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How to Pick a Prom Dress

Finding the perfect dress might feel like a daunting challenge, but finding a dress that makes you look and feel confident will help you enjoy your big night.


  • Step 1: Consider personal style Consider your personal style -- whether you're romantic, edgy, classic, or retro. If you're not sure, flip through fashion magazines and cut out pictures of the styles that catch your eye before you go shopping.
  • TIP: Start shopping early. Four to six weeks in advance means you'll have time for alterations and to buy accessories.
  • Step 2: Bring a friend Bring along a friend whose style you admire. Their opinion can give you a different perspective.
  • Step 3: Wear hair and makeup Wear your hair and makeup similar to the style you're planning to wear to the prom, when trying on dresses.
  • Step 4: Accentuate your figure Accentuate your figure. Choose a dress that flatters your figure and suits your personality. If you hate your arms, choose a sexy, backless dress with capped sleeves.
  • TIP: Search small boutiques, online stores, and resale shops for a unique selection of gowns in addition to hitting the big department stores.
  • Step 5: Get great color Get a dress in a color that you love. Brights or pastels, there are no hard and fast color rules, as long as you feel good in it.
  • Step 6: Choose a clutch Choose a coordinating clutch purse to hold all your stuff on your special night.
  • FACT: Molly Ringwald's character Andie famously wears a home-sewn prom dress in the 1980s classic Pretty in Pink.

You Will Need

  • Fashion magazines
  • Friend with good taste
  • Hairstyle and makeup
  • Matching clutch
  • Internet access (optional)

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