A Student’s Complete Guide to Prom Shopping in VA

A Student’s Complete Guide to Prom Shopping in VA

Prom season is coming, and our school’s students are beginning to search for their outfit. Between tuxedos and dresses, our students want to show up and show out. But where do the best get-ups come from?

Arlington and DC both have a plethora of fashionable formal stores. Tyson’s Corner has big department stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdales, but these experiences can be hectic and overwhelming. Some individual, small boutiques include Signature Dresses and Moh B. Couture. These smaller shops serve the same variety of styles but with a more personalized shopping experience. If you are up for a drive, All The Rage is an internet-famous dress store located in Virginia Beach that has about every type of dress imaginable. In these stores, you can live out your childhood dream of having the classic try-on montage before the big dance.

Online shopping is popular among the younger generation, but a strategy is required in order to do it right. My tip is that if you order a dress online, it must be adjustable. Things like a corset back, customizable straps, and different options for cup sizes are essential in getting a dress that actually fits. The worst feeling is waiting months for a beautiful gown, only to get it a week before the event and find out it doesn’t fit. A good site for dress shopping is HouseofCB, a fashion brand that specializes in their corseting. Another one is AYM Studio, a small business with the goal of fitting everybody.

Unfortunately, outfits can be expensive, and many people aren’t willing to pay hundreds of dollars for something they’ll only wear once. Renting is a great way to get a discount on a fabulous tux or dress. After Hours Tuxedo Rental and Reed’s Custom Tailors both rent out suits for formal events, and are also closeby. Rent the Runway and Designerex offer dress rental services in DC.

Another option is buying second-hand. Thrift stores such as the Goodwill in Seven Corners and Unique in Merrifield have great formal wear sections. Unique is special because they don’t check the tags as closely, so oftentimes I have found real designer pieces for only 20 dollars. There are also online sites such as Mercari, Vestiaire or TheRealReal reselling big name brands for less.

No matter what you wear, all that matters is that you feel confident in what you are in. Prom is an important experience, but it’s also only high school. Don’t stress about having the perfect dress. Prioritize having fun with your friends, and the rest will fall into place.

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About the Contributor
Mary-Frances Dempsey
Mary Frances Dempsey is a junior and this is her second year on The Sentry. She is passionate about advocacy and was on the news twice for contributing to a change in the APS dress code. In Mary Frances’s free time, she is a varsity cheerleader for the school and works as a professional creative makeup artist.

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