How To Go Dress Shopping with Success

Dress Shopping

When I made plans to go shopping for a cocktail dress for my nephew’s upcoming wedding, I decided to do it right.  So often I end up at the mall, shopping for something specific, but I don’t have the right shoes or undergarments or, well, anything.  It’s so frustrating to try on dresses that aren’t QUITE right and wonder what it would look like with a different, um, support system.  And then to stand in the dressing room, on my tippy toes, trying unsuccessfully to envision it with high heels.

So last Saturday, I got up early and showered and shaved and lotioned and potioned so that I felt and looked my best.  Then I packed a small bag with several undergarment options and a pair of strappy gold high heels that should go with just about anything.  (I’m hoping to get a chance to wear them again — they’re the shoes I got last year for my brother’s wedding.)

I had also looked around online for cocktail dresses so I knew the stores that weren’t worth checking, and I knew where I wanted to go.  I was pleasantly surprised at the dress selection at Nordstrom in the $100 – $150 range.  There are many more online that they didn’t have in the store, but at least I could get a sense for my size in the various brands, and then I went online and ordered a few more to try.  I can return any that don’t work out to the store.

It’s amazing how much more fun it was to try on dresses with the proper shoes, and I definitely made use of my little bag of undergarments.  And also.  If you don’t have one of these, go forth and order one right now.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.  It’s so totally worth the price.

You’re back?  Good.  So here’s the lowdown.

How To Go Dress Shopping with Success

1. Shower, shave, and fix your hair and face so that you feel pretty and you can get an accurate picture of how you will look all gussied up.

2. If you have time, prepare by looking around online at various stores to see what dresses they have this season so you know where to look and what stores to avoid.  This can be a huge time saver.

3. Bring a pair of high-heeled shoes, preferably the ones you plan to wear with the dress.

4. Bring along a few different bras, or at the very least a strapless one.

5. Bring a shaper that keeps your problem area(s) in check.  It can make a WORLD of difference in the fit of a dress.

6. Bring a friend.  It’s always nice to have a second opinion, and it’s also helpful to have someone there to zip and unzip the 152 dresses you try on.  Plus, it just makes the excursion more enjoyable.

What tips would you add?