Tips on how, and where, to shop for prom to make the experience easier and less stressful

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to stand out on your biggest night. Here’s how to shop for the perfect outfit, and avoid common mishaps

Nicola Chan |

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It doesn't have to be difficult to find the perfect outfit to match this beautiful setting.

Congratulations to all you soon-to-be-graduates for surviving your exams. Now it’s time to party! We know it can be a lot of pressure to find the perfect outfit to wear on, possibly, the biggest night of your life so far – prom night. So to save you from any more stress, Young Post has put together a list of the best places to go for a formal outfit without breaking the bank. Most importantly, remember to dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, and that you feel comfortable in. Don't feel like you need to chase trends to dress like someone else. Be you, and have fun!

Hit the mall

There’s a simple way to find a fashionable gown or suit: head to an international clothing store, such as Uniqlo, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Topshop or Forever 21, that frequently updates their stock. With dozens of colours and styles to choose from, you would have a hard time picking your favourite. They should also have a selection of sizes there, and changing rooms where you can try on multiple outfits, so you can pick one that best fits you.

If your worst nightmare is showing up to prom wearing the same outfit as someone else, try your luck in the clearance or last-chance section of the store, where you can find items from past seasons. This should minimise the chances of you buying the same outfit as one of your classmates.

Remember to always keep the price tags attached to your newly-bought items for refunds, in case you regret your purchase, or find a better outfit, within a month.

Shop online

If you’d much rather stay out of the scorching sun and skip the long lines at checkout, you might be better off browsing through an online store like Zalora, Next Direct, Asos, or local Instagram boutiques. But since you cannot try on the items or check the quality of the clothing up close, it’s important that you read the product description, size guides and customer reviews carefully. If you are, however, unhappy with the fit or quality once it arrives, you should be able to get a refund. But make sure you put in your order well in advance in case you do have to return it and find something else. It’s always good to order your items early anyway, to make sure they arrive on time.

Make sure to keep a copy of your order’s reference number or confirmation email, as well as payment receipts in case there are any problems with the item.

Bargain hunting

For those who have doubts about buying clothes on the internet, and are on the hunt for a bargain, stylish outfit, have a walk around the Argyle Centre Shopping Mall in Mong Kok, or Kwai Chung Plaza, where you can find plenty of trendy styles available at an affordable price.

The downside, however, of treasure hunting in these small businesses is that they often have no fitting rooms, so go knowing your measurements, or confirm with the shop owner that a refund or exchange is possible.

For those who are looking for an outfit that will capture everyone’s attention, Yeechoo and Prêt-à-Dress provide luxurious dress rental services at an affordable price. All you have to do is to be extra careful not to spill any food or drink on yourself on the big day! Another option is to browse through the wedding shops in Beverley Commercial Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, where you can get yourself a custom-tailored dress or suit!

Where to go for make-up

Make-up can be expensive, but there are plenty of great budget options if you know where to look. Luckily, we know where to look:


The best thing about Sasa is that it offers a comprehensive selection of Asian and Western make-up products at drugstore prices. So whether you're looking for K-beauty goodies or American or European brands, you're likely to find it here. Also, honestly, some things you really don't need to spend a lot of money on - for example, mascaras. Sure, Dior Show is still one of the best-selling mascaras in the world, but Maybelline Volum' Express the Magnum also gives you full, lush lashes that won't smudge. Sasa is also starting to carry foundations with a bigger range for more skin tones, so it's a place to invest in good quality products you'll use even after prom.


While you're there picking up cute accessories to complete your look, check out their cosmetics. This is a great spot to pick up products that are "for fun", such as nail polishes, lip colours, and false lashes. Their contour palette is also surprisingly versatile.


Another store that's great for fun statement makeup products such as glitters, lashes, and highlighters, plus the prices mean you can pick up a few options without worrying too much about what it's doing to your wallet. Topshop's own Kohl pencil eyeliner, and liquid Magic Liner have great reviews and are totally affordable.


There are a few drugstore brands here that aren't available in Sasa, such as Icon, Rimmel, and Burt's Bees. Whether you're going for a dramatic look or a natural one, these products are perfect to experiment with, especially considering their reasonable price point.

Edited by Nicola Moraleda