Dress Shopping Tips For First-Prom Moms

Sending your little girl off to prom in her first ever formal dress is a bittersweet moment for most moms. Sweet, because she's about to experience her first really big dance. Bitter, because somewhere in the back of your mind, she's still that little four-year-old girl spinning for applause in her first tutu. Babies grow up, and as a responsible parent, it's your job to ensure she has as many age-appropriate opportunities as possible. If prom is one of life's little moments at your house, use these tips to help both you and your daughter experience it to the fullest. 

Shop Together

Shopping for the prom dress is a big deal for many mom/daughter teams. It's an opportunity to bond together over a shared interest. It's also a chance to show what you know about wearing a formal dress. This is your chance to share tips on managing a strapless bodice or how to sit in a dress that features a slit. Use dress shopping as an opportunity to show off that mom knowledge that you may rarely get to impart.

Go Window Shopping First

Make at least two forays with your daughter to the local shops without the intention of buying. In fact, leave your wallet at home so you won't be tempted to cave on the first spectacular dress you see. Check out the latest styles and lengths to see whether straps are in or if this year's prom will be the year of the little black dress. Visit at least three or four shops that sell formal evening dresses for juniors to get the best input. 

Let Your Daughter Decide

This doesn't mean you should buy her something that's entirely too sophisticated or racy for her first prom. It simply means letting her take the lead when it comes time to choose the dress. Even if the one she chooses isn't something you would wear yourself, as long as the price is right, the style is appropriate, and it follows the school dress code, there's no reason she shouldn't be the one to choose her dress. 

Reinforce Your Daughter's Ability to Make Good Decisions

Once she's made her choice, and the dress is in the car and headed home, use this as an opportunity to congratulate your daughter on her decision-making abilities. You may not exactly like the style or color, but it's not your dress. Let her know you approve of her choice, and tell her she's going to look fabulous.

Being there for your teen during the preparation leading up to first prom is a moment you'll both remember all of your lives. Make sure it's accompanied by happy memories for you both by following proper prom-mom dress-shopping etiquette.