Choosing Teen Dresses Right for You

Teen girls shopping for dresses

Teen dresses are not just about fancy parties and dances; they are also perfect over a pair of jeans. Short and skimpy or long and full: both are hip in the world of teen dresses today.

How to Choose the Right Dress

There are a ton of amazing dresses out there for teen girls. You can choose from different neck lines, skirt lengths, colors, straps, and more. How do you choose the right one?

Choose Dresses to Suit Your Body

Choose the feature you want to play up, and look for dresses that are fitted in that area or that leave that area exposed. For example, if you have great shoulders and a toned back, you can easily pull off a halter top. If you love your legs, try a mini-dress. In most cases, it's important to choose just one feature so that you're not showing too much skin. This tip goes for everything from everyday dresses to party dresses. The only differences will be the fabric and the detailing.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect dress style for your body type:

  • For a thick waist or large bottom, wear a longer style dress. Avoid low plunging necklines that can put emphasis on the lower half of your body. To trim your tummy, try wearing an empire waist dress that will give you a slimmer look. Avoid anything bearing horizontal stripes, since the stripes will make your middle look wider.
  • The empire dress is great choice for those who are petite and want to look taller. Avoid the Cinderella-style ball gowns or the casual long dresses since they can be too overwhelming.
  • If you have a flat chest, try wearing a dress that gathers at the bust line. These are available in both casual and formal fabrics. If you have a big bust and want to play it down, try an off-the-shoulder style dress to balance your look.
  • While black is always an excellent, safe choice, when shopping for a flattering dress, it's not everyone's favorite color. The good news is you don't have to wear black to look slimmer. Look for deep blues, greens, and purples that can slim your figure as well.
  • If your arms could use a little camouflage, try a sophisticated wrap, casual poncho, or an off-the-shoulder neckline.

Consider Your Budget

If you're on a tight budget, don't go to stores that are notorious for high prices. Start at the more budget-friendly stores like Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe and work your way up through the department store ranks. That way you won't spend more than you have to to find the perfect dress. Once you've found a dress you love, stop looking. If the chase takes you all the way to designer dresses in Neiman Marcus and you have limited funds, consider renting a dress that you couldn't afford otherwise. Also, don't forget to hit the sale racks in your favorite department stores. You can even shop at a local thrift store to find the perfect vintage dress. If it's a special occasion dress, why drop your hard-earned cash (or your parents') on something you'll wear once?

Dress for the Event

School functions may have rules you need to follow. For example, skirts may need to reach at least an inch or two past your fingertips when your arms are resting at your sides. Keep these things in mind when you're shopping. In addition, consider the formality level of the event.

Just like skirts, dresses can be casual. Whether going out to your local rave or simply relaxing in front of the television, a dress is an easy closet choice. You will find them in all fabrics, materials, and designs. Wear them over your jeans or with footless leggings in the colder seasons or barelegged in the summer heat. Whichever way you wear them, make sure you have at least one everyday favorite.

For formal occasions, like prom, showing up in that special dress is a big part of the fun. So what should you look for when it comes to buying that special occasion dress? Think bold colors, like hot pink, orange, turquoise, vibrant purples, and watercolor prints. Strapless and one-shoulder styles are popular, and voluminous skirts are everywhere, whether they're Cinderella-inspired, mermaid-style, or just simple long A-lines. It seems like the consensus is, the bolder, the better.

Shop Wisely for Teen Dresses

If you're going to shop online, be sure the company is reputable. They should have a customer service phone number where they can be reached and a reasonable return policy, just in case your dress happens to be the wrong color or fit. Also make sure you know the store's sizing chart, since not every company's is the same.

Shop With a Friend

If you're shopping offline, bring along your mom or a friend, so you can get a second opinion. Avoid unnecessary returns by trying the dress on, but still be sure to ask about the return policy before you make a purchase. If you shop wisely, you'll end up with a dress your really love.

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Choosing Teen Dresses Right for You