Choosing a prom/graduation dress could be tedious, for both early and late buyers. So here’s a few tips that could help you  when the time comes to choose your dress!
First of all, set a budget for yourself. It will be a good tool to prevent overspending while shopping for your grad/prom dress. It might also give you a little peek on styles/brands/stores you can afford, so that your overall purchase is a reasonable amount. Personally, I would suggest creating separate sub-budgets for your overall look, like shoes, dress and etc. So it could look something like this;
Overall Budget: $200
Dress: $80
Shoes: $40
Accessories: $20
Hair: $40
​Extras: $20

Secondly,   have an idea of what styles of dress (or etc)  will compliment you or you’ll be comfortable in. This dress should be bought with thought that you could wear it again, and maybe for a long time so it will have to be comfortable to you. Also have a colour you like in mind that compliments you. One example:
For my grad dress I knew that I wanted one that would look elegant, and didn’t have a dramatic scoop-back (or front). It also had to be somewhat long (at least knee length), and I didn’t mind what sleeve length it was but it couldn’t be like a sweetheart neckline or etc. As for colour, I wanted one that was either a dark-blue or black colour (colour varies depending on the design) because those tended to compliment my skin tone more than other colours because I looked pasty.

At this point you’ll have a very rough image in mind about your grad dress, so it’s time to look around and see if your dream dress is within your budget. If it is, great! If it’s just out of your budget, you’ll have to decide to see if you’ll still want it or not. If it’s wayyyyy out of your budget, I would probably suggest that you re-think some factors toward your dress, or find a similar one for a lower price.
Because, rememeber, this is a dress you’ll wear for a period of time during your graduation/prom.  It would be a waste if you spend $$$ on it, only to wear it that one time and hide it forever.

Now that you’ve (presumably) found your dream dress, it’s time to match it with at least one accessory. Here are some tips that I found are easy to help you decide what to get:
If your dress has a scoop neck/V-neck: “centerpiece” earrings to draw attention away from your cleavage, or a longer “drop” style necklace to draw attention to it
If your dress has a high neckline:   drop-style/threader earrings to help bring the look together, or a simple or “centerpiece” bracelet/ring to enhance the look.
Personally, I’d probably pair my dress with earrings (one pair of studs and one pair of threader earrings) and a necklace. I haven’t worn any bracelets over the years due to the possibility of it getting slobbered on at co-op, and rings were a little inconvenient (especially when using chopsticks) so they’d take some time to get used to again.

Now that you’ve got your dress and accessories down, it’s time to choose complimenting shoes. The styles and colour of the shoes will be 100% up to you!! Just be sure that you would be able to stand/walk in them for the duration of your graduation ceremony or prom night.
Personally, the only good style that compliments my grad dress is a black strappy block heel that I’ve yet to buy. It’s got a strap by the toes and an ankle strap, and has about a 2 inch heel.

To finalize the whole look, it’s now time for you to choose your hairstyle. Hair up, down, half up half down, pony etc. Curly hair, straight hair, wavy hair etc. All up to you!
Example:  For my grad look, I’m playing around with having my hair up with wisps of hair framing my face. Or I could always go the safer route and straighten my hair and make it slightly wavy.

Now after deciding your hairstyle you have two options, to either use makeup or go to grad/prom without makeup. Either option is perfect depending on your preference. But just as a tip to avoid looking shiny, maybe use some sebum powder or bring along some blotting papers.


Toronto-based Beauty and Lifestyle blogger focusing on the world of Korean Skincare and Beauty, particularly product reviews and where to get them in Canada.

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