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How to Shop at Those High End Prom Boutiques

First timer? Blend in like a seasoned shopaholic.

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You could get your prom dress at the mall at Windsor or even Forever 21… or you could head over to one of those chic dress boutiques that you’ve always driven by but have never had a reason to set foot into… until prom shopping season.

You know the kind of boutiques I’m talking about. They’re trendy, the employees are super knowledgeable and look like they’re on break from a photo shoot. They carry gorgeous designer prom dresses, one-of-a-kind frocks and vintage gowns… and sometimes there are only one of each size, which just adds to the exclusivity of their inventory. There’s an air of… sophistication, taste and money in the air.

It can be intimidating walking into a boutique like this for the first time.

But, if you keep these shopping tips in mind, you’ll blend in like the regulars and might even walk out with a gorgeous new dress.

1. Dress your best.

Wear a nice outfit when you’re shopping, and definitely skip the sweats. You want to look like you can afford to spend money in the boutique, not like you’re just browsing.

2. Walk in with a purpose.

The key to looking confident in any situation is to straighten up, throw your shoulders back and know what you’re after. In this case, a gorgeous prom dress. Keep your shopping mission in your mind and it will radiate to everyone in the room.

3. Check out the texture and feel of the fabric.

Take your time to look at all the dresses on the racks. Rub the fabric between your fingers, inspect the beading and sparkle, and don’t be afraid to gently take one off the rack to hold it up and see it closer if it appeals to you.

4. Have a fitting room started.

Employees who work at high-end boutiques are all about customer service. If you’re holding a dress you like and they ask if they can start a fitting room for you, say yes. If no one approaches you, ask to have a room started. Rich shoppers always demand attention, plus, you don’t want to be dragging dresses around while you shop. You need free hands to pick up new merch!

5. Don’t comment on how expensive things are.

The most embarrassing thing you can do in a high-end boutique is to comment loudly on the prices. Stay away from “This is how much?!” “Ugh that’s so much money,” and “Can you believe they want that much for this dress?” If you have a freak-out moment over a price tag, it’s best to keep quiet.

6. Check prices in the dressing room.

It’s a bit tacky to go around a boutique and pull the price tags out of every dress. Choose the ones you like, and if you can't look at the tags discreetly on the floor, then check them in the dressing room. If a dress will blow your prom budget, then don’t even try it on. Just ask to have it put back.

7. Treat the merchandise with respect.

The dresses you’ll try on at a boutique are likely high-end and delicate. Treat them that way! Be sure to hang them up on their hangers when you’re done trying them on, and don’t toss them on the floor or over the door.

8. Ask to have your dress registered with the shop.

Registered? Yep. Some boutiques will make a note of which dress you buy for which dance. Then, they won’t sell that style to any other girls attending the same dance. That way, the whole “she’s wearing the same dress as me! Who looks better?!” situation can be avoided. Knowing about this trick of the trade will make you look like a seasoned boutique shopper.
  1. About.com
  2. Style
  3. Proms / Formal Dances
  4. Dress Basics
  5. Shopping for Formal Wear
  6. Shopping Tips for High-End Prom Boutiques

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