Don’t Be a Prom Mess, Find the Right Dress

Marjorie Hsu, Co-editor-in-Chief

Centennial’s prom is just around the corner on March 7 at the Fox Theatre, so many juniors and seniors have already begun prom dress shopping, especially to get a good selection and price. Popular places to shop at are: Dillards, Von Maur, Windsor, David’s Bridal, JCPenny’s, and Macy’s. 

For both juniors and seniors, Dillards, JCPenny’s, and Macy’s are a pretty good starting option because dresses range from affordable dresses to more expensive ones. A junior may want a really nice dress, but might not want to go all out, so a starting dress can range from $80 to $200. Depending on which location and the store, they will have markdowns in prices that can go below $80, or a dress of higher quality that’s discounted heavily. Ideally, a person would find the best price for a dress after prom season or during fall, but there are still good deals at this time. 

For seniors who want a very high-end dress Von Maur, Windsor, and David’s Bridal have dresses from $100 to more than $500. The more expensive dresses tend to have more rhinestones, specific embroidery pattern, better fabric, or sometimes a puffy petticoat. This isn’t necessary to be beautiful for prom, but depending on someone’s budget they may want a very specialized dress. Another notable design is that more expensive dresses are often gala designed, where people look fluffy and cupcake shaped. 

These stores are not strictly just for expensive dresses or specifically just for juniors or seniors, they’re just suggestions to help a person find which place best fits into what they’re looking for. Last year, I felt lost where to start and my friends helped me see some different places. Von Maur was very classy and many of my classmates were buying from there, but no design seemed the right fit. Unfortunately, Macy’s at the time had sold out on many of its dresses, so that didn’t work out. I ended up buying a glittery peach creme dress from Dillards which was the perfect price and size. Finding the right dress takes time, but it is worth it. It’s also very helpful to ask friends or acquaintances where to go and what to look for.

Fortunately, a lot of these stores are close in range to one another. For example, North Point Mall has Dillards, Von Maur, Macy’s, and JCPenny’s. Then, Perimeter and Lenox Mall have a variation of the listed stores. However, David’s Bridal is the only one that is a stand alone store and there are two locations in Atlanta. 

Before shopping it can be useful to look up some pictures of prom dresses to get a better idea of what to look for. Some common dresses include mermaid styled, gala, hourglass, ballgown, strapless, and more. Pinterest can also be a lot of fun looking at prom dresses, and a lot of them will lead people to websites that are selling those kinds of dresses. If you are considering buying your dress online, it’s important to stay time-conscious and make sure it’s a reliable site. 

While going to stores, if you hesitate getting the dress, it may be best to not get it, because since dresses can already cost so much it’s important to make sure you truly love it. Other ways to help the person find the perfect dress is going to different areas to see what different options there are and how they fit into Prom Night. For instance, if you know you will be dancing a lot, then a flowy, shorter dress may be better. If you will be there for a short time and just spend time sitting and talking to friends then a longer dress is doable. 

Finding for the perfect prom outfit is never easy because there are are also shoes, nails, and accessories to consider, but it can always be fun if you go shopping with a group of friends. It’s best to go shopping ahead of time so you can get the best selection of dresses before many of them sell out when prom arrives. And, if you’re ever unsure, asking your family or friends for their thoughts can be helpful.