It’s that time of year.
Prom time. A time when teenage girls start agonizing about A-lines and stressing over sequins – and parents recoil in horror from pricetags.
Shopping early and shopping around can be the key to getting a good deal on a gown, and avoiding that most dreaded of dance faux pas – horror of horrors – showing up in the same dress as a classmate.
Whatever style you or your prom-goer are seeking, we’ve got a good list of go-to boutiques in the shore area to get you started.
Going for a classic look? Hard to go wrong with tried-and-true designer Jessica McClintock. Check out styles in person at the label’s location at the Monmouth Mall, Route 35 and 36 in Eatontown. Short and shiny is in this year, as are ballgowns with asymmetrical draping.
Nicole’s Boutique, 990 Cedar Bridge Ave., Brick Township, is popular with prom shoppers for a few reasons. Unlike a lot of dress shops, teens don’t need parent supervision to try on gowns. There’s also an in-shop runway for testing out finds. If you need a good reason to get out and start shopping, Nicole’s has a few upcoming events that may move you: a refer-a-friend sale Feb. 26; a Faviana trunk show March 5; and a “beat the clock” sale March 12.
Toms River has One Special Evening, 1846 Hooper Ave., and The Perfect Dress Salon, 608 Route 37 E. Both cater to brides, but get into full prom mode come spring, offering a big range of designers, plus alterations and fittings for those who need them.
If the trendy and traditional bore you, there are vintage shops to explore, too.
Backward Glances, 43 Broad Street, Red Bank, has period dresses from the '40s through the '80s, starting at $20. Want to go back in time a bit further? Try Arlene’s Costume Shop, 675 Bachelor St., Toms River, which carries gowns in Victorian and Renaissance styles, too.