Prom Hunt ~ the dos & don’t of finding the perfect dress

As each weekend goes by and we creep towards that oh so important date  more and more girls join the traditional Saturday prom trail in the hunt for that perfect gown that makes them feel confident, feminine and poised for their first ‘formal’. The fact that this one night is many girls first outing without jeans and t-shirt and presented as a young woman entering adulthood gives ever more meaning to the importance of a their prom dress.

Whether clueless or clued-up actually trying on styles cannot compare to surfing the net for ideas, flicking through magazines or even searching the rails of the local bridal houses. Many a time the stunning gown you will stand in on your prom night is the absolute opposite to your original ideas.


  • Try on and experiment to find the best gown for your body shape, something that works with your proportions not against them, get this right and you will look and feel fabulous.
  • Take advice from professionals, we see dress shapes on people every day we may have suggestions that you have not considered.
  • Have a discussion with your parents about the budget, this will help give focus to your search, consider sale dresses or hiring if your budget is tight.
  • Bring mum but not all your friends, too many opinions can cloud your own judgement.
  • If you find something entirely different and love it, by brave and be individual, you will get attention but for all the right reasons!
  • Wear a little make-up and if you have long hair bring something to tie it back so you can see the dresses with hair up and down.
  • Try accessories with the gowns, adding sparkle can complete your look.
  • Go for a classic colour or style if you wish to wear it again.
  • Shopping for your prom dress should be exciting, if shopping on a Saturday it is always best to book an appointment with bridal houses as this is generally their busiest day. Remember you will  never be obliged to buy, this search takes legwork!
  • Use the in-house seamstress service, or alternatively find another professional to alter your dress, the final finish is very important.
  • Do accept the offer of storing your gown at the shop, especially if you have pets at home! There should never be a charge for this.
  • If you are small busted, look for design, detail, sparkle on the bustline.
  • Have an open mind, be inspired but not dictated by celebrities, remember these people are often much older than yourself and the style may make you feel uncomfortable rather than confident. Oh! And the photos have always..yes always been airbrushed!


  • Fall into the trap of buying online, I have witnessed many a disaster from auction site dresses, if they turn up at all! Don’t risk it! You may be tempted but nine times out of ten it ends in tears.
  • Judge a dress on the hanger, try it, formal dresses imparticular look entirely different on a body form.
  • Allow your friends to dictate what you can wear, this is your night and it would be a shame to compromise for someone else’s view, on the night everyone is so excited that controversy around styles, colours etc, are all long forgotten.
  • Succumb to the tango tan, you will regret it when you see the pictures!
  • Wear a short dress if you are tall and leggy, shorter styles look sassiest on petite girls, it’s all about proportion!
  • Post a picture of your chosen dress on Facebook, keeping your prom look a surprise only adds to the excitement.
  • Avoid deep sweetheart necklines and sparkle across the bustline, if you are full cupped. It will only draw more attention.
  • Obsess over what size you fit in, a formal dress fits very differently to casual clothing. Your dress size will always be determined by your body measurement, unless you are lucky enough to fit perfectly into a dress! Most dresses will need some alteration for a perfect fit, even of it just your length.
  • Panic! There is a beautiful gown for everyone and it is not a disaster if you have left it till the last minute, last year I was still dressing girls with 24 hours to go! Late is better than never, don’t miss out on the party!