Going to prom can be one of the most exciting events in a teenage girl’s life. The biggest question when preparing for prom is what to wear. By following this simple guide, you can learn how to choose a prom dress online and look your very best on prom night.
Consider Your Body Type
Finding the right prom dress for you has a lot to do with your body shape. As with all clothing, you should try to accentuate the positive aspects of your body, while downplaying those areas that may be a little less than perfect.
For curvy girls with an hour glass figure, choose a prom dress with a halter style neckline to accentuate your bustline and a fitted bodice to show off your curves.
For those with an athletic figure, fitted gowns that are strapless or with spaghetti straps will show off your shoulders and arms. A shorter dress or a prom gown with a slit in the front can accentuate your legs.
If you tend to carry your weight near your waist but have narrow hips, you should choose a sweetheart neckline to lengthen you neck and draw the attention away from your midsection. A prom dress with a drop waist will lenghten your torso and make you appear slimmer.
For those girls without many curves, an A-line dress will add some femininity. You should also choose dresses with off-the-shoulder cap sleeves to give your body a little more definition.
Pear-shaped figures that carry more weight in their hips and thighs will also benefit from A-line dress, as they can hide figure flaws. A lower neckline will draw the attention upward, taking some emphasis away from your hips.
You will also need to decide on the length of skirt. You can choose a floor-length gown, tea-length or a dress above the knee. For girls wanting to show off their legs, a prom dress about five inches about the knee is the most appropriate. If you are looking for more coverage, a tea-length gown is a great way to lengthen your silhouette and show off your prom shoes!
Anyone can wear a floor-length gown. However if you are petite, avoid full-length gowns with full skirts, which may make you appear even shorter. Instead select a sheath style prom dress and be sure to wear heels!
Now that you have an idea what type of dresses work with your body type, what will you do with you hair?
Select a Prom Hair Do
Before choosing a dress, you should also consider your prom hair do. If you are going to wear your hair down in cascading curls, a dress with an open back is the ideal option.
However, if your back is covered by your dress, an elegant up-do is your best choice for a prom hair do. You should also consider the shape of your dress in relation to your hair style.
For a straight, slender dress, you shouldn’t wear too poufy of a hairstyle. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are wearing a full skirt, then you should opt of a prom hair do with volume and height.
Choose the Best Colors for Your Skin Tone
What about the color of your prom dress? When choosing a dress, you should pick colors that flatter your skin tone. When talking in terms of complexion, people are divided into four “seasons” based on their skin tone, as well as hair and eye color.
Winter and Summer are “cool” tones that look best with colors in the blue side of the color spectrum from blueish red through violet, as well as blue through blueish-green.
Spring and Autumn are “warm” tones that look best with colors in the yellow half of the color spectrum from orange-red through orange, as well as yellow through yellow-green.
The cool skin tones have pink or blue undertones. Silver or platinum look better on cool tones than gold, and white looks better on them than ivory.
Warm skin tones are the opposite. They have yellow undertones and look better in ivory and gold, rather than white and silver.
In breaking down the cool skin tones. Winters are cool and clear tones. Many African and Asian people are considered winters, as are most Caucasian people with pale skin, dark hair and strong colored eyes. Winters look best in true white, true black, cool greys, reds (but not brick or orange-red) and jewel tones. Winters should avoid beige, orange, gold and brown. And as mentioned above, jewelry should be silver, platinum and white gold rather than yellow gold.
Summers are cool yet muted tones. Skintone is very light or very strong, but has a pink undertone. Summers usually tan easily and their hair is normally ashy rather than golden. Blue is the best color for summers, but they can also wear pastels and other muted colors. Summers should definitely avoid black, orange and gold. Like Winters, Summers should choose silver jewelry rather than gold.
On the warm side, Autumns have warm and muted skintones. Lighter redheads are considered autumns, but golden blondes, coppery brunettes and others can be Autumns as well. Autumns don’t tan easily, have freckles and are prone to sunburn. The eyes of Autumns can be any color but they usually have gold specks in them. Autumns look their best in earthy tones, such as dark reds, burnt orange, browns and golds. Pink and cool shades do not look good on Autumns. As mentioned before, Autumns should wear gold jewelry rather than silver.
Springs have warm and clear skintones. These are peachy complexions than often times have ruddy cheeks and blush easily. Hair color is usually blonde, light golden brown, bright red or strawberry blonde. Eyes are blue, green or light brown. Springs should wear bright colors such a lime green, turquoise, bright blue, kelly green, light pink, sunny yellow and peach. They need to avoid dark and muted colors. Like Autumns, Springs should wear gold or bronze jewelry.
Take Into Account Your Price Range
By now you should have an idea what style and color of prom dress you are looking for based on your body type, skin tone, prom hair do and personal preferences. So, it’s time to start shopping. Before you begin take into account how much money you are willing to spend. There’s no need to waste your time falling in love with a prom dress that you can never afford.
Set a budget for the maximum amount you can spend on your prom dress and accessories (remember jewelry, shoes, undergarments, hosiery and a handbag). After you have determined about how much you can spend, you can begin visiting prom dress websites.
One of my favorite online shops for prom dresses is promdressshop.com. This website offers terrific navigation filters to find the perfect prom dress for you. In the side bar, you can search for prom dresses by color, as well as find new designer prom dresses, dresses on sale, cheap dresses under $100 and many other categories.
Some other terrific websites for buying prom dresses include:
You can also check the major department websites for even more ideas.
Size It Up!
Before buying your prom dress, you need to make sure you are ordering the right size. Use a tape measure and write down your current measurements for bust, waist and hip size.
Remember that dress sizes vary from website to website. Therefore a size 9 at one website might be different than another. Compare your measurements to those in the product description to find the right size for you.
If you find you are in between sizes, choose the larger size. A prom dress can easily be altered by a local seamstress to a smaller size, but it will be difficult to make it any bigger.
Before making your final purchase, check the return policy of the online shop and see if they have any guarantee. If there is any problem at all with the dress, you should be able to return it.
Buy your dress well in advance of your prom, in order to make sure the dress arrives in plenty of time.
Good luck and happy shopping! Have a great time at the prom!