Prom night might possibly be the most horrifying night a parent can experience. Everything from the right-of-passage that prom night represents, to what our kids are wearing to prom is horrifying.

I remember shopping for my first prom dress. I knew what I wanted; but my Mom had a different idea what she was going to allow me to wear. Let’s just say that what our high school girls are wearing to prom “ain’t your mama’s prom dress”!

What happened to the demure dresses with lace up to your chin, 3 or 4 layers of tulle on top of a hoop skirt? Ah yes, the good ‘ol days!

According to a leading family psychologist, the best tactic with the prom dress debate is compromise. Here are some ideas to keep in mind when you hit Goodwill searching for the perfect prom dress and accessories:

  • If your daughter is busty, don’t allow her to wear something that is strapless. Compromise by allowing a side slit in the skirt.
  • If your daughter wants something that is low cut…in the front and the back – compromise with a higher cut front (maybe a nice drape) and the lower cut style in the back. 
  • Hollywood Fashion Tape (Google it). This is amazing stuff that will affix itself to skin and fabric. If you are worried about something falling off – tape it down!
  • If your daughter’s dream dress is something that is on the short side, compromise in looking for something that is at least knee length, but form fitting, or a shorter bubble-skirt style. 
  • Is your daughter self conscious about her arms? Look for a wrap, pashmina, or scarf to put over her shoulders.
  • Is your daughter’s belly what she doesn’t like? Find a dress with a definite separation between the top ½ and the bottom ½. Better yet, look for a dress with interesting rouching through the bodice. 
  • Make sure your daughter wears the right undergarments; it will make her look like a svelte super model in her prom gown! 
  • Shoes…if your daughter isn’t used to walking in 3” stilettos, leave them at the store. She will look (and feel) much more graceful in a lower heeled shoe. 
  • Your daughter’s dress is going to need to be altered (99.9% of all formal wear will need some alterations). A perfect fit is always the most flattering look!
  • Perfume. Make sure your daughter sprays her body, not her dress. The alcohol in some fragrances will stain delicate fabrics – and ruin her prom dress. 

Make sure your daughter knows that the secret to looking great on prom night is more about how she feels, than the actual dress. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. Beauty starts on the inside; the most beautiful women in the world are self confident, self assured intelligent women…who probably had a great prom dress!