5 Step Guide to Buying a Prom Dress Online

Posted on Feb 24 2014 - 9:25pm by Ronnie

5 Step Guide to Buying a Prom Dress Online @homelifeabroad.com #prom #dress #fashion

A few weeks ago I wrote about my horrible prom dress experience 11 years ago. I’m traumatized till today – months on end of shopping without finding a dress that fit me, having to travel abroad just to get a dress and then the dress popping open at the prom. Augh!!! What terrible times, thank god high school is over.

So I figured that the next reasonable step would be to discuss: how DO you find a good prom dress online? Maybe I can make another worried teen’s life a little easier. 🙂

1) Look for quality online stores

You can’t just depend on any store. Cheap stores don’t necessarily mean great deals, nor do expensive prices mean high quality. My prom dress was very pricey – it still popped open on the first use! Look for sites that have a solid brand reputation. I always depend on Amazon for prom dresses – there are few other online stores with genuine reviews from previous buyers.

If you’re using a different prom dress seller, make sure to research them before making any purchase.  In order to do so, Google their name like this: “STORE reviews” (replace STORE with the company’s name and use the quotations like in my example). If they have a good reputation, you will be able to confirm it by reading the online reviews… if they have awful customer service, believe me, you will find out.

This is another prom dress store with great reviews & good prices: Elle Prom (They have a 60% off discount last I checked).

Here are a few of my fave dresses:

2) Know your measurement

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying the perfect prom dress online, only to realize that it’s too small on you. It’s so easily preventable – just measure yourself and check the measurement details of the dress. If it’s not clear, ask the store, they’ll be happy to help you!

3) Bookmark your fave dresses

When I’m online clothes shopping, I like to keep things organized. I make a folder in my bookmarks bar and bookmark each dress I like. Then, when I’m done scouring the web and stores, I’ll go through all the bookmarked dresses and narrow it down to the winner. It’s the easiest system!

Alternatively, Amazon has a handy wish list option. You can add dresses to an organized list and even send it to family or friends to get their opinion.

4)  Buy accessories and shoes online

Little known secret – some online stores will have awesome deals and discounts if you buy the accessories and shoes with your dress as well. And if they don’t, it never hurts to shoot them an email and ask if they would be open to giving you a discount for the purchase if you buy all the items from them. They may be happy to offer you a coupon!

5) Don’t order last minute

Have you ever seen the Bridezilla episodes when the brides buy their wedding dresses online? There’s always some problem with the shipping reaching the bride on time.. and if not that, you may still need to have it stitched or sewn so it fits you just right. Learn from their crazy ways! Buy with reasonable expectation so you can receive the dress on time – it may even be shipped from abroad. If that’s the case, calculate at least 2-3 months prior to your prom.

Do you have any more tips for the upcoming prom season? Tell us below!

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A Bolivian living in Israel. Lover of giveaways, contests and reviews. Spends much of her time organizing, budgeting and learning.

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  • Ave T

    Thanks for sharing great tips! I really like the bookmarking the dresses idea. Makes shopping much easier!

  • Emily

    I bought my wedding dress on-line – so buying a prom dress that way doesn’t seem like a big deal to me! I did buy it early, just in case I needed to return it. Thankfully, it fit perfectly!

  • Nikki

    These are such great tips. I was going to buy a brides maid dress online, but I waited until the last minute. Then I had to scramble to find one in a store that I liked! Next time, I’m going to order early.

  • Beth

    Great tips! Finding the perfect dress can be so tricky!

  • Robin Rue

    You mean people wait until the very last second?? No way…..LOL! I actually never went to my prom (long story) and I always get a little sad when I see all the pretty dresses around time of the year.

  • kristimaloney

    This is a great tutorial. I don’t have much to add except to know what color(s) that you like. I was amazed to see the range of colors That Jenjenhouse offers in Prom Dresses! There’s like 30 different choices!

  • Kay Adeola

    Thank you for the tips.I really do not have any to add to this as i know nothing about proms our schools over here do not have them,Well the ones i know of anyhow.

  • ashley b

    I have 14 more years until Prom happens for my little girl, but all of your tips are super helpful. I actually had to go out of state to find my dress when it came time for my high school prom. It was such a big too-do. I hope I can make it equally as exciting for my little girl.

  • Prom definitely can be stressful on mom and the kiddos!

  • I never bought a prom dress online but my teen has been anxiously checking the sites. She cannot wait for that moment when she goes to the prom.

  • Samantha Jackson

    These are awesome tips! In addition to book marking pages you can also make a Pinterest board 🙂

  • Lawna Young

    These are some very helpful tips. I think the most important is to know your measurements. That way, your dress will fit correctly.

  • Britney

    This is such a good idea! I remember the terror of going dress shopping and this might have been a good option for me. Another thing before hand might be to know if you look good in the color you’re choosing but all the other tips are awesome!

  • becca

    these are great tips for getting that perfect gown. I’m lucky i have a son so we only have to do tux.

  • I remember my prom dress so well – 7 other girls were wearing the same one! I wish I’d been able to shop online back then.

  • JadeLouise Designs

    Those are good tips. I will probably have to use them when my daughter gets old enough because our local stores have horrible dress selections. We will have to be ordering online for sure.

  • Jen

    I remember prom dress shopping. That seems so long ago. Girls have it so easy now with online shopping. Thanks for the tips!

  • Fantastic tips , I have never been prom dress shopping I have to say so always good to know 🙂 x

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I didn’t know about discounts if you added on accessories or shoes. That’s a great tip!

  • Pam W

    We never prom dress shopped online but my daughter bought her wedding dress online. It really is helpful to know your measurements beforehand.

  • Tiffany

    UGH!! My girls are only 10 but they will be doing this soon enough!! These dresses are so pretty!!

  • I remember all the excitement around picking out a dress for the prom. Good times and great memories.

  • I actually have a wedding to go to this summer. Will check out this see what they have on their site

  • Amanda Smith

    Great tips!! The dresses are so pretty! Prom seems like such a long time ago!

  • BabsProjects

    My girls are still a few years away from their prom, so I don’t have to worry about it now. I think you have mentioned some great tips, especially the one about not ordering last minute.

  • Corinne Schmitt

    Great tips. I would also add that when you do your measurements, have a professional do them. I did my own once for a bridesmaid dress that was shipped to me and it came in 2 sizes too big. I had to pay almost as much for alterations as I did for the dress!

  • That is such an exciting time and picking out a dress is so fun!

  • Lori

    Okay, so I’m totally bookmarking this page, since the time goes by way too fast and before I know it, I’ll be buying a prom dress! Great post.

  • se7en

    The dress is amazing! I’m sure it is constructed very well….I love it!Thanks for sharing…58eveningdress.

  • Saving Common Cents

    These are all good tips to having success buying any clothes online. Sometimes it can be hard not seeing or feeling the clothing before making a purchase. I totally agree that using legitimate, reputable online sites is a must!