Ever wondered where to get prom dresses? You’re not alone. Finding a unique dress that fits you perfectly, is within your budget, and matches your style is certainly no small feat. In fact, it’s practically a science. There are steps to follow, and research to be done if you want to be sure to find your perfect prom dress. To make the process a little bit easier, we’ve created a handy guide to help you answer the age-old question: “where to find prom dresses.”
In order to find your perfect prom dress, there are some initial steps you should follow before hitting the stores. Chances are if you walk into a prom dress shop without any preparation, you’ll be completely overwhelmed by the number of choices. Avoid overload and disappointment by researching your personal style and trends, looking for inspiration, choosing a budget, and shopping online.
- Research trends – What’s in for prom this year? Are popular dresses long or short? Is there a particular color that’s trendy? What about silhouette, fabric, accessories? Whether you want to fit in or stand out, it’s important to answer these questions if you want your look to be current.
- Look for inspiration – Is there a particular celebrity that you love? Maybe there’s a gown you saw on the red carpet that you absolutely can’t stop thinking about. You can learn a lot about your own personal style by knowing which celebrity styles you like best. Of course, chances are you won’t be able to find that red carpet gown without spending a pretty penny, but seeking inspiration will help you know what you like.
- Budget – Deciding on a budget is probably the most important pre-shopping step. It will help you decide the best place to get prom dresses, save you from disappointment at the shop, and narrow down the search.
- Shop online – If you decided that you’d like to buy your gown from a store, make sure to do your research online first. More than likely you won’t be able to see each and every prom dress a retailer has in their inventory. However, you can view a wholesaler’s entire inventory online. Go to the store armed with your favorite style numbers to ensure you find your perfect dress.
Where you get your prom dress will depend on your research in the above pre-shopping stages. Online stores, boutiques, and department stores carry slightly different merchandise tailored to specific needs and budgets. You’re much more likely to find your perfect prom dress if you know how to navigate the different retailers.
Today, many girls opt to buy their prom dresses online. Online shops typically have a greater assortment of gowns and offer virtual customer service if you have any questions. Be sure to check out each site’s return policies before you purchase, just in case the gown isn’t everything you’d hoped it would be. As a prom dress can be a significant investment, be sure that you trust the retailer before entering any personal information. Be wary of any prices that seem too good to be true, and use your instincts. As scams and counterfeit gowns do occasionally arise, it’s best to buy from an established retailer. At Terani, we have a number of favorite prom dress websites where you can find the best prom dresses. They include:
- New York Dress
Small Boutique Prom Dress Shops
Depending on where you live, there are likely a number of small boutiques that sell quality prom dresses. These neighborhood shops often offer personalized customer service in a friendly atmosphere. Some shops even have a dress registry by high school to ensure that no one else at the dance will have your gown. It’s easy to find these kinds of prom dress shops, just use a store locator or search using a search engine.
Most department stores carry a range of gowns from budget-friendly to designer, however, there are others that sell primarily in the upper price points. Customer service often isn’t quite as personalized as it might be if you went to a smaller local shop, and depending on where you live, they might not offer a prom dress registry. Be sure to do some research before going to ensure the store will carry dresses in your budget. A few of our favorites are:
Lord & Taylor: Lord & Taylor is the oldest luxury department store in the US. Offering both high-end and budget-friendly prom dresses, Lord & Taylor is a great option for anyone looking to get prom dresses.
Dillard’s: Dillard’s offers quality gowns at a slightly lower price point than other department stores. Brands tend to be more budget-friendly, however, they do also offer an exclusive number of designer lines.
David’s Bridal: More of a specialty formal-wear shop than a department store, David’s Bridal is included here because it’s a national chain with a wide assortment of gowns. As a specialty shop, David’s Bridal often has more gown styles, sizes, and colors in stock than department stores. Be sure to go in with a few style numbers in mind to avoid being overwhelmed by options.
Choosing the Prom Dress Store
When choosing the store/stores you plan to visit, it’s important that you keep your budget in mind as well as the availability of your size. Calling ahead is always recommended to avoid disappointment, especially if you have your heart set on a specific style. Just remember that prom dress shopping should be fun! Try to relax and enjoy the experience. If you’ve done your research, you know your budget, and you have an idea of what you want, you’ll be sure to find a prom dress in no time.