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Attending the prom can be a wonderful event for any young woman. And the memorable evening all starts with a beautiful, well fitting prom dress. The right prom dress brings fashion and confidence to its wearer, and ushers in the opportunity for a magical evening.
However, finding the right prom dress isn't as easy as driving to your local shopping mall. You can quickly grow tired and frustrated trying on ill-fitting prom dresses at store after store. In addition, prom dresses at traditional retail stores can get very expensive.
Tuesday, January 19th
Based in Philadelphia, Golden Asp will impress even the choosiest customers. Their website makes it simple to find the perfect dress, allowing shoppers to sort the more than 1,000 dresses according to designer, color, budget, or style. For those who need to stay within a budget, Golden Asp even has specific pages of dresses in the "under $200", "under $300", and "under $400" categories. On the other hand, if the sky's the limit, there are a number of unique gowns with price tags over $1000.
Customers will be pleased by Golden Asp's free ground shipping on every order, and by the fact that Golden Asp specifically asks for the actual wear date of the gown. In this way, Golden Asp can ensure delivery at least one week in advance, leaving enough time for any necessary alterations to be made. Also, each dress is clearly listed as "in stock" or "order now", so that shoppers can tell at a glance if the gown of their dreams is available immediately or if it will need to be ordered well ahead of time.
Golden Asp's return policy allows customers in the United States to return dresses for either a full store credit or for a refund less a 10% fee for restocking. In the event that a return is needed, customers can reach Golden Asp's customer service by online contact form or by phone during traditional business hours, Monday through Friday, to obtain a return authorization number. Understandably,there are no returns for international orders, special orders, or items marked as "final sale".
With dresses from more than thirty designers, in styles ranging from mermaid to ball gown, Golden Asp is one of the best choices for online formalwear and accessories.
Prom Girl is another great option when you are on the hunt for your perfect Prom dress. They have very wide selection of dresses ranging from a short flirty $35 dress for those on a tight budget, all the way up to a top end, full-length elegant beaded gown for $1,700 - and a couple thousand options in between.
The website is very easy to navigate, with many different search options including a name/sku search box, an advanced search option and the option to search for your dress by different categories (Style, Color, Price, Body Type and more). Unlike some of the other companies reviewed, Prom Girl also offers Plus Size dresses. There is also a wide selection of shoes on their website and they will dye shoes to match your dress. Prom Girl has one of the best organized and appealing websites of all the companies we reviewed.
Prom Girl accepts returns if you aren't satisfied with your prom dress. They will issue you a store credit for the full amount paid, or a refund minus a 10% restocking fee. They believe that you will find something you like in their store, so are willing to accept your return, but the store credit guarantees they will still receive your business. There are very few limitations on what can be returned. Shipping is a flat rate per item shipped, starting at $8.75 and going up to $30 for items shipping within the US.
Prom Girl has one of the best selections of Prom Dresses, one of the easiest to navigate websites, and an in store credit return policy. We think most people would prefer a full money back guarantee, but still feel Prom Girl is worth a look if you are flexible.
If you're looking for designer labels when shopping for a prom dress, Windsor may not be your first choice in formalwear. However, if style and price are more important than a specific designer, you'll appreciate their available selection.
With 90 retail locations in addition to their online presence, buying-and returning, if necessary-is a breeze with Windsor, with a generous 21-day return policy on all regularly-priced merchandise. Although there are no free shipping options, shipping costs start at $5.95 regardless of the purchase amount. Bargain hunters should be aware that there are no returns allowed on any items listed as "final sale".
To find your perfect dress, begin by sorting through the listings according to size or color; you can then refine the results according to price, best sellers, or newness within Windsor's inventory. Unfortunately, there is no ability to sort dresses within the prom category by length or style, but the navigation bar on the left side of the page will allow you to easily find those options. The dresses at Windsor appear to be proprietary styles created and named by the retailer itself, so there is also no ability-or need-to sort by name.
As a brand, Windsor stands out in its commitment to women. With a mission statement that expresses a desire "to create an oasis that inspires and empowers women", Windsor has aimed to create long-lasting relationships through customer satisfaction since 1937. And, their novel "Cinderella program" sends "fairies" to surprise random customers with a free dress!
Windsor's dedication to keeping customers happy, along with the broad selection of prom dresses in virtually every color and style, make the retailer a good choice for formalwear.
Originally known as eDressMe, Camille La Vie has gone through some changes since our last evaluation. But, the retailer still serves as a full-service apparel company for women, with a strong focus on dresses for all occasions: cocktail parties, weddings, and, of course, Proms and Homecomings. Even with a new name, Camille La Vie still boasts a history spanning more than 35 years and offers shoppers the ability to find the right dress online or in one of their two dozen retail locations nationwide.
It's easy to browse the Prom dresses available with this online store. If you already have an idea of the style you'd like - maybe a high-low or a two-piece - you can find them all nicely grouped together. We love that this retailer still offers both Petite and Plus-Size dresses in a variety of styles and price points: not every Prom dress store does!
Alternately, you can select All Prom Dresses or New Prom Dresses, if you haven't decided on which style is going to give you the best look for the dance. Here are several ways to narrow down the possibilities, found under "Shop By":
While most of the Prom dresses only come in a single color, some styles have options: just look for the color squares near the bottom left corner of the model photo. You can also click the heart to mark any favorites you'd like to consider later.
So, what are some of the differences we found when considering the selection and price range of Prom dresses at Camille La Vie, compared with our review under the eDressMe name? First, the selection is much smaller. Previously, we found more than 800 dresses to choose from across more than 20 designers. The Camille La Vie store only had just over 100 Prom dresses during our most recent visit, and there were no designers or brands mentioned - leaving us to conclude that the dresses are the store's own design and brand.
That change also seems to have effectively knocked out the store's previous price match guarantee: there's nothing to match if no one else carries the Camille La Vie line of dresses. The Prom dress prices on the new version of the store are lower, with fewer high-end, elaborate dress possibilities than before.
Plus, customers used to get free shipping on orders over $150. That doesn't seem to be the case any longer: we couldn't find a defined policy, but on our order of a $170 dress, we had to pay $18.95 for ground shipping.
Another big difference is the return and exchange policy for online orders. In the past, you could return or exchange your dress within 14 days of purchase; now, that two-week period is only allowed for a one-time courtesy size exchange. Otherwise, all merchandise is considered "final sale". Prom dresses can be really hard to choose without seeing them in person, and even the right size might not be the best cut or length once the person tries it on - and Camille La Vie's new return policy puts them way behind the competition for that reason alone. Sure, their return rules for in-store purchases is more generous - 30 days as long as the dress is in original condition, with original receipt - but that doesn't do customers any good if they're not near one of their brick-and-mortar locations.
We appreciate that Camille La Vie still has a good reputation with the BBB (under the name of its parent company, Group USA, Inc.) as an "A+" accredited business, even with the changes in branding and store policies.
But, the differences between the store formerly known as eDressMe and its current incarnation as Camille La Vie are hard to ignore. This is a trustworthy retailer if you're looking for a Prom dress, but keep in mind the restrictions for returns and the costs of shipping as you shop. For that reason, this Prom dress store has moved out of our first-place ranking, but still with a respectable 3.5-star rating.
JC Penney has been a trusted name in apparel for many years. Their prom collection consists of 193 dresses in more than a dozen brands, ranging in price from $18 to $200. Shoppers can easily sort through the available options on the retailer's website, filtering by length (mid, long, hi-lo, and mini), average user rating, brand, and size range (junior/plus). JC Penney is truly a one-stop shop for all things prom, with an ample selection of shoes, shapewear, and accessories to accompany any formalwear purchase.
One of the biggest advantages of purchasing a prom dress from a big-box retailer is the ability to buy online and return in-store. JC Penney allows returns with or without the original receipt, assuming the dress is returned in its original condition with the green return tag intact. Whether returned by mail or directly to a JC Penney location, a full refund will be issued if the shopper can provide the receipt; otherwise, a merchandise credit based on the dress' lowest price in the last 45 days will be provided.
Another plus for JC Penney shoppers is the ability to take advantage of the store's frequent discounts of 20% or more, as well as the store rewards program for JCP credit cardholders
Customers will appreciate JC Penney's shipping options as well: free home delivery for orders of $99 and higher, or direct-to-store for purchases of $25 and up. Otherwise, shipping is a flat $7.99.
While getting a prom dress from a household-name retailer may not have the glitz of boutique shopping, the affordable, modern collection of gowns available at JC Penney is a fantastic option for ladies on a budget who don't want to compromise on style.
Based in England, Boohoo got its start in 2006 as an online retailer of cutting-edge clothing designs for men and women. Their prom dress collection consists of just under 150 dresses, with many of them in styles that are far less formal than what is typically seen at a prom or other formal event. However, the site inventory is updated daily, and new collections are added each week.
Boohoo stands out in its pricing, with all dresses under $90. Shoppers should remember that, as a UK retailer, dress sizes are sized accordingly; ladies from the US and other locations will probably need to consult Boohoo's sizing charts to ensure the proper fit.
Customers from the US will be pleased by Boohoo's shipping costs: $4.99 on orders less than $50, free shipping for orders of $50 or more, and express shipping available for $15. Given that orders are shipped from the UK, shoppers who need their formalwear within 2-3 working days would want to choose the faster option. Boohoo also pays any applicable import duties and taxes, making it an even better deal for their US shoppers.
The returns policy at Boohoo is generous: 28 days from the date the dress arrives for all customers in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Keep in mind that the buyer will have to pay the full cost of the return (international) shipping, and that proof of postage should be kept until Boohoo confirms that the return has been received. Few online prom dress retailers offer the full 100% refund that Boohoo gives its customers, provided the clothing is returned in new condition.
And, Boohoo's customer service is available via contact form or Twitter. Based on the most recent tweets in Boohoo's feed, customers rave about their quick shipping and incredibly helpful representatives.
While Boohoo may not be the best option for ladies looking for traditional formalwear, their unique UK style and extremely affordable dresses make them a contender for shoppers on a budget who still want to stand out.
Milanoo is another Chinese Wholesaler company. They offer a large selection of products beyond prom dresses, including costumes, holiday supplies, jewelry, wigs and more. There are about 200 prom dresses available under the Prom Dress category, but there are other categories that have dresses that could easily be worn for prom, all depending on your personal preference.
Similar to many Chinese Wholesalers, you get what you pay for. The prices are very cheap, but the quality is very cheap as well. The pictures shown are the templates for what the prom dress will be made to look like, but will not be the same prom dress. We found many customer complaints that include poor quality, wrong sizing (even when the accurate measurements are submitted for a custom dress), and poor customer service when trying to return the dress.
There is a nice reference section in the FAQ's about style advice for evening dresses (which includes their prom dresses). It explains which styles of dress are best for different body types. There is also free shipping offered for certain prom dresses, otherwise the shipping price is estimated and given at checkout. Milanoo provides a 7-day return policy and a 15-day exchange policy for dresses with "quality problems", which is ultimately up to the company's discretion. Please read the return and exchange policy before making a purchase, as there is specific wording that can prevent you from returning to dress, due to the company's choice.
Due to significant clams of poor quality dresses and customer service, Milanoo receives our lowest rating.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. Shopping for prom dresses online can be fun and exciting. With the click of a mouse, you can easily browse through dozens, or even hundreds, of prom dresses in the latest fashions and styles. Plus, buying your prom dress online can save you hundreds of dollars, since you avoid the costly markups associated with traditional retail stores.
Before you start your prom dress shopping effort, you should consider the following important factors:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Prom Dress stores available today. We hope these reviews help you find the perfect prom dress that meets your needs!
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