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6 Tips on How to Plan a Prom Dress Shopping Trip with Friends

Prom is one of the most anticipated events in a high school student’s life. The excitement of the event is often matched by the thrill of finding the perfect prom dress, and planning a shopping trip with friends can make the overall experience even more enjoyable and memorable.

However, with a group of friends comes different opinions and suggestions that may clash. To minimize this, here’s a guide with six steps to help you organize a fun, stress-free, and productive prom dress shopping trip with your friends, ensuring everyone finds a dress they love and feels confident wearing to the event.

1. Start with a Plan

Set a Date and Time

The first step is to coordinate with your friends to set a date and time that works for everyone. If the group is big, finding a time that suits everyone may be difficult so it is advisable to schedule it months ahead. Alternatively, weekends are the best time since everyone is more likely to have the day off where the shopping can start early and most stores have extended hours.

Ultimately, choose a day when everyone is free and relaxed, without the pressure of other commitments. This will help to ensure the overall shopping experience is smooth and enjoyable.

Research and Choose Your Shopping Destinations

Do your research and shortlist the stores to visit, this helps to set a general direction of where and how to start, which can help to save some time. Do not limit yourself to one option and instead, consider a mix of options such as department stores, boutiques, and specialty prom dress shops.

Ecommerce stores like JJ's House offer a wide variety of prom dress styles, including the popular elegant black prom dresses, which is often considered by many as both chic and versatile. For physical stores, always create a list of stores that were shortlisted so that you can plan your route to minimize travel time while maximizing the shopping time.

Budget Planning

While shortlisting the stores, it is good to have a budget in mind so that you can eliminate stores that are out of your budget. The budget should include your friend’s budget as well so best is to discuss their spending range beforehand. Having a clear idea of how much each person is willing to spend can help narrow down your shopping destinations and avoid any uncomfortable situations. Budget planning should factor in additional costs such as alterations, accessories, and shoes. 

2. Preparation is Key

Research and Inspiration

Before hitting the stores, spend some time researching the different prom dress styles and trends to get a rough idea of the type of prom dress you are going after. You can do the research together with your friends or create a Pinterest board to share ideas in a group chat to get a sense of what everyone likes. This can help streamline the shopping process and ensure everyone has a rough idea of what they are looking for. 

Dress Code and Themes

Always check if your prom has a specific dress code or theme because this information can significantly influence your dress choice. For instance, if the theme is “Hollywood Glamour,” you might lean towards more glamorous and sophisticated dresses, like a stunning black prom dress or if the theme is “Beach Fun”, wearing a long dress would not be the most appropriate choice.

Make Appointments

If possible, make appointments at boutiques or specialty stores. Many stores offer personal shopping services or private fitting rooms, which can enhance your shopping experience and ensure you get the attention you need.

3. The Shopping Day

Dress Comfortably

On the day of shopping, everyone should wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you will be on your feet for most of the day. Outfits should be easy-to-remove so that trying on outfits will be a lot easier and faster. Remember to bring a pair of heels similar to what you plan to wear to prom to get a better idea of how the dresses will look with your chosen footwear. 

Essentials to Bring

Apart from footwear, pack a small bag to store essentials like a bottle of water, snacks, phone charger, and any makeup or accessories you might want to try on with the dresses. Don't forget to bring any specific undergarments or shapewear you plan to wear on prom night, as these can affect how a dress fits. 

Be Open-Minded

While it's great to have a vision of your ideal dress, be open to trying different styles and colors. Sometimes, the dress you least expect to love ends up being the perfect one. You should also encourage your friends to step out of their comfort zones and try something new as well.

Take Photos

Take photos of yourself in each dress or get your friends to help. This can be incredibly helpful when comparing options later on. Ensure the store allows photos, as some places have strict policies against it. Share the pictures with your friends who are not present to get their opinions, but also trust your instincts.

4. Supporting Each Other

Honest Feedback

Give and receive honest, constructive feedback. The goal is to help each other find dresses that make everyone feel confident and beautiful. Be kind and supportive, and remember that everyone's taste is different.

Avoid Groupthink

While shopping with friends, it’s easy to be swayed by their opinions so it is important to balance their feedback with your personal preference. If you love a dress but your friends are unsure, trust your judgment. Ultimately, you are the one wearing it and need to feel amazing in the dress. 

Celebrate Small Victories

Finding the perfect dress can be challenging, so celebrate small victories along the way. Whether it’s finding a dress that fits perfectly or simply enjoying a fun day out with your friends. Don’t be disheartened if you can find your desired dress, instead acknowledge and enjoy these moments.

5. Post-Shopping Considerations

Revisit Your Top Choices

After visiting all the stores, take some time to review your top choices. Compare photos and notes to help make your final decision. If necessary, revisit those stores to try on your favorite dresses again. Trying it for the second time may exude a different vibe, so it is best to go through this process again if you have a few dress choices to select.

Alterations and Customization

Once you’ve chosen your dress, consider any necessary alterations to ensure a perfect fit. Many online stores like JJ's House, offer customization options that can help you achieve the desired tailored look. If you opt for generic sizing, remember to factor in some time for alterations to avoid last-minute stress as there might be a chance that your dress might not fit as intended.


Now that you have your prom dress, consider matching it with accessories to amplify your overall look. Jewelry, shoes, clutch are some popular accessories that most girls will opt for to complete the prom look. Black prom dresses, for instance, pair beautifully with both bold and understated accessories, allowing for versatile styling options. 

6. Making it a Memorable Experience

Capture the Day

Shopping prom dresses with friends might be a one-off thing so documenting the trip with photos and videos is a good idea as these memories will be cherished for years to come. Create a scrapbook or digital album to commemorate the day and share the highlights with your friends.

Celebrate with a Meal

After a long day of shopping, unwind with a celebratory meal. Whether it’s a casual lunch or a more formal dinner, it’s a great way to relax, reflect on the day, and enjoy everyone’s company. You can also use the time to discuss the options together if not everyone has successfully purchased a dress.

Share Your Experience

If you had a positive experience at certain stores or found exceptional service, consider leaving reviews online. This not only supports the businesses but also helps future prom-goers in their search for the perfect dress.


Planning a prom dress shopping trip with friends can be a delightful and memorable experience. With proper planning, open communication, and a supportive attitude, you can ensure that everyone finds a dress they love and feels confident in. Remember to enjoy the journey, celebrate each other’s successes, and make lasting memories along the way.

Prom is not just about the night itself, but also about the moments leading up to it. So, take the time to savor this special time with your friends and embrace the excitement of finding the perfect prom dress together.

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