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Prom Dress Shopping Help.

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Gypsy

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My neice is coming into town in two weeks from NJ and wants me to take her Prom dress shopping. On the one hand, I'm very touched, on the other I'm terrified.

I have pretty understated tastes, and well, my neices don't. This one likes lime green, sequins and showing off her tatas. She's a great kid (she's my favorite, admittedly) but has abominable fashion taste. We get along great, and I can usually influence her.

So first... to anyone with Prom aged kids... or sisters, or neices or whatever. What's in? What should I try to steer her away from?

Second, if you are in Nor Cal ... where should I take her? I'm thinking Bloomingdales, and Lohemann's in the city. But am willing to consider anywhere.
 

Haven

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Oh Gypsy, dear, you are in for quite a surprise!

I don''t have kids of my own, but I teach high school and I''ve chaperoned more dances than I''d like to admit. The girls here are now wearing super short satiny numbers with really deep necklines. They''re horrible. I''m embarrassed just being in the room with them, and I kept asking my colleagues "How are they allowed to leave the house looking like that?"

From what I''ve seen, the shorter and tighter, the better. Ugh.
 

mercoledi

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Try Nordies, and I was in a BCBG this weekend that was overrun with teens looking for prom gowns.
 

Kelli

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The lower the neckline, higher the slit, and more cut-outs the better!


Just kidding. Kind of. The young-uns are wearing some pretty slinky stuff these days. I''m currently seeing a lot of my dance students'' prom pictures.
 

Maisie

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I just went prom dress shopping with my 16 year old daughter. She horrified me with the stuff she was picking up!! I ended up putting my foot down and telling her what she could try on!

The one she got is beautiful. Its down to her knees and fits her figure perfectly. She looks very glamorous in it.

coastdressash.JPG
 

April20

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I have never been prom dress shopping, however, I second going to Nordstrom. They tend to have a great selection and I bet you could find lots of options to steer her with. Have fun! (okay, that was my slightly evil "have fun").
 

Elmorton

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Find out from Mom what people wear at prom or ask teen to show you her friends' prom pics (just ask her to show you some FB photos) from the year before (before you go shopping). "What's in" for prom ranges all over the country in terms of what is acceptable attire, and you want to make sure she's fitting in and not standing out (in a bad way). OH! And for about $5 you can pick up the YM or 17 prom edition if she wants to be trendy (well, I'm sure she's seen that - I guess it's more for you, so you know how to be prepared).

Where I grew up, a ballgown skirt for prom is WAY over the top and nobody did a ton of sequins (still don't, according to my friend's lil sis), but where I live now, the dresses are like 90's Miss America - tulle, tulle, tulle and a ton of sequins. If her school is a ballgown, tulle-type place, your best bet is actually a bridal store (around here, all the bridal stores carry prom lines seasonally), but what she's describing looks like regular formal attire, you're probably good with mall department stores. For your sanity, I'm really hoping New Jersey isn't a sequin and tulle place! (or tight, short like Haven mentioned! Eeek!).

Another place to try is actually David's Bridal, especially if she knows she wants a certain color.
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/31/2009 3:18:47 PM
Author: Elmorton
Find out from Mom what people wear at prom or ask teen to show you her friends' prom pics (just ask her to show you some FB photos) from the year before (before you go shopping). 'What's in' for prom ranges all over the country in terms of what is acceptable attire, and you want to make sure she's fitting in and not standing out (in a bad way). OH! And for about $5 you can pick up the YM or 17 prom edition if she wants to be trendy (well, I'm sure she's seen that - I guess it's more for you, so you know how to be prepared).

Where I grew up, a ballgown skirt for prom is WAY over the top and nobody did a ton of sequins (still don't, according to my friend's lil sis), but where I live now, the dresses are like 90's Miss America - tulle, tulle, tulle and a ton of sequins. If her school is a ballgown, tulle-type place, your best bet is actually a bridal store (around here, all the bridal stores carry prom lines seasonally), but what she's describing looks like regular formal attire, you're probably good with mall department stores. For your sanity, I'm really hoping New Jersey isn't a sequin and tulle place! (or tight, short like Haven mentioned! Eeek!).

Another place to try is actually David's Bridal, especially if she knows she wants a certain color.
That's a good idea, there are a couple of decent ones pretty close to home I can take her to.

I will make sure to ask her what 'type' she is looking for.

Nordies is added to the list. As is picking up an issue of YM. And asking for Facebook pics.

Her mom (SIL) is pretty useless and her dad is worse, and her older sister... well, let's just say NO ONE failed to notice her at my wedding. Yeah, John already opted out of this bonding experience.
 

steph72276

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Aw, man. Hopefully your taste will rub off on her! I hate all the cleavage bearing, slits up to the thigh slinky things out for girls now....seriously, save a little bit of mystery for the boys to wonder about gals! And I am appalled at the mothers that buy these horrid things for girls. I guess I will be a strict mom or something, but if I have a girl, she will not go out of the house looking like a hooker! I agree about taking her to the bridal shop, they might have some good things!
 

April20

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Date: 3/31/2009 3:13:17 PM
Author: Maisie
I just went prom dress shopping with my 16 year old daughter. She horrified me with the stuff she was picking up!! I ended up putting my foot down and telling her what she could try on!

The one she got is beautiful. Its down to her knees and fits her figure perfectly. She looks very glamorous in it.
My mom totally did this when I was growing up. If she thought it was inappropriate on the hanger, she sure as heck wasn''t letting me go try it on! I was (and am) somewhat conservative- never have liked having the girls out on display. All the same, i''m sure she saved me from myself plenty of times.
 

swingirl

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How fun!! I don't remember how far you are from San Jose but Trudys in Campbell is great. They are very popular and carry the latest styles. They keep a record of what schools the girls attend and which dresses they pick so there are no duplicates sold for the same prom. You know teenage girls!

We've bought several dresses there but they are a little pricier than someplace like Macy's.

Your niece should have guidelines from the school if they have a dress code for proms. Private schools usually have a stricter code than public. As far as steering her away from anything--why bother. I've chaperoned proms and no matter what she picks someone else will have something shorter, tighter, lower, etc. She will blend in with her peers and want to wear what is popular. Just make sure she has the right stuff under. We bought some of the sticky tape and the breast petals.

You are more likely to find "appropriate coverage" at a bridal shop. The skanky dresses often come from shops that cater to teenage shoppers. At my daughter's Catholic school the code was, no slits higher than mid-thigh, no backs lower than the waist, no bare midrifts.
 

Gypsy

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Yeah. I was a strange child. I used to want to wear button shirts and slacks. My mother bought ME a leather skirt and V neck (though both were tasteful and high quality) tops. My mom always said I had old lady taste.

I've gotten better. But only marginally so. She's not a thin girl. She's actually quite voluptuous and SHORT so it's gonna be a challenge. Trudy's is a good call too.

Starset, well, that's... something, isn't it?

The last dress I saw her in looked something like this. Only lime green. Did I mention she went shopping with her mom for it. And that she is much bigger on top and went 'without' any foundation.

Satin HorrorGYP1.JPG
 

Mara

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starset that is the cutest dress ever.

i would skip trudy's! whatever used to come out of there at prom...i was like seriously? they all looked like BM dresses gone horribly wrong. there are colors that satin should NOT come in.

i would go to Macys (huge selection typically), Nordies, and there are Loehmanns in Milpitas and Sunnyvale, you don't have to go to SF.

i had my dress made for prom, i hated what was in all the stores. it was a red simple silk sheath with pearl straps that criss crossed in the back. it was cheaper than most dresses, i still have it and it still fits! haha.
 

musey

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Wow, its hard to believe prom fashions have changed so much since my own (7 years ago... wow it seems like a lot longer)!!! Everyone was in floor-length gowns at mine, I remember a couple of girls made some waves with their short numbers. They were the exception, for sure!
 

Gypsy

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Ahh, here, this is VERY close (more sequins on hers and it was a halter). The last one she I saw her in. Again, she's got a chest on her.

5433-back1GYPOS.jpg
 

swingirl

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Those are pretty conservative! If she's a fuller busted gal you want to make sure the girls are well supported and covered!

The green one is beautiful!!

I'll warn you about macy's. There prom dresses only come in S M L and never have any underlinings.
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/31/2009 4:05:36 PM
Author: swingirl
Those are pretty conservative! If she's a fuller busted gal you want to make sure the girls are well supported and covered!
Not when they are a size too small, and you've got double d's. Trust me. Wide open back. It was memorable. We were at a catholic wedding. NO underlining. At all.
 

swingirl

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These are beautiful dresses for someone in their 20's or 30's but is this what high school girls are wearing? You are right, tho, if the dress fits well it will look good. If it is too small (or big) it won't be becoming. Is there time to get alterations done if need be?
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/31/2009 4:15:38 PM
Author: swingirl

These are beautiful dresses for someone in their 20''s or 30''s but this is not what high school girls are wearing. You are right, tho, if the dress fits well it will look good. If it is too small (or big) it won''t be becoming. Is there time to get alterations done if need be?
ROFLMAO. Okay, so I have older taste. There will be time for alterations. I''m taking her out the second day she gets here.

We''ll see what we come up with for her. I wore something similar to those for my prom, but not quite as flowy and with a slit up to above my knee. It was red though.
 

Erin

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Those are stunning dresses for someone my age (33) but in HS I bet they would get vetoed.

Your first and foremost obstacle should be fitting the girls. This cut always works for me. Allows you to dance and jiggle - worry-free!

ChocSlatedress.jpg
 

Erin

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This rouched style can minimize the impact the bust has on the whole silhouette

Bluemetallicchiffon.jpg
 

Haven

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I saw a lot of variations on this dress at homecoming and turnabout. Oh, saw a lot of this dress, too. Short, right?

Prom usually looks more like this and this. Except the girls whose parents have money spend more like $300 or $400 on their dresses. We have a dress exchange at our school every year, too, because our population is extremely diverse (it''s closer to an inner-city population than suburban) and we want all the girls to be able to wear something new-to-them to prom.
 

vintagelover229

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Date: 3/31/2009 4:22:42 PM
Author: Gypsy


ROFLMAO. Okay, so I have older taste. There will be time for alterations. I''m taking her out the second day she gets here.

We''ll see what we come up with for her. I wore something similar to those for my prom, but not quite as flowy and with a slit up to above my knee. It was red though.
Okay...older is an understatment. Those dresses are beautiful...but Gypsy...there is no way in He** I''d even try them on and I''m 21...so I KNOW a 17 yr old wont wear one!

Now...I''m searching here...but a lot of these dresses in style are FUGLY! Here is one that is okay...here is another okay and another and this one and a few from dillards and I REALLY LIKE THIS ONE!

Steer her to stuff like that. Looks nice...but not red carpet adult...um...you know...SHOW...I mean they SHOW on the red carpet...
 

courtney5638

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Date: 3/31/2009 4:04:22 PM
Author: musey
Wow, its hard to believe prom fashions have changed so much since my own (7 years ago... wow it seems like a lot longer)!!! Everyone was in floor-length gowns at mine, I remember a couple of girls made some waves with their short numbers. They were the exception, for sure!
Ditto to this. Everyone wore floor length to mine as well.
 

Feralpenchant

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http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2930075/0~2376776~2374327~6022409~6022410?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=6022410&P=3

I love that. My chest gave up when I was like 15 so I don't know how to shop for bigger busts.


Maybe you could encourage her to do a different type of neckline more flattering on her but let her choose the length she wants? With it being LIME GREEN she's gonna draw a lot of attention as it is. I think a lot of curves and chest popping outness will just make it look over the top. But that might just be because bright colors scare me.


When I went homecoming shopping I was very into what the other girls were wearing. I picked out this dress that was WAY short and a plunge halter. Open back. My mom goes, "You look like a.. A slut." I put that dress back on the rack SO FAST! LOL!

I ended up wearing a babydoll that was much more conservative. My friends didn't like it, but the boys preferred my dress over the other girls LOL.

Didn't mean to threadjack, lol, I just remembered that story and it always makes me laugh.

EDIT: Victoria's secret has bras that convert to any neckline and such. Unfortunately the one that has the most versatility is also their most extreme pushup. Awesome for B's, not so much for D's. Encourage her to buy a bra that will fit the dress. It is crucial to be held in place without straps showing!
 

Erin

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Just for fun, I picked this one if I were going this year.

MyPromDress1111.jpg
 

mercoledi

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Date: 3/31/2009 4:22:42 PM
Author: Gypsy
Date: 3/31/2009 4:15:38 PM

Author: swingirl


These are beautiful dresses for someone in their 20''s or 30''s but this is not what high school girls are wearing. You are right, tho, if the dress fits well it will look good. If it is too small (or big) it won''t be becoming. Is there time to get alterations done if need be?

ROFLMAO. Okay, so I have older taste. There will be time for alterations. I''m taking her out the second day she gets here.


We''ll see what we come up with for her. I wore something similar to those for my prom, but not quite as flowy and with a slit up to above my knee. It was red though.
Yeah, those are lovely, but also very beachy. Prom in NJ is more tafetta and sequins than silk and florals. Love those dresses, but they''re probably not what she wants. Do you have a Filene''s basement? Ours always has gobs of formal wear. Here''s
the Nordies Junior''s formal section, just to get an idea.
 
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