If you have upperclassman friends who have shared with you their horror stories of showing up to prom in a £260 dress, only to find out their classmate was wearing the exact same one, then you know how tedious it is to find a unique look on a budget. Fear not: with Internet technology, you can create your own prom look and send away for the actual dress as well.
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Decide what kind of look you are going for, before anything else. Do you want a long dress or a short one? Do you want girlie frills or are you going for more a Gothic look? For ideas, look through various teen fashion magazines or bridal magazines that showcase bridesmaid dresses that can double as evening gowns.
Visit websites, like Cocomyles and Girls Game Too, that allow you to create your own virtual prom dress. (See Resources.) Some sites will give you your own avatar, which is an online image of yourself, and allow you to pick and choose the length, style and colour of the prom dress it wears. Use these sites to build up dress ideas to bring with you to a dress shop. If you want to shop from home, pick a site where you can not only design your dress, but send away for it as well.
Select your size and choose the cut of your dress to put on your avatar. Do you want a plunging sleeveless sweetheart neckline that resembles a heart, or do you want to be covered up in a long-sleeve dress? Also, do you want the bottom half of your dress to resemble a ball gown, or something more form-fitting, like a straight skirt? If you choose to utilise the Cocomyles website to create your dress, you can choose up to 10 different styles.
Try out different colours on your avatar once you have the actual dress picked out. Sites may include as many as 20 different colours to choose from.
Pick your extras. Do you want a sash to go with your dress, or maybe a shawl for the cold weather? Perhaps you would like a beaded pattern. Keep in mind, though, the more you add to your dress, the more it will cost. The Cocomyles site charges up to £19 for pearl beading on their custom dresses.
Print out a copy of your avatar to bring to a dress store with you. Ask an associate to help you locate a dress similar to the one you created. If prom day is soon and you are using a site that will make the dress for you, choose two-day delivery rather than standard, which may take up to a week. You want to receive the dress as early as possible just in case you need to send it back.
Tips and warnings
- Keep in mind your own comfort when creating your dress. If you have never worn a short skirt before, you may want to choose a long, loosefitting dress.
- Remember, don't choose anything that will be too tight on you. Prom is all about dancing and having fun.
- If your dress doesn't fit properly or the colour is not what you expected it to be, you can return it. But, depending on the company, there may be a fee involved, and you may have to cover shipping expenses.
- Two-day or overnight delivery can cost you as much as £22. Plan accordingly, and create your dress ahead of time according to your prom day.
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