Yesterday my daughter and I went out to shop for a prom dress. She and her boyfriend are attending the Jr. prom next Saturday, and we waited until the last possible weekend to find a dress. I was hoping for some really good luck – like walking into the first store and finding the perfect dress….on sale. Twasn’t gonna happen.

First off, I was shocked to see the prices of some of these dresses. I went to two proms in my youth, and I wore the same hand-me-down of my sisters to both. I’ve never never, ever shopped for a prom dress before. Even when I had to go to formals in college, I would wear one of my bride’s maids dresses that I had worn in either my brother or sister’s wedding. Yeah, I know, that’s a pretty cheesy move, but my family never had the kind of money it took to buy a fancy dress for one occasion that you would most likely never wear again.

So, when we saw the $200+ price tags for your “typical” prom dress, we decided to go a different route. For one, my daughter isn’t one for frills and sequins. She has more of a fun and funky style of dressing. She prefers jeans and a t-shirt to skirts and heels. These overworked gowns with the feathers and beads didn’t appeal to her anyway. She tried on one dress that was okay, but wasn’t my favorite. We decided that we would buy it at the end of the day if we found nothing else.

We went from store to store, and from one side of town to the other. Dresses were either too expensive, too casual or just didn’t fit. By 3:30 we were tired and discouraged and we made the decision to just head back to the first store and buy the dress that was just okay. When we walked in I told my girl that we should give the entire store another good look – It was a huge department store and we were bound to have missed a few dresses earlier in the day.

We scoured the dress department and found 5 new dresses that had potential. And the last one we tried on was the winner. It’s a cute little Calvin Klein sundress that hides my daughter’s adorable little figure flaws. Is it a tad too casual? Perhaps. But, it’s only the junior prom for a high school in the middle of nowhere, Virginia. She’s not in the final 10 for Miss America.

It’s cute, it’s designer, it was ON SALE, and most importantly, she feels beautiful in it.