How to Try on Prom Dresses: The Best Tips for a Great Shopping Experience

Trying on prom dresses is essential to get the perfect fit. It's also a part of the fun when preparing for the big night. Prom shopping is a moment to be enjoyed with friends and family! You may need to go on a few outings to several stores before you find the right dress. It's possible that your dream gown is the first one you try on too! It's all a part of the process of making that choice. To have the best experience possible, we've put together some helpful tips. This will make sure you know what to look out for and are prepared. 

While shopping is always fun, it can be tiring and hard-work at times. These tips will cut out some of the stress involved. The most important aspect is that your dress is what you have dreamed of. That means a perfect fit and a gown that is comfortable to wear all night. If possible, try on dresses in different styles. Keep an open mind and see what really suits you. Sometimes our perfect dress is an unexpected match! You can never be completely sure until you experiment with different looks on the day. 

With that in mind, here are our tips for having a great prom dress shopping experience in stores.

Get Inspired

If you love fashion or have a specific taste, it's a good idea to do some research first. You can create a Pinterest board or folder or favorite styles. Compile them together to get an idea of the dress styles you're interested in. You can show these as you shop to find similar, if not the same, looks. Research what brands you like and where you can buy their dresses near you. This gives you a higher chance of finding a dress you love.

Book an Appointment

Not every store requires you to book an appointment to go and try on dresses. If the store is a distance away, it's a good idea to have your space secured. Booking an appointment also means the staff is more available and ready to help. This can be very useful if you aren't sure of your size or style of the dress you want. The staff in store can pull dresses from the collections to help you. They'll also be on hand to measure or help get a good fit. If you prefer to just go and see what's available, many stores allow you to go and browse without an appointment. It depends on how much help and attention you prefer to have. 

What to Wear & Bring

On the day of shopping, wear an outfit you can easily change in and out of. Slip-on clothing and shoes are very useful. Especially if you will visit several stores in one day. The changing process itself can get tiring. If possible, wear a strapless or plunging bra under your shopping outfit. This makes it easier to see the true neckline of the dress, without your bra getting in the way too much. If you plan to wear heels with the dress, bring along a pair of spare heels at around the same height that you'll wear. This will help you see if the length works for you, or if you'll need it to be hemmed by a professional after you buy. 

tips for prom dress shopping

Who to Invite

Most teens like to have a few people with them as they shop. You can turn it into a girly day out and enjoy the experience with those who are close to you. It's a good idea to bring a few friends or a family member. If possible, keep it at 2 - 3 people maximum. Too many people will crowd the store. It may also confuse you, with too many opinions and suggestions in one go. Invite just your closest friends along for the journey! You can even plan to coordinate outfits if you're going to prom night as a group.

Trying on Dresses

  • Check How it Fits. Is it too tight or too loose at the waist, bust or shoulders? See if it can be adapted or if you need a smaller or larger size. If in doubt, try on a different size to see if anything changes with the fit.
  • Does the Dress Flatter You. Look in the mirror and see how the dress suits your body type. Take photos so you can look back later.
  • Do You Like the Color? Color is just as important as style. See how it flatters your skin tone, eyes, and hair. 
  • Test it Out. Walk around in each dress. Make sure it is comfortable as you move and doesn't make you feel too constricted. You want to be able to enjoy your prom! 
  • Try on Different Options. Keeping an open mind, try on a selection of styles. Mermaid, A-line, fitted, empire waist, etc. Take photos in each one and see if any suit you more than others. 

Making a Decision

Making a choice is the hardest part! Remember that you don't have to decide on the spot. That's why taking some photos is important. If you're not completely sure, you can take your time. Go home, look back at each dress. See which one stands out to you the most. You can always share your photos with other friends to get more opinions if you need. Hopefully, one dress will stand out above the others. Then, you can say 'yes' to the dress without hesitation!