The search for a grad dress!

Graduation season seems so far away, but the search for a grad dress begins online around March break.  Whether you are searching for a grade 6, grade 8, or post secondary graduation dress, you need to be mindful of a few things.  For instance, what are the rules the school has put into place?  Do they have rules on colours, lengths, modesty?  If so, then don't forget to right those down as you start your search.  Our boutique is one of the downtown Oakville stores that is open every day of the week, but some stores are not open often. So keep in mind the places you shop, and their hours of operation.  Some even require appointments, so plan ahead.  

Grad dresses in Toronto will vary from store to store.  Just note that some labels are sold in all the big boutiques.   Ask questions when you are at the boutique that sells graduation dresses.  If the label is very popular expect that it is easily accessible and you can be wearing the same dress as a friend the night of graduation.  

There was a time when grad dresses were simple and flowy summer dresses.  As time has gone by, so has the simplistic version of a grad dress.  With red carpet events publicized all over social media, even the tweens want to look like their favourite celebrities.  Leading to more glamorous, embellished dresses fit for a princess.  Not all young girls are ready for this, so they pace themselves with a simple dress with some detail.  Safe and wearable for multiple occasions.  

  Shopping 6 months in advance may seem like a good idea because you can be unique and spread the word to other classmates of the dress you've chosen. However, tween girls bodies develop quickly.  So it can work against you if the dress no longer fits down the road.  What complicates things more is that sizes and styles start selling out by April.  So our suggestion would be to start shopping in early March and don't be indecisive.  If you see something you like, don't ponder too long.  It may be gone, or a classmate may claim it on social media.    Then you'll be in the tiring position of starting all over, or even worse, forced to buy it online which can end up in late deliveries, wrong items shipped, wrong colours, poor fitting etc.  

Fashion stores are everywhere.  We suggest researching reputation of a boutique online before planning your visits.  If many people have given them a poor review (within reasonable expectations of a customer) then perhaps it would be best to try another clothing boutique.  

Let's talk age appropriate fashion.  A going topic in our boutiques.  We believe with all our hearts that your should dress the way you want, but for young girls graduating grade 6 or 8, age appropriate dressing is important.  They still haven't completely discovered their style, nor are they familiar with their comfort level in certain dresses.  It is something that comes with experience.  Grad dresses, or graduation dresses, usually are purchased by mom and dad, and therefore they have to abide by parental rules.  A couple of points to note.  1) The dress will look shorter with heels, so keep that in mind when you are debating the length of the dress.  2) A dress that mom can wear to the office will probably be too mature for a 12 or 14 year old.  When in doubt, play it safe with a fit and flare or A-line dress.  

For those graduating post secondary University or College, often times, a style has already been established.  So a friendly note.  Don't forget how hot you might be under that gown.  Keep that in mind while searching for a dress.  Some fabrics breath less than others.  It's also fair to mention that overtly sexy fitted, low-cut, short dresses that are near transparent, are not suitable for graduation.  Stick to family friendly wardrobe.  Keep the club clothes at home. 

Lastly, if you are very uncertain of what to wear, look to your peers.  Ask around.  Take note of what cuts, prints, colours etc the majority are gravitating to.  If you haven't developed your own style yet, you can always follow the trail blazers until you do.  There is no shame in that. 

Good luck on your hunt.  If you are looking for a grad dress in Toronto or Oakville,  please feel free to check out our options in store too.  

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