Get dressed to the nines

Formal fun: Make your school formal dress shopping experience stress-free by following these tips on buying a dress in store or online, alterations, underwear and beauty, hair and makeup advice.
Formal fun: Make your school formal dress shopping experience stress-free by following these tips on buying a dress in store or online, alterations, underwear and beauty, hair and makeup advice.

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Your school ball is the perfect opportunity to get dressed to the nines and hang out with your friends.

Here are some tips on going ball dress shopping and getting ready on the night.

If your school ball is going to be at the beginning of the year, use the summer holidays to get organised early.

If your dress needs to be ordered in it could take up to 12 weeks for delivery.

Most stores keep a dress registry, so don’t forget to check your dress off to avoid any double-ups at your ball.

If you leave dress shopping too late, you might find your dream dress isn’t available.

Shopping early also gives you time to pay off your dress.

While going shopping with friends can be great fun, make sure you bring a parent along too, some stores won’t let you try anything on without a parent there.

If you are considering a few different styles, ask permission to take some photos to see which one looks best on your body type.

Lots of gowns look better on than they do on the hanger. Before purchasing any dress check the garment for fabric pulls, flaws and makeup stains.

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Buying dresses online is becoming increasingly popular. If you want to buy online allow time for making, delivery, alterations and returns/exchanges.

Check how long it will take to be posted and see what their returns policy is.

The colour of your dress on the computer screen may be different to what you receive, some websites can send a small sample of fabric to you prior to ordering.

Keep in mind online dresses can’t be put on a registry, so someone may purchase something similar.

Allow time for any alterations and always bring the shoes you intend to wear with the dress with you, that way they can cut the dress to the right length.

Select the right underwear.

Nothing looks worse than seeing your bra when you are all dressed up.

Buy a nude strapless bra or you may even want to go without if you can get away with it.

If you are getting your hair and makeup done, you might want to consider getting a mobile makeup artist and hairdresser to come to you for a small group booking, which is great if you want to get ready with your girlfriends.

Otherwise go to a salon that offers both hair and makeup to save time travelling between appointments and don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t like something.

Tips

  • Bring double-sided tape with you
  • Get a spray tan to cover up uneven tan lines
  • Don’t use new face or body creams on the night – you might have a reaction
  • Always cut dress hanger straps off
  • Short on funds? Hire a dress or borrow one from a friend