouse, a spectacular dress shopping site that I so wish was around when I was a teenager! While my tastes have changed a bit over 21 years, I still think that’s a gorgeous dress! Take a look at a few of my other favorites.
Did you attend senior prom? Will you be dress shopping for a daughter in the future? I hope these tips help you avoid the dreaded “so-so” dress! Which dress is your favorite?
I actually never made it to my prom, which probably isn’t a bad thing now that I think back. The dresses back in the 90’s were pretty hideous.
I did not attend mine. However when my oldest had hers, shopping for a dress was kind of stressful . For me 🙂 Kim
Shopping early is a must! In our tiny town if you aren’t the first one, you get stuck with left overs that aren’t’ so hot.
I love the looks of all of these pretty dresses but red is my fav.
I really really hope that long dresses like these will still be in style when my daughters are ready for prom….
I really like the first two selection. These are some of the same tips I give my brides when selecting their bridal dresses. Great tips!
That red dress looks lovely – something, I’d probably get to wear.
What great tips for those shopping for prom dresses. I didn’t attend my Senior prom because I was dating a Junior at the time and he insisted that I go to his instead of mine. Looking back, that was such a mistake. So, I ended up attending my Junior Prom and then the following year another Junior prom. I will definitely be shopping for prom dresses when my daughter gets older, but that won’t be for a long time.
These dresses are so pretty!! I Didn’t have so many options when I went to prom.
I remember my prom dress so vividly. A blue color I had never seen before and lots of sparkles. My dress was destroyed when I moved- I’m still sad about it till this day.
I really love the blue dress. I wore a rented dress at my prom and I loved it.
Really great tips! If I could do it again I would shop online!
These dresses are beautiful and I think it is important to choose an unforgettable dress for such a memorable event.
What beautiful dresses. I love your memories of your prom dress. My prom was a very long time ago but I still remember the dress I wore.
I only have sons so I do miss out on things like shopping for dresses for these special occasions.
They didn’t have proms here in the UK when I left school. But my next door neighbour had her prom last year and the dress she had was absolutely stunning
I love the neckline on the first picture in the square of four. They are all gorgeous dresses though!
Shopping early is vital!! I love all of those dresses. The first one is probably my favorite though!
We just got my friends daughter’s dress from here and can not wait for it to arrive. There were so many to choose from it was hard for her to decide and it literally came down to putting two in a hat and pulling one out.
Another tip: take someone knowledgeable. I actually went to prom as a freshman when a junior invited me, and my mother and I were both completely naive about what prom was like – I ended up wearing a BUTTON-DOWN SUNDRESS. And sandals. Shudder. Yeah, I definitely made up for it for my own proms.
Senior Prom was fun! I still remember bits of it lol My dress wasn’t as nice as the one from JenJen House though lol
You make a great point about the size dress in terms of weight. I have seen people order a dress in a size they wanted to be only to have it not fit later.
I love that black and white dress. These are good tips for any kind of clothes shopping, really. Thanks for sharing.
I agree that you have to shop early; in fact, you should start shopping 8-10 weeks out and purchase your dress around 6 weeks before the event. If you plan on ordering online, you need to give yourself a bit more time. 😉
I love these prom dresses in my school there is no tradition of prom party 🙁 but I loved it.
These are great tips! I know a lot of girls set their sights on a certain color and end up missing great dresses. Thanks for sharing!
I love this post! The suggestion you give for choose a perfect dress for prom will surely help all the girls.Also i like all the tips specially ,first yes it happens with everyone because we all have mindset for our dresses earlier that’s why some time we buy the dress but we don’t like it,also i like your last point to search the dress on internet.I think today it is a best option for every person. on the net we have a lot of options and discounts also.
Thanks for share.