How To Choose A Prom Dress – A Buying Guide
Before you graduate into the real world, the last and THE BIG NIGHT, of your high school life! An evening you have been waiting for and, easily the best day (night) you would have had so far. It’s your time to shine, rejoice, and make memories. Share experiences and a whole lot of stuff that will be under the “FIRSTs” bucket.
The excitement starts way before the actual event and sticks around well after it’s over. Asking out, saying yes to a date, planning a party, discussions with friends, surfing the internet for ideas, and of course most importantly, THE DRESS! But if you’re still looking or have no idea where to start, check out the tips below. We know how important and yet overwhelming this thing is for us, because “been there, done that.” And that’s why I’m pitching in, to talk all about it and make life easier for you. Let’s start with the basics and go through the process—a step-by-step guide to choosing the right prom dress.
Read also: Choosing the Perfect Prom Dress Color
How To Choose A Prom Dress Guide
Top Ideas About how to choose a Prom Dress
Before you have a look at the types of dresses, here are a few lessons in basics that might seem trivial but actually are just the opposite.
1- Planning for Prom Dress
- This will perhaps be the first time you will wear a gown or a dress that will be special for really long, and thus you need to invest your time. So, the point is to start planning well in advance.
- Budget your expense, which might be the most important part of any big shopping affairs. Have cushion space to hover around any unforeseen expenses. More often than not, there will be a plus here or a minus there in the original budget.
- Getting it stitched or buying a ready-to-wear one? Either way, there will be a few alterations to be made. So go over the details, again start at least a few weeks in advance. Decide on if you’ll be buying that glam look from Lavish Alice Dresses, or if you’ll be working with something more bespoke early to save heartache later. If you procrastinate thinking you have all the time in the world, you are wrong. As the day nears and with so much to look into you will be pressed for time.
- If there is a theme in mind from a movie or show you watched as a kid; from one of the magazine covers—draw inspiration. Getting inspired helps because you will need it and it’s a good place to start and a reference when you start planning.
- You need to understand your body type, which we will be talking about in a bit. But be aware of your body and what suits you well. That is like half the battle won.
Prom Dress – The Dress
- A known body type and budget will automatically give you a better understanding to narrow down further.
- The fabric is the next big piece of the puzzle. Pick a cloth that complements your body type and enhances your overall look.
- The color of the dress might seem frivolous, but it makes a lot of difference too. Keep in mind the theme, your body type, fabric, etc. before you zero in on one. One of those negotiable details, nevertheless, be prepared.
- Corsage, shoes, and accessories are other little yet imperative details that must come together to make it all work.
What Is Your Body Type And How To Choose A Prom Dress That Fits You?
A body structure every woman desires. And if you already have, nothing likes it. You just have to flaunt it in a way that makes it look even better. Since you have a proportionate body and svelte waistline, go with a dress that accentuates your waist, and also draws a balance between the top and bottom part of your body. Mermaid prom dresses are the best choice when it comes to this body type. It does not have to be body-hugging.
What Dress Suits This Body Type
- Something like a trumpet or mermaid dress will be a perfect match.
- Sleeveless dresses should be your go-to, but it does not stop there.
- Sweetheart or V-neckline bodice with a long flowing skirt that trains down will be a great way to amp up your oomph quotient.
2. Triangle Or Pear
It is something that most women workout for—hips wider than your bust-line. And the same rules apply here as well. No prizes for guessing—go with something that works on the same principle. Go with a form-fitting bodice dress that is form-fitting at the top, because you can afford to wear it.
What Dress Suits This Body Type
- A-line dress either short or long is meant for you.
- Something in tulle, net, or sheer fabric will give it the definition it needs.
- Halter neck, noodle strap or strapless will be perfect for the bodice.
3. Apple-Shaped Bodies
You know this is your body type if your bust or upper area is substantial. That is where your strength lies and should be the focus while shopping for a dress. Also, do not forget the idea is to steer the attention away from your waist because it is not necessarily defined. So, long prom dresses are almost always for you while short dresses are best avoided.
What Dress Suits This Body Type
- A-line, ball gown, or dresses with empire line cuts will sit well.
- Focus on your bust area which means necklines like deep V, illusion sleeves, strapless, or even halters will be ideal.
- Preferably go with a full-length skirt or at least falling on the knees, so there is no scope for unnecessary attention.
- Try and explore dresses that are unique like asymmetrical, either for the skirt or the neckline.
- Other details like rhinestones, embellished or embroidered sleeves or bateau will look perfect.
4. Inverted Triangle
If the name is not self-explanatory enough, here’s what makes for this body type. Your upper body is relatively broader, and hips are narrow. The waistline is not necessarily defined, unlike other body types. The best part about this body type is that you can create an illusion of a defined waist by choosing the right dresses. Shoo away the focus from the shoulders, because it’s much broader than the rest of the body.
What Dress Suits This Body Type
- A-line, princess dresses or ball gowns are an ideal match for this body type.
- Since your bottom part is much slender than your upper body, you can go with short prom dresses that come with slits as well.
- Try and avoid dresses that are too short because there is no scope to divert attention from the shoulders.
- Create a balance, and that automatically defines your waist.
- Peplum cuts or ruffled skirts will be a great add-on as well.
A body type that is proportionate from the top to the bottom, without too much of a definition falls under this bucket. So if you’re anything like this, remember that you need to choose dresses that make-believe whatever you wish to highlight. Your options are limitless since you can go with almost anything. Just pay attention to a few details.
What Dress Suits This Body Type
- Asymmetrical cuts or necklines are a perfect go-to for you.
- Deep V necklines that cinch the waist and train into a subtle twirl are also stylish.
- A tight bodice with strapless and an A-line skirt with ruffles is another great option.
- The key is to add volume to the bottom part of your dress and definition to the upper body, so ball gowns or princess cuts will work just as good too.
Assuming that you got your basics right and have a fair understanding of your body type, let’s get to other details now.
Prom Dress Color
Prom dress unlike a wedding dress comes in many different colors and styles! One thing to consider when buying a prom dress is picking a color that best suits you. There are so many styles to pick from and on top of that, they come in a vast variety of colors! The selection out there is exponentially great, so no wonder you are looking for a way to narrow down the color options! I would like to help you with that. So here is a simple guide to helping you pick the best color for your prom dress! and how choosing the Perfect Prom Dress Color
Think About the Atmosphere when Choosing the Perfect Prom Dress Color
Choose a dress color that will stand out, while still complementing your atmosphere.
Does your prom or have a theme? Let’s go with under the sea as an example; predictably, this theme’s color scheme will feature blue.
You could go with blue, it is certainly evocative of water and there is an array of different shades you can find. Bahama blue, deep-sea blue, navy blue, and the list goes on but this makes it easy to ignore the other color options of the palette. Let’s get a little more creative; seafoam green, pearly pink, sandy yellow, seashell purple, sea salt white, and coral red are all versions of colors on the spectrum that inspire thoughts of undersea life. There are specific tones of every color of the rainbow that exist that will go with every theme imaginable (trust me).
Research your event’s theme, ask your school’s prom committee what color palette they plan to go with, and work from there.
Consider the Location!
Maybe your prom doesn’t have a particular theme but its location could set the mood for a color palette. Prom on the water would have the color scheme of an undersea theme but a big city prom could inspire bright flashy colors; traffic light red, skyscraper silver, neon light orange, or tar black. A garden venue like the NYC Botanical Garden calls for more romantic colors like rosy pink, lavender, earthy green, sunset orange, or twilight blue.
It’s worth considering the location because it’s going to be the backdrop of your prom photos! Choose a dress color that will fit with the mood of the prom venue to get that Instagram worthy aesthetic.
Coordinate with your Date!
Whether your date is a special someone or a special friend, you two could have fun coordinating colors!
You two could wear the same color and match. If you can find the same shade of color then you and your date could be twinset! However, don’t get hung up on wearing the exact same shade if it’s not available. Both of you should wear the shade that flatters you individually; besides, uniformity is bland while variation is intriguing!
Not interested in matching?
You two could also accent each other with analogous colors. These colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Pairings like Indigo and blue, violet and wine, dandelion and amber, or aquamarine and cerulean are similar yet separate so you and your date can rock your own colors but still look like you go together!
Want to stand out?
You two could highlight each other by wearing opposite complementary colors. These colors are opposite on the color wheel and create the strongest contrast when placed next to one another. Now you don’t have to go with colors like red and green and end up looking too Christmas-y! But you can consider magenta and green or blood orange-red and turquoise. In this way, when you and your date are beside one another, you will contrast each other brilliantly!
Ask your date what their color preferences are and see what you both like. If you two can agree then it is a fun thing to do, but if it doesn’t work out it’s no big deal!
A crucial part of a woman’s outfit that completes the look is her shoes. So when it is your prom night, it is inevitable that you wear the very best. This means you have to plan well ahead. That means you start with a budget and then get into other details like color and type. Matching your shoes with your dress will almost never fail you. However, if your dress is a shade of pastels or light, silver stilettos are a fool-proof choice. Peep toes, wedges, or pumps in nude or gold can go with most dresses. If you’re already tall and do not prefer too much of a high heel, wear peep toes with an elevation just to add zing.
Hair is your crowning glory, and as a girl, you will hear this very often. So, once your dress is decided, start planning your hairstyle without waiting until the eleventh hour. Beach waves will take away the focus from the broad shoulder. So, if your dress is strapless or illusion sleeves, your tresses will be a great addition. For dresses that have defining neckline, put your hair up in a chignon updo and accessorize it with embellished or stone accessories. But any and all of this comes with planning, practice, and preparation. Check out a few YouTube videos and practice a few times before you do a dry run of the look.
Accessories need to be accounted for, both in terms of budget and styling. If your dress is in a fast or loud color, skip a neckpiece or go with fine jewelry without making it look over the top. Tiaras, hair accessories, bracelets, clutches, etc are little things that can make it all pop out for you. But, we need to talk about an accessory which is more like a tradition that is trickling down for years now.
Corsage it is! What started as a small bunch of flowers gifted by date to a girl that she pinned to her dress is now an accessory. Designs of the dresses have evolved so much that there is no scope for this to be added and thus it is worn on the wrist now. Just make sure your date coordinates the color of the flowers to complement your dress.
Remember to smile, click a lot of pictures, break the ice, and make memories and a lot of friends. Some things stay with you in more ways than you realize. So make sure it’s meant and made for you, however unique, different or similar it is.