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The Woes of Prom Dress Shopping

Caroline Aubin ‘15

Staff Reporter

April 2, 2014

The Spring season brings along warmer weather, new life and the bright colors of Prom. This social spectacle can be considered a right of passage; one major event that separates the older students from the underclassmen. For girls, preparation involves lacing and zipping themselves into gowns, but is finding the perfect dress more of a hassle than it needs to be? I decided to go on an expedition to find my perfect gown over winter vacation.

If you shop on a tight budget, think twice about going to boutiques. After researching online boutiques and gathering information from girls who had gone shopping, I concluded that most stores have prices ranging from the mid-100s to 500 dollars. While many specialty stores have sale racks, the selection is often scarce. For girls on a tighter budget, try department stores such as Macy’s or JC Penney. The dresses are typically less expensive and come in a larger variety of sizes.  

                                        -Photo courtesy of www.jcpenney.com


The trends for this year’s prom involves bright neons, cutouts, and glittering, slightly gaudy jewels. Plunging necklines and open backs have become a staple. Layers are popular this year, and the high-low hemline appeared once again. Many dresses have an A-line silhouette, discarding the ballroom gown from the past. The prom gowns of today are more revealing and push the envelope of what was originally deemed appropriate.


That being said, not everyone wants to push the envelope. I, for one, wanted a simple, elegant dress. Having tried on at least seven gowns spread over three different stores, I was able to cross off styles and colors that did not work well with me; namely neon pinks with deep necklines.


With an even shorter dress repertoire and glitter in my hair, I tried my last store. Thankfully, I did find my simple gown after searching for a few hours.

Everyone’s shopping experience may vary. Junior Ashtyn Haskins shopped at eleven different stores before finding her gown. However, Senior Meaghan Koskella purchased her gown online. “ It was quick and easy, I’m just waiting for it to come in,” Koskella said.

Prom is one of the most well known traditions of high school. While the shopping process may seem daunting, girls should not be discouraged. After all, the dress is only part of the experience.