Wednesday, 24 August 2016

How To Look After Your Prom Dress

Caring for a special dress is super important in order to keep it in good condition. If you've purchased a new dress, or it's just been cleaned after your prom, it needs to be taken care of!

Last minute dress shopping is something we've all been through. And some girls can just pull it off. Take, for example, Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) in 1999’s classic rom-com, 10 Things I Hate About You. Kat spends most of the film denying her attraction to bad-boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), as well as any interest in prom or dresses, which she dubs an “antiquated mating-ritual.” After all, from the film’s opening, she’s raging against the formal dance, even tearing prom flyers off the Padua High walls. So, it’s established: she hates prom and any sort of dress. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to an experienced filmgoer when Kat relents. It does, however, come as a complete surprise to Kat’s father, Dr. Stratford (Larry Miller) when she skips down the stairs in – what? – a prom dress. Kat’s dress is a simple, blue silk slip-dress, which she accents with a simple string of pearls, a mop-top of curls, and a coordinating Pashmina shawl. While I can’t help but wonder if Kat raided her absent mother’s closet for remainders, she manages to look prom-appropriate, if simple. She’s obviously not had the inclination to shop for prom dresses. If there is any issue regarding Kat’s choice – aside from the overwrought bouquet of curls atop her head – it would be that her elegant little prom dress was a tad wrinkled. I’ll forgive the less-than-perfect state of Kat’s dress, because she cobbled together something that works.

With that said, whether you purchase your gown from a prom dress boutique, a department store, a vintage shop, or an online shop like, it’s important to care for your dress.


Whether you purchase your dress six months or six days pre-prom, it’s important to keep it on the hanger. Do not force the dress (covered or not) into a crowded closet as it will wrinkle the dress and could possibly damage delicate fabric or embellishments.
When you buy your dress, pay attention to the following:
- The fabric
- The cleaning instructions
Your dress may be second-hand, a shop sample or just a popular style that was tried on often which means that you’ll need to have it cleaned before your actual prom.
Don’t wait until right before prom night to have a dress cleaned and pressed. Do it early to allay any potential problems.

What to do Before Prom

- If you use self-tanner, apply a day or two before.
- If you wear body spray, apply before you get dressed.
- If you wear lotion, apply before you get dressed and make sure there aren’t clumps or bits that haven’t been rubbed in.
- If you’re wearing scent/perfume, apply before you get dressed and apply where it won’t come in direct contact with the dress. Do the classic behind-the-ears or at your wrists.
- Bring along a small first-aid kit, a safety pin, a tiny sewing kit.
- Regarding your transport to prom: look at the seats before you sit and make sure it’s clean and dry.
- If you get a stain, try to treat your dress immediately.
- Read the manufacturer’s directions.
- Clean the dress from the back of the fabric, not the front.
- Use a clean white towel. Bring a small white washcloth if your purse permits.
- Blot or scrape the stain – do not rub.
- Until the stain is completely removed, never iron or dry your dress
- Popular stain-removers: club soda, lemon juice, baking soda and salt.

What to do After Prom
- No matter how tired you are, for all that is good-and-holy, hang your dress up when you get home. Do not leave it on the floor.
- Have your dressed cleaned the following day or very soon thereafter – like the aforementioned perfume, dresses can stain without immediately showing it. This minimizes potential fading, the “life” of the fabric is extended and the dress stays “fresh.”
- If your dress needs repair, this isn’t the time to be thrifty. When you take it to the cleaners, have them clean specific spots, as well as mend any mishaps.
- When your dress comes home, store it properly, in a covered bag (don’t use plastic bags).

Don’t forget to take note of these tips so you can care for your precious dress properly.

If you have any of your own tips to add, comment below! And don't forget to check out my other post - 'Getting A Girl Ready For Prom' - for more tips and advice.

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