5 tips for preserving your prom dress
Prom night is one of the most important events of the year for secondary school leavers, and if your offspring is preparing to get dressed up to the nines in celebration of their impending graduation later this year, then chances are that you’ll be about to invest in a beautiful dress or suit for them so they can enjoy the evening in style.
From petite to plus size prom dresses, the search for perfection is never an easy one, and finding a size and style to suit can take time, effort and money – but once you find that special dress, you’ll know it in an instant.
Designer prom dresses often carry a considerable price-tag, and although not as expensive as wedding dresses, should be taken care of just as well. It may well be a garment that will be worn just the once, but holding a wealth of beloved memories, it’s one they’ll want to keep for a lifetime.
While it might seem that hanging it in the back of the wardrobe is enough to keep it protected from harm, prom dresses should be well looked after before, during and after wear. To help you ensure that your family’s stay in tip top condition, just follow these simple tips.
To make sure your dress survives the ordeal and will see you through a few more events, you need to take the following precautions to assure it lives to see another daylight.
Let fabric breathe
Many prom dresses come covered in a protective plastic layer, but as well as being bad for the environment, it prevents the fabric from breathing. Say no to the plastic cover and invest in your own hard-wearing dress case to transport the garment home – but don’t forget to remove it once you get there to allow fresh air to get to it, as this will prevent any musty smells.
Steam and press
If you opt to make an online purchase, your dress may get crumpled, crushed or creased in transit, leaving it looking less than perfect for the big event. Hang it up immediately once it arrives, and use a garment steamer to smooth out every imperfection, fluffing the layers with your hands as you go to work out the wrinkles. If you don’t have a garment steamer, then a dry-cleaning service should do the trick – and save you the effort, too.
Vintage dresses can make beautiful choices for prom night, and a glamorous designer number from times gone by can be a great way to make a statement. If you are going to wear such a garment, be sure to get it professionally cleaned before the big night; you can’t just throw it in your washing machine, so leave it to the professionals to ensure it remains at its best. The same applies after wear, too, particularly if there are stains and creases to contend with – whether your dress is old, new or somewhere in between. The sooner you get those marks treated, the better the chance of removing them is, so don’t waste any time.
Stores that sell prom dresses take special care to store these garments well. They make sure the dresses remain looking pristine, no matter how long they are stored for. The same care should be taken at home, so avoid hanging yours in direct sunlight, as this can fade fabric or give it an unsightly yellowish hue. Remove it from the hanger and store it in an airtight box; but try not to use plastic zip-up bags, as these can crumple the dress or trap damaging moisture inside.
Whatever the type of dress you opt for, it’s important to ensure it reaches – and is returned to – your wardrobe in one piece. Always transport it in an appropriate garment bag, wrapping the key areas – including embellishments – with acid-free, colourless tissue paper.
One final tip? Advise your daughter to leave putting on her dress until the very last minute to ensure she doesn’t get any makeup on it or spill any drinks before leaving the house. Food, drink, lipstick and hairspray stains have the potential to ruin any special designer garment, and prevention is always better than cure.