Calling all seniors: last minute prom dress shopping guide


Photo by Neha Dheen

Seniors Elizabeth Ipe and Roshni Arun online shop for prom dresses on Windsor during advisory on Apr. 22.

Senior year is coming to an end, which means prom is right around the corner. The event marks the end of high school for seniors. Prom is fun, exciting and unforgettable but the months leading up to it, especially for girls, is full of stress. The culprit? Finding the perfect prom dress. 

Senior girls enter prom season ready to scour the internet and the mall for potential dresses. Tabs to Windsor and Dillards are always open on the school Chromebooks. But the search becomes addicting and we forget to actually buy. Before you know it, there is only one month left until prom. If this sounds like you (it most definitely was me), here is a guide to last-minute, affordable prom dress shopping.

Before you even step outside the house with your wallet ready to go, think about what you want to wear. Envision yourself in your idea of the “perfect prom dress.” Do you want something fitted or flowy? Pink or blue? Sequins or silk? These are all questions you should ask yourself so you have a clear picture of what type of dress you want before shopping. 

If you are not sure, Pinterest is a great resource to find inspiration. Pinterest has a diverse collection of prom dress ideas and by simply making a board, you can narrow down your options to your perfect dress. This will help guide you through the rows of dresses displayed. “You could go to YouTube and find where influencers buy their dresses for more inspiration,” senior Helen Sarikulaya said. 

Macy’s and Nordstrom are the way to go for in-person shopping. These stores have a constant influx of dresses year round so you are bound to find something there. Don’t be afraid to ask the store employees where everything is located so you don’t waste time wandering aimlessly. David’s Bridal is a great place to shop for prom dresses; many girls get their dresses there.

If pajamas and fuzzy socks are just too comfortable to change out of, Windsor and Lulu’s have gorgeous online pieces to choose from. Though the in-person store for Windsor becomes more and more empty as we near prom, the online store always has new arrivals. Dillards and Bloomingdales are great online sites. According to Teen Vogue, “if you want to go with a site that’s dedicated entirely to plus-size dresses, Eloquii should be top on your list.”

When online shopping, use the provided filters to narrow down the search. Sometimes shopping at the last minute will lead to us finding the perfect dress that is not in the right size or in the wrong color. Other times, we get so overwhelmed by options we don’t like and end up giving up. The filters, however, allow us to discard the unwanted pieces. Most sites allow filters ranging from color to size to even dress length. The majority of these sites are also affordable, so you can shop freely without worrying about making a prom dress size dent in your wallet. “Windsor has a large variety of dresses for great prices,” senior Divya Philipose said. 

The last dance we will experience as seniors is just weeks away. So the pressure to get the perfect prom dress is high. However, by following these simple steps, you will get your ideal dress in no time. “My shopping experience was a little overwhelming and it felt like everyone had their dresses so I had to rush. But suddenly, I found a dress I really liked and when I tried it on, it was perfect. I didn’t think I would find something I really liked,” senior Nadia Meyerovich said.