Choosing the right prom dress is a little like choosing the right future husband. It has stand out but not so much that your peers won't accept you and it has to make you look good without breaking the bank. Below are some tips for how to choose the perfect prom dress.

Decide on a Budget

Your parents will ultimately decide on what you can spend on a dress unless you have a job and can buy it yourself. Make sure you stick to the budget you've decided on. Some dresses can make you look incredible and you won't have to spend much of anything on it. A great example of this is a Chinese Cheongsam dress. It's affordable for most girls, fits within most school dress codes (unless there is a theme), makes every girl look beautiful and they are available in plus size and even goth color combinations from some manufacturers. Know what you can afford and then shop where you know you can get the best deals because, let's face it, you gotta have money for those other essentials like accessories, hair, and makeup.

Decide Which Style is Best for Your Figure

Some styles are not for every girl. Know which shape your body type is before you go out looking for dresses. This way you won't waste time trying on dresses that don't compliment your figure.

• The Busty Girl - For girls blessed with a large bust, shopping for prom dresses can be a disappointment when almost everything offered from designers is made for a flat chest. Stick with dresses that draw attention to your face and not your chest. You want to choose a style that creates more a pear shape to balance out your figure.

• The Apple Girl- If you happen to carry your weight in more of the middle of your body, choose dresses that have an empire waist. A-line or dresses with full skirts will make a stunning compliment to your form.

• The Slender Girl -If you have a thin frame all throughout your body, look for dresses that add curves such as dresses with belts, empire waistlines, or asymmetrical necklines. Dresses with slits make a killer statement!

• The Hourglass Girl - Find dresses that accentuate your waist. This can be accomplished with a form fitting top, an open or V-neckline, or even a wrap dress.

• The Petite Girl - If you're under 5'7" you're considered "petite". Vertical print dresses will make you appear longer but you can always go for the princess look too for a more romantic glow.

• The Pear Girl - If your hips are larger than your bust, look for dresses that enhance your upper body. This can be done with an open neck and A-line skirt.

• The Girl That Falls Into Multiple Categories - The best example of this (but everyone's body is different) would be a petite girl with a large bust and an hourglass figure. Don't worry, dresses can be tailored for a custom fit. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to have the work completed before the big night!

Shop Around

With more and more stores closing it can really be a challenge to find a good prom dress locally. In the rare instance you can't find what you're looking for in person, it might be time to shop the online stores. The internet has some great sites like: Be sure to utilize that search engine box too! Some of the best websites are not the first ones that pop-up first on Google. Do some research, bookmark your favorites, and double-check the delivery date to make sure the dress will arrive on time. If you need to make alterations, make sure it will arrive early enough to have the work completed in time.


Be sure to budget in money for accessories! That's the almost as much fun as trying on all those fancy dresses. Choose jewelry carefully. It has to compliment both the fabric and your skin color. Sometimes going simple with design is far more attractive than having so many diamonds your date won't be able to look at you properly.

Shoes are a big deal too. Be realistic with the height of the heel. If your date is not much taller than you, don't choose 4" heels that will make you tower over him. Plus taller heels are harder to dance in and they'll hurt your feet if you're not used to wearing them. 

Make Up

Makeup is key to any prom but you don't want to cake on so much of it that your date starts thinking of clowns. You want a natural look. Makeup is meant to enhance what's already there - your natural beauty! Also guys do not like to kiss girls wearing lipstick. So if you're planning on smooching your beau on prom night, stick to lip gloss or chapstick.