My Prom Dress Shopping Experience

As someone who is midsize, prom dress shopping wasn’t the experience that I hoped it would be.


Julia Owens

The David’s Bridal stores like the one in Baltimore have a great range of sizes and colors in store. I went in there not knowing anything about the dress that I wanted and I left with my dream dress. They have dress sizes 0-24 for prom dresses and do their own alterations.

Julia Owens, Managing Editor


Being the oldest child in my family, I didn’t know where to start when it came to prom dress shopping. I am not someone who likes to wear dresses, so I didn’t even know what I was looking for. I knew that I didn’t want a lot of glitter or a body con dress, but other than that I was clueless. Midsize is typically seen as US sizes 10-14 and I knew that would also complicate prom shopping slightly. I did some research and found out that bridal stores are typically a good place to start. I looked at some other types of dress stores, but they didn’t have the styles that I was looking for.

I ended up getting my dress from David’s Bridal at the Baltimore location, but that was after going back to the store three different times. In between the first and second times, I decided that I should probably look at some other places. My dad helped me to look for locations and one store he found was Cameo Bridal Salon in Glen Burnie. He called and they said they had a decent amount of size 12 prom dresses. We got there and there was one rack of prom dresses and none of them were my size. They had very little selection for over size 10s. The lady who was helping me said she would look in the back, she came back with a size 22 and said that it should fit great. With every dress, there was another snide remark about how the dress fit or a comment about my dress size. By the time she found a dress in my size, I had been so humiliated and I felt awful. I changed back into my normal clothes and left. I felt like the only thing I could do was cry, and at that point I just wanted to go home.

I let them know about my experience and the owner personally reached out to me to apologise and let me know that the woman who was helping me had been let go due to the fact that she was completely unapologetic about the situation. 

After that, I went back to David’s Bridal and tried on a few more dresses. I decided that I didn’t want to make the final decision to get a dress until my sister and mom saw it. When I got home my mom suggested that we look at some places like Macy’s. I didn’t see any problem with that so I started looking online at what they carried in their stores. I very quickly found that they only had up to a size 10 in prom dresses. I knew that there was probably a reason, but I couldn’t help feeling that same feeling I felt at Cameo Bridal. 

The next morning I went back to David’s Bridal and I tried on my original top two dresses and a few more while I was there. I fell in love with one of the new dresses that I tried on that morning. They did have to order me a new one because the zipper was messed up in the one that I tried on.

My takeaways from my prom dress shopping experience are that David’s Bridal is the way to go because they had a better selection in a larger variety of sizes and styles. Also, I would recommend making an appointment when you go to any dress store. David’s Bridal does take walk-ins, but there may be a wait. Also, go on a weekday if you can, as there is a lot less going on and you get more personalized service. Even on the weekend, the employees were great. Prom is supposed to be a good time and preparing and shopping can be stressful, so making it as relaxing as possible is key.