Consider This
Helpful Advice for Finding a Prom Dress!

By Kate, age 17, New Hampshire

Hey ladies. Can you believe April is already here? I can't! In a month, it'll be time for prom, and then graduation! I can still remember the class meeting we had my freshmen year, and how my principal told us that high school flies by - he wasn't kidding! Here I am, sitting in my Journalism class as a senior. Where has the time gone?

I finally got my prom dress. I went with my mom to this place called The Ultimate, a pretty popular store when it comes to prom and bridal dresses. They also record each dress sold so that you won't bump into a girl at your school with the same dress as you! We arrived ten minutes before it opened and there was already a group of girls waiting to get inside. Once we were allowed to go in, I was amazed at the number of dresses that hung all around me! I was so excited to find that perfect one.

I went to prom last year with my boyfriend at the time, who was a senior. My dress was long, yellow, and kind of sparkly - I was in love with it. My semi dress was also pretty long, black, and sparkly as well, to go along with our theme, "Movie Premiere." We got to walk down a red carpet and everything!

This year is my prom, and I want to feel like a princess. What girl doesn't? I had been searching online for different dress styles and colors and had my heart set on a hot pink, strapless dress that puffed all around me. Kind of like Cinderella's dress. I wanted something to make me look like the Queen of England. So I spent the first hour or so looking for something like that. But when you have a set image in mind, it's hard to find exactly what you want.

A dress I tried on for semi. I kinda wish I had gotten that one instead, since the one I got was a bit more formal, but it was so hard picking between them!

I found many hot pink dresses, but none that were puffy like I wanted. And I found many puffy dresses, none that were hot pink. And I found many with sequins - not my thing. I would have been 100% happy with a sequin-free, clutter-free dress. But I had no luck at all finding what I wanted.

One of the employees approached my mother and me, as I stood hopeless in the middle of the store. She asked me what I was looking for, and I explained my dream prom dress to her.

"I tell a lot of girls that come in here with a set dress in mind to forget what they have pictured in their head," she told me. "Just pick out as many dresses as you want that you would at least like to try on. I can almost guarantee you you'll find something just as nice, or even better."

Let me tell you now - best advice I have ever been given. Whatever you do, when you go looking for that dream prom dress, it's okay to have an idea of what you want. Maybe a certain color or style, but don't paint an exact image of the dress you want in your head. You will be left disappointed if you don't get exactly what you pictured you would have.

The dress I did get. My bf (at the time)'s mom was a photographer so we took some interesting pics, haha.

With her advice in mind, I ran through the entire store a second time. She also directed me toward the bridal section where the dresses were pretty plain, sequin-wise. If you're not into sequins, you should definitely try a bridal store. I picked out every dress in the style I liked, as my mother reminded me that they might be able to order the same dress in a different color. I also picked out dresses that were the color I wanted, and some even in a slightly lighter pink that were still pretty. I waited my turn for a dressing room and eagerly tried on each dress.

The first three I tried on were pink dresses. The first one was hot pink and strapless. It wasn't as puffy as I had pictured, but as I soon as I tried it on, I fell in love with it.

The second was a lighter pink and the third was kind of a peach. Both were straighter, without the poof. They were cute, but I was still in love with the first dress I had tried.

Another dress I tried was the ultimate Cinderella dress. It was a golden color (which really wasn't that pretty), and it had the ultimate POOF to it. In fact, it was so poofy that the dress itself probably added 20 pounds onto me! That's how it felt, anyway. The material was very thick, and had layers and layers of material underneath which gave it such a big poof. I knew right away that a dress this poofy was not the dress for me.

I went to prom last year with a different bf. I now realize I don't have many pics of just me. His friends went all out for us. As you can see, it was fun!!

In the end, the first dress was the one I chose to wear on my big night. Lucky for me, it was under $300 and my mom excitedly ordered it for me. I am so glad I took the employee's advice. It wasn't exactly what I had pictured my dress to look like, but it was even better. I was in love with it and I would get to wear it on prom night.

Now all that's left is to book hair appointments (and to find a way to style it!), book nail appointments, and buy shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. My friends and I have already been talking about limos. We made a list of who would be in the limo with us (friends, plus their dates), and how we would be splitting the cost. Hopefully, we'll be able to find a limo to fit us all ... and that doesn't completely empty our pockets!!

I hope this has given you an idea of how much planning goes into prom! You'll want to start early, but not too early! My school is letting us leave early the day of prom so we can get ready. Make sure you have plenty of time between your appointments and prom ... and don't forget to take lots of pictures! It may seem stressful - there's so much going on! But remember that this is your night and it's going to be unbelievable! Have fun!

I'll write to you all in May - just days before prom! And I'll give you the 4-1-1 on my college plans. Hopefully by then I will have received my seventh and last college acceptance (or denial) letter. After that, all I will have to do is choose where I want to go and get ready for summer! Good luck with your prom planning!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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