Homecoming is the first formal event of the year in high school, so finding the perfect dress for it can be very important. You want to make a big impression and find a style that allows you to really enjoy the event. Your needs as well as your body type and budget will determine how you shop for your dress and what works best for you.
Decide on Your Style
In the past almost all formal dresses were full length gowns and the main variants of them were based on fabric details, colors and patterns. Now there is a much wider variety of dress styles that are appropriate for the occasion from floor length styles that look straight out of a modern cinderella story to shorter dresses with a more youthful appeal that give you an edgier style. Before you start looking for a homecoming dresses you should consider how you're planning to wear the dress, what you're most comfortable in and the effect you're looking for. If you want something you can really move and dance in you might prefer a shorter style but if you want to feel like a princess a full length gown may be more suited to you. In the end it's all about your preference for the look but always take into consideration whether you'll feel comfortable wearing the style you choose.
Determine Your Body Shape
Your body type will help you determine the right cut for you. Body type is based on measurement ratios. If you have a hip and bust measurement that are similar and a waist measurement that is smaller by around 10 inches you probably have an hourglass figure. If your hips are much larger than your bust you are probably more pear shaped. If you bust is much larger than your hips you are likely triangle shaped and if your measurements for all three are close together you probably have a rectangular shape. Look for a cut that works with your figure. Hourglass figures are best flattered by dresses that are tailored at the waist to accentuate their shape. Pear shapes will want to lean towards dresses that accentuate the bust with patterns or fabric details to downplay the hip area. Triangle shapes should look for dresses that provide a lot of support up top and avoid strapless of spaghetti strap styles that can make them look top heavy. Rectangle figures may do well with high waisted dresses rather than empire waist which accents the waist and may sit weird.
Work With Your Budget
The next step in finding the perfect homecoming dress is to work with your budget. Determine how much you have to spend and stick to it. If you buy a dress that is out of your price range you may feel uncomfortable wearing it because you're concerned about messing it up. It's always good to look for sales and deals that can bring a more expensive dress into your price range but there are also many more inexpensive dresses that can look just as good on you as one that costs hundreds and still make you feel beautiful in it.
Where to Shop
Shopping online can be extremely convenient but with an important dress it's better to be able to try it on before you buy it. Many bridal stores also carry homecoming dresses and modern bridesmaid dresses can actually make great homecoming dresses if they fit you well and work with your figure. If you have a lower budget or want a retro style, thrift stores can be an excellent place to find original gowns at great prices. Your area may even have a thrift store specializing in formal wear. Department stores can be a great source as well but the prices tend to be on the higher side so if your budget is less than $100 be careful to look at the prices before you set your heart on a particular dress.
Because there is such variety in body shapes and measurements it can be very hard to find a homecoming dress that fits you perfectly. You may love the style on you but find that it's too lose in one area because you have to go up a size for the dress to fit in another. Once you find a dress you should have it tailored to you about 3 weeks before the event. If you're shopping at department stores and thrift stores you will need to find a good tailor or dressmaker in your area. If you're shopping at bridal boutiques they probably have a tailor in house who can do the fitting for you.
If you choose a dress that makes you feel comfortable and confidant, you are sure to have a wonderful homecoming experience.