Finding The Perfect Prom Dress

Prom season is just around the corner – and some of you may be starting to feel the pressure when it comes to finding the perfect dress. With so many options to choose from and a million dresses to look at, where do you begin?!

In this blog post, I’ll be trying to cover all of the options that you have on offer to you. I’m going to be discussing the pros and cons, ins and outs and dos and don’ts of the following:

  • Online shopping
  • Dress rental
  • Shopping at local stores
  • Buying second-hand

If you’d like to know more, read on…

First up, we have

Online Shopping

PRO: Quick and easy browsing. The dresses are all in one place, and you have access to super-handy search functions. (Price sort, colour sort, etc.)

CON: You don’t get the opportunity to try before you buy.

There is a way to get the best of both worlds, however. A lot of stores in your local area will have an accompanying website for you to look at (take New Look, for example). So, why not check out what the store has to offer online before you pay it a visit in real life?

If you don’t like the dresses that they’re selling, you’ll have saved yourself a trip to the shop.

If you do like the dresses, the next step is to call up your local store.

Check that they have your favourite dresses in stock in the right size. If not, ask if they could order them in for you. Voila – super easy browsing, and the opportunity to try before you buy. Perfect, right?

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of scam websites online. Therefore, it’s important to know which websites you can trust. If you’re considering buying online, please come back on Wednesday, where I’ll be posting a list of my favourite (reliable) websites that stock prom dresses. 

Dress Rental

PRO: You get to wear an expensive designer dress that comes with a wallet-friendly price tag.

CON: You don’t get to keep the dress once the big night is over.

If you want to find out more about dress rental, come back on Friday where I’ll be talking about it in more detail. I’ll also be posting a list of my Top 5 favourite dress rental websites!  


Local Stores

PRO: You get to view the dress before you buy.

CON: Can be pricey.

As well as your usual clothing stores, there are also shops dedicated specifically to selling dresses for proms & special occasions. A quick Google search will show you what stores are in your local area.

Here are a few things you need to know before visiting:

  • These stores tend to stock designer dresses, so they’re likely to be pricey (think £100+). However, the quality is reflected in the price. The dresses really will be gorgeous – and you’ll also be 100% sure that you’re paying for the real deal!
  • To go for a viewing and/or a fitting, you’ll usually have to book an appointment in advance.
  • The staff there will accompany you in your search to find the perfect dress. They’ll be like your personal Fairy Godmother for the day!
  • If you do buy a dress, a lot of these stores are willing to make a record of the school you attend. This ensures that they don’t sell the same dress to someone else attending your school prom. Crisis averted!
  • Make sure that you don’t go to the shop with make-up covered hands! You do not want to be getting the designer dresses dirty!

Buying Second-hand

PRO: You’ll often get a second-hand discount.

CON: Scam risks.

Shopping for second-hand dresses online is something that I’d strongly advise against. However, if you are going to be buying second-hand, I would personally recommend using Gumtree to look for dresses in your local area. At least this way, you can visit the seller beforehand to check the dress for any damage. (Just be sure to never visit a stranger’s house alone!)

If you are considering taking a risk and using a site like eBay, here are a few words of advice:

1) Remember: there’s no way of knowing what condition this dress will be in when it shows up at your door. Consider whether it’s worth the risk.

Do you want to save some money by paying for a damaged dress, or do you want to pay a little bit extra for a good quality dress.

2) Message the seller for a few extra photos!

For example, ask them whether they could take a photo of the dress from the back, or snap a quick close-up of the detailing.

If the seller refuses, it’s likely that they can’t be trusted. But, if they happily oblige, you’ll get a better idea of what state the dress is currently in.

Don’t feel guilty about asking a few extra questions. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

3) Don’t EVER trust a seller who only uses photos of the dress on a model. This happens all the time – and it’s almost always a guaranteed SCAM.

The seller steals the photos from Google and claims to be selling the dress themselves. You’ll either receive a tacky attempt at a remake, or, in most cases, no dress at all. DON’T FALL FOR IT!

Instead, look for photos of a dress in the seller’s house, or being worn by the previous owner. This makes it likelier that the sale is legit.


Don’t let this happen to you!

So that’s it from me for today! I hope this post has been helpful. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below!

My blog will be featuring prom posts throughout the week, so be sure to come back for more!

Until next time,

talia grace xoxo

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