Finding the perfect dress to make the perfect prom can be an exciting time in a high school student's life, but the search for the perfect dress doesn't have to be a challenge.
Some girls may have a full length tulle princess style gown in mind, while others want to keep it simple yet elegant, LaDonna High, owner of Bridal Visions By LD, said.
"You get girls who are looking for things all over the board," said High. "Some like the really poofy dresses, some like the sparkles and the bling."
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Alexis Peterson admires her newly fitted prom dress in the mirror at 2 Be Trendy.
High's shop, in its first prom season after opening last summer, offers numerous selections and styles of dresses with more arriving every day.
"We're still getting a few in every day," said High. "The prom season is just really starting to pick up."
High said a prom dress can be as simple or elegant as a girl wants it to be. Dresses can even be re-made or altered to fit anyone's individual preferences.
Algona: April 13
Bishop Garrigan: April 20
Clarion Goldfield: April 20
CWL: April 27
Eagle Grove: April 27
East Sac: April 13
Emmetsburg: April 13
Fort Dodge Senior High: April 20
Humboldt: April 27
Manson Northwest Webster: April 27
Pocahontas Area/Pomeroy Palmer: April 20
Prairie Valley: May 4
St. Edmond: April 13
South Central Calhoun: April 20
Southeast Webster-Grand: April 6
Webster City: April 27
West Bend-Mallard: April 20
"If someone really likes the color or the print of a dress but thinks it's too poofy or low cut, that's OK," said High. " There are girls who want the high-low dresses, princess dresses, fitted dresses; the options are endless. Dresses can be altered to look different or you can use extra material to close-up a neckline. That is something we can do here, usually in just a couple of weeks. Be unique, make it yours."
Marissa Sebring, a sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High tried on a princess style turquoise ball gown with several layers of crinoline to fill out the skirt at Bridal Visions. While she liked the dress she wasn't so sure about the layers.
"I like it, but it might be too poofy for me," she said. "I'm thinking maybe the dress with lots of gold and glitter."
High showed Sebring ways the layers could be reduced to make a more comfortable dress.
Marcia Mullins, manager at 2 Be Trendy, also said the prom season is just starting to pick up at the Central Avenue shop.
"We're getting lots of requests for sparkle, sequins and feathers," said Mullins.
Both Bridal Visions and 2 Be Trendy can order dresses to be ready in time for prom.
"It's not like a wedding dress where you have to wait months," said High. "If the dress company has it in stock a lot of times they say the can ship it tomorrow."
Ordered dresses at 2 Be Trendy aren't limited to purchased dresses.
"We are getting into renting dresses," said Mullins. "That's something new for us this year. There's a variety of dresses to choose from for rent, they're on our website and we can order them as rentals."
Kelsey Beck, a sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High didn't have a specific dress in mind when she first started shopping, but found a green, orange and pink beaded dress with leopard print accents at 2 Be Trendy.
"I found this one and tried it on, and came back and tried it again and loved it," she said. "My dad even bought it for me."
For those looking for the latest styles for less money, Repeat Boutique offers a selection of 300 pre-worn dresses at reduced prices.
"'We have anything from $10 to $200," said Tina Williamson, owner of Repeat Boutique. "Some of them are pretty spectacular. It seems like the dresses with the big jewels are really the thing now, and the low prices, the moms love that."
Both Bridal Visions and 2 Be Trendy also track customers' purchases by school to ensure no one else will have the same dress from their store at their prom.
"We won't sell the dress to anyone else in the same color," said High.
Prom isn't just for the girls, High and Mullins encourage the guys to come in early to reserve their tuxedo.
The guys should come in at least a month to six weeks before prom to get measured and order their tux, said Gwen Ewing at Foley's Clothing. She said it's important to get in early, because students from across the state will all be ordering tuxedos from the same company.
"We have of course the white, and we have the basic blacks, grays," Ewing said. "And they also have the fad ones that are camouflage, and they have the colors. They have hats to go with them and canes they can rent."
"For vests and ties, or vests and bow ties, we have every color now to match the girl's dress," she added.
Another reason to rent early is that, like the dress stores, Foley won't rent the same style of tuxedo to two guys from the same school.