FAQ – Prom

Below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding prom dress shopping. You may also refer to our general FAQ page for additional information that pertains to our shop as a whole. If you have any additional questions not answered here, feel free to contact us.

Shop Selection + Services
The Process + Timeline


Some of my friends are looking for prom dresses too—can they join my appointment?

We try to provide each girl with her own dressing room, even if shopping together. If any of your friends would like to try on dresses with you, please have them request their own appointment or let us know when arranging yours, and if our schedule allows we can reserve a room for them at the same time. If you have friends who would like to shop with you, but who are not looking to purchase a dress, they are welcome to join you as long as you respect our guest policy.

How long should I allow for my appointment?

We allow 1 hour for first-time prom dress consultations, and 30 minutes for follow-ups. If you are simply trying on and picking up your dress, you will have access to a fitting room for 15 minutes. We may have appointments booked right after yours (especially during peak times), so we ask that you be mindful of the time to avoid running over.

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Shop Selection + Services

What is the price range of your prom dresses?

We carry designer prom dresses between $250-$550, but the majority of them are between $350-$400. We also typically have a selection of styles from the previous season available at discounts up to 50% off.

Do you offer any discounts?

We typically have a selection of prom dresses available for purchase off-the-rack at discounts up to 50% off. Additionally, when you purchase your prom dress at The Hope Chest, your date will receive a discount on his suit/tuxedo rental.

What sizes do you carry?

Each year, we consistently sell the largest number of prom dresses in sizes 2, 4 & 6, so that is what most of our samples are, however we always have a fair number of dresses in other sizes. If there’s enough time, we can place a special order for a dress in a different size/color than our sample. While our dresses are collectively available in sizes 00 – 20, keep in mind that not all dresses are available in all sizes (i.e. many are only produced in sizes 0 – 10). Contact us if you have any questions regarding what sizes are currently available to try on.

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The Process + Timeline

When should I begin shopping for my prom dress?

The prom magazines hit the shelves in late December, however we often begin receiving samples for the new season as early as Thanksgiving, and the majority of our new inventory will have arrived by mid February. By early March, manufacturers will have started running out of the most popular styles, and availability can change hourly, so be sure to take this into consideration and plan to shop early for the best selection.

When should I purchase my prom dress?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “the earlybird gets the worm”. Well, in this case, purchasing early will give you the best chance of getting the dress you want because  manufacturers only produce so many of each style—so the popular dresses will get snatched up fast! We sell dresses off-the-rack, but if you need a different size/color than our sample, special orders can usually be placed thru early March (based upon availability). Ideally, you should purchase your prom dress at least 2 months before your prom to allow time for delivery and alterations (some styles require more lead time). While expedited shipping is available (for an additional charge), if you don’t have much time before your prom, purchasing a dress off-the-rack is probably your best option.

If I find a dress I like, can I put it on hold?

The availability of both our designer prom dresses as well the sale gowns are limited, and they are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, we do not put prom dresses on hold.

Do I need my parent/guardian’s permission to purchase a dress?

No, adult approval is not required. All sales are final though, so we do encourage you to consult your parents/guardian before purchasing your prom dress, as you will not be able to return/exchange it if they don’t like your choice.

Can I change my mind after I choose a dress?

No. Since ALL SALES ARE FINAL—No returns, no exceptions—you are encouraged but not required to have a parent/guardian’s approval before placing a deposit on any particular dress. Once you select a dress and pay your deposit, you cannot change styles or cancel the order, even if your parents disapprove of your choice, you decide not to go to prom or you find a dress you like better. So be sure you are happy with your decision.

What do I do if my dress doesn’t fit?

Prom dresses almost always require alterations to achieve a perfect fit. We do not offer in-house alterations, however, you’ll be in good hands with one of the skilled seamstresses we recommend. When you pick up your dress, we can provide you with their contact information.