Well, hey, y’ all—we made it past Groundhog’s Day with a positive prediction for an early spring. And now that Valentine’s Day is in the rearview if you’ve got teenagers in the house, it’s time to think about buying a prom dress!
Shopping for a prom dress with your daughter is supposed to be a fun bonding experience; sort of a dress rehearsal for shopping for a bridal gown, but with half the drama. Okay, maybe 80 percent of the drama. I’ve got a few tips for a successful prom dress shopping excursion. I hope these help you have more fun than frustration and come home still speaking to each other.
Before you head to the boutiques, cozy up to your laptop with your daughter and look around online. Let her show you the kinds of dresses she likes—short, long, sparkly or frilly. Have an adult conversation about the budget; after all, it may be your wallet this is coming out of.
Pick a Place and a Posse
Once your daughter has a general idea of her preferred style and color, choose a day for your shopping trip. Decide what shops you’ll visit and invite one, maximum two, others to come along as backup. Sisters, aunts, or besties who will be kind but honest with your daughter about the dresses she’s considering will provide backup, and minimize the Mom-blame when the dress she thinks is perfect turns out to be, uh, not so much.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Wear Comfy Shoes
Prom dress shopping excursions are all-day affairs. Sleep well the night before and fortify yourself with a good breakfast. Your daughter should bring a pair of heels about the height she expects to wear, but you should wear your most comfortable pair—you’ll be zipping, snapping, clipping, and hauling gowns back and forth from dressing rooms all day. And if there ever was a day to remind your daughter to wear appropriate undergarments, prom shopping day is that day. The right bra will help her get a more accurate picture of what her dream dress will look like on her instead of on the model in the photo.
Don’t Let Her Get Discouraged
The perfect dress your daughter imagines may not be hanging there in the shop. Encourage her to be flexible about styles and colors, and write down the designers of the dresses she seems to like. If she doesn’t know exactly which designers she likes, you should both research the best dress designers of 2020. Reassure her that she doesn’t have to pick a dress that very day; you can go to lunch, head back home, and hunker down by the laptop again. Maybe you’ll find the perfect gown at a reasonable price online. If you don’t delay, you could order it and get it altered in time for the big night.