Prom is every girl's chance to primp, perfect, and party in style. And just like any dazzling diva or red carpet queen, no girl wants to be seen in the same outfit as somebody else. But how can you find something to wear that is not only fashionable but also fashion-forward? Tracking down an exotic prom dress may require more effort than slipping into a department store frock, but it will truly guarantee a night to remember.
Sometimes you have your dream dress burned into your brain, and other times you don't know exactly what you're looking for - you will just know it when you find it. Either way, it is always a good idea to look at lots of pictures of dresses before you start shopping. Try fashion magazines like Vogue or Seventeen, browse websites like bestpromdresses.com or promgirl.net, or even start at ground zero by checking out the local fabric store. Flip through the pattern catalogs and varieties of cloth. If you're feeling inspired, consider making your own dress, which is a rewarding way to create your own look. If needles and thimbles aren't your thing, ask the employees at the fabric store to recommend a seamstress or tailor. Having a dress made isn't nearly as expensive as it sounds, and you'll still have the opportunity to pick out your own design, color, and details à la Project Runway.
Another way to find your unique dress is to go back-to-the-fashion. With vintage clothing, yesterday's look could be exactly what you need to stand out from today's crowd. You might be lucky enough to have a glamorous mom or grandma whose closet you can raid, but you can also always hunt through racks at local vintage or thrift stores to find hidden gems behind polyester pants. Think 1950s polka-dot dresses, lace and gloves from the 60s, even ruffles from the 80s. Don't forget to watch the movie Pretty in Pink, and definitely don't forget about eBay.
If you have a flair for a dramatic dress, consider wearing a costume or themed outfit. Even if the theatre teachers can't let you borrow Cinderella's ball gown, they can probably let you know where you could rent something like it. Costume shops and websites like costumecraze.com usually include clothing and accessories for everything from Greek goddesses to Renaissance princesses, and also offer looks for your prince. But remember, even more than it is about the date, prom is about the dress!