More than likely, your daughter failed in her promise to save up money for that coveted dress that she saw on page 149 in the September issue of [insert favorite Teen magazine here]. Sooner or later, (sometime this weekend or early next week) she will be hitting you up for money, as a result. If you are planning to fork over money for dress, shoes, and those must have earrings, I am sure that you will more than likely want to have a say in the matter. Besides, shopping with your daughter for her prom dress, if you take the right approach, can end up being a memorable bonding experience that she will remember forever…(cue chirping crickets). No seriously, it can really be a positive experience once you learn how to play the dual role of mom and stylist.
Back in my day (circa 1991) my Mom and my Aunts helped me with my prom dress shopping. We visited probably every bridal shop in middle Connecticut and the search proved to be overwhelming and exhausting. Lucky for today’s Mom’s, Macys has a wide, and affordable collection of dresses and accessories that are appropriate for both junior and senior proms making Macy’s your one stop shop for everything prom.
However, before you go, here are few tips to make the search less exhausting and also to help you score some major cool points with your daughter.
1) Know What’s In Style!
Your daughter will be amazed with your knowledge of what’s in style this season. You can start your prom shopping by exploring Macys collection of black and white dresses, prints, emerald and collection of bright and colorful gowns that are trending this season.
1. Lauren Ralph Lauren Petite Dress, One-Shoulder Ruched Gown 2. Betsy and Adams sleeveless one shoulder dress | 3. Betsy and Adam Dress, Sleeveless Pleated Sequined Open-Back Floral-Print Gown | 4. Apricot with silver lace insert and silver back strap dress by Xscape | 5. Betsy and Adam Dress, Sleeveless One-Shoulder Pleated Sequined 6. Jump Juniors Dress, Ruffle Halter Jersey Gown | 7. Hailey Logan Juniors Dress, Strapless Banded Sweetheart
2) Know the Style of Dress that Will Be Flattering on Your Daughter
Not every dress is for every body. You can further narrow your search for “the” prom dress by shopping for dresses that will be flattering to your daughter’s body type. So, is your daughter a banana, an apple, pear or hourglass?
Once you have determined your daughter’s shape, you can see the suggested styles by sorting the hundreds of available dresses available on macys.com by body type. [Go to Women –>Dresses –> and then Prom and then pick the appropriate body type. The option to sort by body type will be on the left hand side of your screen.]
Banana or Straight –If you are shopping in stores (and I highly recommend that you shop in stores) and your daughter has a banana or straight shape, look for a dress that helps to define the waist like the ones below as seen on the runway at Macy’s Prom 13 fashion show.
Models are wearing (left) Silver with black overlay dress by Onyx Nite (in stores) | (Right) Hailey Logan Juniors Dress, Strapless Sequin High-Low
Apple or Pear Shape –If your daughter has an apple shape help her to select a dress that has a loose fit and does not draw attention to the waistline. Dresses that have empire waist or detail on the hips or bust draw attention away from the waist.
Model’s are wearing (left) white and silver strapless dress by Blondie Nites | (right) silver and ivory dress by City Studio
Hourglass/Curvy — If your daughter has an hour glass shape, help her to select a dress that accentuates the waist. Dresses with sweetheart necklines and v-necks are also flattering on hourglass figures.
Model is wearing As U Wish Juniors Dress, Strapless Floral-Print
Moms, please tread this topic very carefully. Teenage girls are sensitive about their bodies and you certainly wouldn’t want your daughter to develop a body image issue and subsequently a self esteem issue right before her prom. Prom is an American rite of passage that every girl and guy should take part in with the highest confidence. My suggestion is when you are shopping in stores, have your daughter pick three dresses that she likes. Pick three dresses that you know are the ones that will be the most flattering to her body and have her try on all 6. This will help her to discover which cut of dresses looks best on her. Repeat the 6 dresses to the dressing room, until you hear these words “yes, this is the one!”
3) Add Drama!
Your daughter can create additional drama by adding an unexpected statement piece. For example, if she is planning to wear a short dress, a patterned stocking like this Hue Net Bloom Tights helps to create visual interest and of course, drama. A sparkly clutch, hair jewelry, blazer, statement necklace or shoes and stacked bangles also help to create drama. Don’t try to add all of these extra touches at once, however.
4. Don’t Skip Tailoring
Sometimes small adjustments are required to get off the rack dresses to the desired length or for it to hug your body the way it was intended to. Many of the Macys stores offer in-house tailoring. If your local Macys doesn’t offer in-house tailoring you can probably find one at your neighborhood dry cleaners.
5. Red Lips and Old Hollywood Hair
The prom outfit will not be complete without special attention to hair and makeup for your daughter’s big day. There is nothing that says glam like old hollywood hair. If your daughter’s hair is straight and silky make an appointment with a professional on the day of the prom and have them create big waves with a wide-barrel curling iron to achieve this look. For natural hair girls, go for a twist out with high volume. Keep the eye makeup to a minimum and instead advise your daughter to go for a dramatic lip by choosing a red lipstick that flatters her skin.
The goal here is not to buy a prom dress that you like (I know that will be hard). It’s for you and your daughter to agree on a dress that she likes, that flatters her and that you, the Mom, feel comfortable for her to wear. Also, remember that at age 16 or 17 that your daughter has more than likely developed her own sense of style. I wouldn’t try to steer her too far from it or prom dress shopping will not at all end up being a bonding experience.
DISCLOSURE: Compensation was provided by Macys via Everywhere Society for this post. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Macys.