Prom Dress Search

Dress shoppers scour internet


Rowan Wallin

Ruby Arlowe ‘23, Ellison Ratner ‘23, Avery Schwappach ‘23, and Julia Jung ‘23 discuss their dresses.

Zoey Ueland, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Spring means one thing for upperclassmen: Prom season. In the months leading up to April 15, online shopping carts are filled, orders are shipped, and dresses sell out rapidly. The pervasive trend of online buying as opposed to buying a dress in person not only creates a need for more purchases, given not every dress will fit, but also a tendency to see multiple people wearing the same dress. Hannah Pekarek ‘23 who bought her dress last year from Revolve, the popular “fashion empire” as per the LA Times, believes “the selection online is way better and with shopping online, there are way more options, a wider variety and you can easily see what all the options are whereas in stores I feel like there just isn’t as good of stuff.” Pekarek also bought dresses from Lovers and Friends as well as Saks 5th Avenue. 

Lucy in the Sky, Windsor, and Princess Polly are three popular brands for cheaper dresses. While the pricing is holistically better, Lucy in the Sky’s return policy (14 day return date only available for store credit) makes the dresses not worth the money. More expensive destinations include Lovers and Friends, House of CB, and For Love and Lemons. While the dresses prove to be better quality than cheaper alternatives, popularized brands lead to repetitive trends, Pekarek wore the same dress as a classmate last year remarking, “I was kind of like oh shoot, darn, I wanted that to be mine.” Dresses sell out quickly from sites like Revolve and frustratingly impossible “preorder lists” don’t predict arrival until four days before Prom. 

While Prom dress shops aren’t as popular a destination in Minnesota as they are in other parts of the US, they provide an accessible alternative to the hassle of online shopping. Maddie Newhouse ‘24, who bought her dress after finding it on Tik Tok, explains  “I feel like it’s better if I can try [the dress] on right there and then if I’m like ‘oh I don’t really like it,’ I could have tried on other dresses … that just made it easily accessible.” Indeed, Newhouse felt that buying a dress in person eliminated the need for alternative purchases of multiple dresses, “I know that I like this one and it fits me right, it’s what I want.”