Take heart - there are sure to be several prom dresses for 2005 that could be great for you! Think about what you want. Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime gown? Or do you want something classic that you could wear again as a special occasion dress, perhaps with different accessories? Is your style sleek and tailored, or more lace and ruffles? As you shop for prom dresses, start with an idea of what you'd like but keep an open mind.
Tour the stores, read magazines, visit websites selling bridesmaid or prom dresses such as Loralie , Sydney's Closet , The Prom Dress Shop , or even search for prom dresses on Ebay, the online auction site. (It's free to register with eBay.) Another top site for dress ideas is Dessy.com, famous for bridesmaid and formal dresses . You can't shop online there, but their site will help you find a local bridal store in the US or Canada who carries their dresses.
THINK AHEAD: Whether you're shopping online or in a special occasion dress store in your area, or getting your gown custom made by a local dress maker, think ahead and allow LOTS of time.
TIP: Many salons ask patrons to remove their footwear when they enter the store, to help protect long skirts and fragile fabrics from picking up dirt. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off!
Know what dress colors highlight your eyes, hair and skin tone, and what style lines are most flattering for your body type. The best way to hide flaws is to highlight your good points. So be sure you know what your good points are! (Too many of us are insecure about that!) An A-line skirt with a bit of flare is flattering on nearly everyone. Be cautious about white or very light-colored prom dresses, especially if the fabric has a lot of shine. They reflect light and can make you seem larger, not what most of us want on prom night. Darker hues tend to have a slimming effect, but on the other hand you want a shade with enough life to flatter your own coloring. If you're drawn to prom dresses with a revealing or very tight cut, remember there's a difference between looking sexy and looking cheap. The line doesn't fall in the same place for everyone, but know where it is for you and don't cross it.
Plan your colors
Plan your prom colors with your date; it always looks attractive when a couple in formal attire plan their outfits to co-ordinate with each other. Even if you keep your dress a secret until prom night, tell him enough that he will be able to accent his outfit with your color if he's not wearing totally formal black and white. It can be a nice touch if his tie or cummerbund picks up the color of your gown.
Be realistic. Media emphasis on being thin can make perfectly normal gals feel insecure about their size. Don't fall for that - have the confidence to celebrate yourself the way God made you! (Marilyn Monroe wore size 16.) Buy your prom dress to fit and flatter as you are now; don't buy a smaller size planning to lose weight by prom night. If you do drop a few pounds it's usually no problem to have a seamstress take in an inch or two. But if you buy too small it can be difficult to make adjustments. There's not much that's attractive (or comfortable) about squeezing into a too-tight dress. A good foundation garment can help, but the most important thing is being realistic about size in the first place.
If you're shopping online or through a catalog, one of the biggest secrets for success (for prom dresses or any other apparel) is measuring yourself accurately so you order the right size. It's possible to look great at any size if your clothes fit well. You want a fit that skims the body with enough ease to move comfortably and gracefully. Loralie has prom dresses from size 2 to 26. Dessy's styles range up to size 24 Sydney's Closet has prom and bridal styles from sizes 14 to 28 plus they can special order up to plus size 50. You can look super at any size if you know where to shop! (Again, allow LOTS of lead time.)
IMPORTANT: If you get your dress altered, be sure to wear the same shoes and undergarments to your fitting as you'll wear on prom night. They can make a major difference to how your dress fits. Also, if you think you might need alterations, avoid dresses with beading near the seams, as this can be costly to alter.
"The best way to hide flaws is to highlight your good points!"