prom dresses

(36 Posts)
fourkids Thu 08-Nov-12 13:18:05

Hi, I wonder if any mums can advise me about prom dresses please? I realise this is early to be thinking about a prom next summer, but I thought I might drag DD into town after Christmas to see if we can pick up a bargain in the sales.

DD is going to be sooooooo far out of her comfort zone in a dress, that I want to be able to does anyone know what sort of thing they wear please? full length/calf length/knee length? black or coloured? sequins? diamonds? (not real obviously) straps/strapless? silk/chiffon/velvet? fitted and slinky/or big princessy skirt?

I know. I sound useless. In my day, when you finished your O levels you got your mates to write all over your school shirt and went home to watch telly. Or hung around on a street corner with all your newly found free time. I am also out of my comfort zone!

Mrsjay Thu 08-Nov-12 15:18:09

DD wore a long halterneck evening gown to hers she was 18 though will your dd be 16 she might like something a little funkier DD got her from china much cheaper than in the shops they can wear what they feel comfy in you will get all sorts from short strappy dresses to be puffy sticky out creations, I got dds from a website called dress uk ( i think)

ISingSoprano Thu 08-Nov-12 15:19:46

The girls in ds's year wore mainly long dresses. They were all fairly colourful, not much black but not big princessy skirts either.

sweetfluffybunnies Thu 08-Nov-12 15:20:35

Hi fourkids, I don't have any direct experience but dd's boyfriend's sister had her year 11 prom last summer and I saw lots of photos.

The girls all seemed to have full length dresses, all sorts of different colours, some with straps but mostly strapless, some with decoration (eg embroidery, sequins etc) but many without. They were mostly A-line or closer fitting dresses rather that ballgown style ones iykwim.

I think there are quite a few websites that sell prom dresses, possibly a bit cheaper than the high street? might be worth checking out.

Let me know how you get on - dd is currently year 10 so I will be doing the same as you this time next year!

Mrsjay Thu 08-Nov-12 15:22:28

They were mostly A-line or closer fitting dresses rather that ballgown style ones iykwim.

that was the style dd wore but some of the girls did have puffy dresses 4kids i am looking to see if i have still the websites book marked was 2 years ago though

YDdraigGoch Thu 08-Nov-12 15:24:40

Full length - definitely.
And after Christmas is not too early to be looking. Unless you buy off the shelf, they take 13 weeks to get made. Then my DDs needed to be altered when it arrives, as they are just made to standard sizing. The shops don't stock all sizes and all colours of a particular dress - just some sample items.
I think you'd be lucky to get one in a sale after Christmas - that's when everyone starts looking for prom dresses sad

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 08-Nov-12 15:25:31

Can you find some photos on Facebook of last year's at her school?

YDdraigGoch Thu 08-Nov-12 15:25:43

My DD1s dress was about £100 - very simple. Some of the girls had obviously just come from a gipsy wedding - their dresses must have cost £££££!

fourkids Thu 08-Nov-12 15:28:41

thanks I'm thinking long, A line, plainish, nice colour rather than black, and maybe (seeing as I have so much time) look at ordering from China.

I'll go and look at Dress UK - very, very happy to take recommendations smile

fourkids Thu 08-Nov-12 15:29:46

YDdraigGoch how disappointing - I thought I was Mrs Uber Organised!

fourkids Thu 08-Nov-12 15:31:02

some super examples of 'gypsy wedding' type dresses on Ebay - very reasonable too. If that's your cup of tea...

Mrsjay Thu 08-Nov-12 15:39:22

ARGHH why cant i do links , go to ukdresses online they have fab dresses

fourkids Thu 08-Nov-12 16:00:36

ukdressesonline - found it. thank you!

GrungeBlobPrimpants Thu 08-Nov-12 17:12:20

Some do the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding thing but at my dd's prom a lot just wore v nice mid-thigh length lacy dresses. DD's was £40 from Topshop as she didn't see the point in spending money on something she'd only wear once. The bleedin' shoes cost more than the dress!

I think the parameters are set by whatever 'style' your dd's friendship group are into. You can spend ££££££ if you want but what I'm saying is that it's perfectly OK to do something totally unflashy.

By the way, you'll almost certainly find that pretty soon someone in your dd's year will set up a Facebook "School Prom Dresses 2013" group where everyone posts a pic of their dress to make sure nobody else is going in the same thing wink

I have boys but watched all the girls looking gorgeous at DS1's prom last year. Some , to be honest were a bit big fat gypsy wedding, but others were very glamorous and tasteful. My favourite was a one shouldered cream dress like a Greek goddess.
There were also two girls in tuxedos which might be fun for someone who hates posh frocks?

sashh Fri 09-Nov-12 03:00:08

Depending on where you live have a trip to Oxford, Headington in articular. When I lived there the charity shops saved the ballgowns (and in Oxford charity shops get a lot of ballgowns) for Christmas and April (in time for the May ball). I've had a couple of ball gowns from them.

Some prom dresses, particularly the two piece ones are really easy to make if yoou do any sewing.

Mrsjay Fri 09-Nov-12 08:46:26

DDs hair and make up cost more than her shoes at hers she got them in primark she was smug with her tenner shoes that she bought herself where as i had been buying dresses hair prom tickets blah blah grin

YDdraigGoch Fri 09-Nov-12 08:48:08

Oooh! Thanks for the Headington tip sashh. Might take my DD there to have a mosey round. When you say "ballgowns" - would these be suitable for a prom, or is a ballgown something fancier? My DD just wants something long, but simple - definitely not fat gypsy wedding!

Mrsjay Fri 09-Nov-12 08:53:06

you see all sorts at prom for simple dresses to full ball gowns the ball gawns seemed to be in the minority though but there will be girls wearing them . as long as your dd likes her dress feels glam and is comfortable she can wear what she likes smile

Chopchopbusybusy Fri 09-Nov-12 08:59:42

DD hired hers. She's not a girly girl at all so it worked well for her. The lady in the shop was helpful. I am not girly either and was a bit useless. Cost about £45. Was a full length close fitting dress. Some of her friends wore puffy, frilly dresses too. Majority were full length.

BackforGood Fri 09-Nov-12 09:00:00

I collected ds and what seemed like about 14 mates from his prom last Summer and was suprised how many of the girls were wearing knee length dresses (as in, still a minority, but all my previous experience was they wore long "evening" dresses) so if she hates the idea of long, she wouldn't be the only one.
I've looked at a lot of prom photos over the last 4 years or so (tis the age my dc, nieces, God Children and friends children are) and there really is no 'uniform'. They can wear what they want, from the sophisticated, elegant black to the ballgown babydoll pink. Agree with most though that the majority seem to go for a brightish colour, often A-line, often with a bit of sparkle or sequin.
The key seems to be the shoes - incredible things. The rule there seems to be that if you can walk in them, they are not high enough grin

BeckAndCall Fri 09-Nov-12 09:01:58

My DD's year went half long half short. My DD went short strapless with sequins and we had it made in China thru eBay. Was gorgeous.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 09-Nov-12 11:32:48

Top tip from friend with older girls, go into town around 22nd/23rd December, if you can bear the crowds, there will already be sales bargains. Take along heels if DD plans wearing them and a strapless bra to help see how the dress will hang.

Theas18 Fri 09-Nov-12 12:56:26

DD1 got a lovely red drapey dress- full length (not strapless -she'd rather not) from Oxfam!

Keep your eyes open. 2nd had would be fine and rather stops the "3 dresses the same and X looked do much beter than me" issues!

BackforGood Fri 09-Nov-12 16:03:48

I have to agree with Theas18 - I regularly see beautiful dresses in Charity shops for a fraction of the price....I suppose it's the sort of dress that once you've worn it to the prom and shared lots of photos with everyone, it's not the sort of thing you would then wear again to many 'dos'.

Bromptonaut Fri 09-Nov-12 22:55:16

Depends on the girl and what's normal for their image I think.

DD went in yr 11 Prom a plain black knee length dress, V neck with a bit of cleavage. Supplemented it with a mauve shawl/scarf. But essentially she's an outdoor lass; happy biking in lycra or walking in breeches.

Some of her mates in ballgowns and uplifted boobs looked OK but far too many were gypsy wedding style.

The Lad's female companion at his was also modest, though she had the height to carry off a gown.

sashh Sat 10-Nov-12 04:20:42


It's been a few (10+) years since I lived there but I got a black velvet strapless dress one year and a lemon taffeta silk hand finished dress the following year, they were £10 and £12.

The velevet one was from the British Heart Foundatioin shop, maybe worth calling to check they still exist and see what they have.

misstrunchball Sun 11-Nov-12 22:37:53

My DD1 is already looking and trying on. Saw a beautiful one in a hire shop, was strapless and what I would say was proper ball gown with the big full skirt and she looked gorgeous. Was £120 to hire but only £150 to buy shock... They did tell us that if she went for it they would note down her school and not let anybody else have the same dress so earlier is probably better.

But.... she had decided on a design and, luckily, we know someone who makes dancing costumes so she will be having a go at making it for us. It won't be cheap as some of the material she has chosen is £4 odd a metre and we need 25 metres.... At least nobody else will have the same dress.

overthehill Sun 11-Nov-12 22:53:51

My dd had hers last year and got a tasteful burgundy strapless dress from Coast. It was knee length, and only two of her friends had long dresses, with most having quite short ones and a variety of styles and colours (ranging from puffy to a-line, black to pale blue).

Having a look at dresses from last year/from another school that has theirs earlier is a good idea, and my dd did that. There was also a group where people posted a pic of their dress in an attempt to ensure that two people didn't buy the same.

justkeepgoing Wed 14-Nov-12 15:45:13

A couple of years ago for us, but mostly long dresses. My friend had a nightmare with ordering from China - didn't arrive on time and was a size too big when it finally came. DD1 went for one shoulder grecian in red jersey material. Try A bit expensive I thought, but some people pay ridiculous money. Try good old ASOS under maxi dresses, its hard to beat the price

MrsTwankey Sat 17-Nov-12 17:22:50

DD had hers a couple of years ago. Wore knee length dress, fitted bodice and thin straps. Bit of diamante across the bodice and sparkling silver shoes. I thought (as all mothers do) she looked beautiful. Quite a few girls wore floor length dresses and IMO they didn't look right in them. The dresses were too old for them.
Went to the Trafford Centre for ours and was expecting to be there for ages. Found perfect dress straight away in Debenhams. It wasn't horrendously expensive but it's now still sitting in her wardrobe.

dexter73 Sat 17-Nov-12 17:44:33

I took dd dress shopping today for a ball and she bought this dress. She looks gorgeous in it and it was a bargain! TK Maxx had some nice dresses too.

MrsTwankey Sat 17-Nov-12 17:47:50

dexter just had a look at your dress. It's beautiful (forget what I said about floor length). My favourite colour as well!

dexter73 Sat 17-Nov-12 17:54:09

I guess it just depends what is worn at different schools. At dd's school they always seem to wear long dresses but at my friends dd's school they go for cocktail dresses. It is lovely to see them all dressed up instead of jeans and a hoody!

fourkids Thu 22-Nov-12 11:13:36

Thanks for all the advice - got a beautiful dress, brand new, 75% off on ebay. I thought I'd do it now in case it didn't fit or she didn't like it - but luckily it is perfect. So now I just have to take the hem up and store it - somewhere where we can find it next summer!

My tip having now researched this and gone through it is, if mail ordering, to look for a dress that laces up the back so it is more likely to fit (all my DDs who are very different in shape and size, have had the dress on and it can be laced up in such a way that it fits them all).

Madoldlady Fri 30-Nov-12 20:53:36

we found a fabulous dress in a 2nd hand vintage store, we bargained with the store owner and got accessories thrown in, she looked so beautiful. And to save a £ or two on hair (I'm not very girly) I watched hours or youtube tutorials and did her hair myself, and even if I say so myself it looked a lot better than those girls who'd spent half the day getting a generic "up-do" at the local salon!
Good Luck though, getting to that point was sheer hell! ha ha ha!

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