A Step Ahead, located at 1115 High Ridge Road in Stamford, has an exclusive assortment of gorgeous prom dresses. Its owners are dedicated to helping young women find the perfect prom dress-and “will work with you to get the dress of your dreams even if you can ‘t afford it,” according to Corinne Chapman who is an owner of the family run business. They also help local schools by providing dresses for fashion shows to raise funds for safe prom after parties. And, they host fashion shows to help “Kids in Crisis” and other underprivileged girls who could not otherwise afford prom dresses.
At a Step Ahead, gowns start at $158 for a pretty Jessica McClintock design. At the other end of the spectrum, you can find Marc Bouwer gowns that range from $700-900. A Step Ahead takes pride in finding new designers and new lines that you will not find in chain stores. Among the collection of dresses was a black and white Dina Bar-el gown. She designs gowns that many celebrities have worn. There may only be one size of any dress, allowing for a large assortment of styles, but the store can get the correct size for fast delivery. They have fit women from size zero to size twenty-eight. And, they will help you find the most flattering style and material for your body shape. I can attest to their expertise-as seen at the Westhill High School “Project Runway” fashion show. Their off-the-rack selection of dresses for the high school student models were a match made in heaven. If necessary, A Step Ahead can advise you on what alterations would make the dress fit properly. They do minor alterations in the store and can recommend where to get more extensive alterations done. Another great services A Step Ahead provides is the guarantee of a unique dress for your prom. They keep a database of customers so that only one style of a dress will be sold for the same occasion.
25 years of experience and expertise, personalized attention, and a huge assortment of one of a kind gowns-A Step Ahead is every girl’s fairy godmother and will make every Cinderella or First Lady the belle of the ball. Their shop is open for your convenience so there is time to try on the dress you’ve been dreaming about and you can bring it home for your family’s opinion. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And, they are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Have yourself a ball shopping at A Step Ahead.
Lord and Taylor has a generous selection of floor length prom gowns in a rainbow of colors and classic styles. They have gowns sized from size 0 to 16 on their showroom floor of most styles. You can find an XSCAPE dress for $198 in royal blue. It has the one-shoulder style like you may have seen on Marisa Tomei or Kate Winslet at the 2009 Academy Awards. But like any prized dress, this one is a little different with and ruched front. Many of their dresses are BCBG Max Azria and Laundry by Shelli Segal. Prices top out at $398 for a silk and chiffon lemon colored strapless gown with beaded detailing at the bustline. They are located at 110 High Ridge Road in Stamford. Their store hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.. Saturday they are only open until 9:00 p.m. And Sunday they are open from 11 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. You can also visit Lordandtaylor.com for an even larger selection of prom dresses where you can search by style, brand, color, and size.
Located at 100 Greyrock Place in Stamford, the Stamford Town Center has a couple of notable stores for prom dress selections. Macy’s Department Store has a selection of cute, short dresses in their junior department for Prom. Some of the brands they have are BCX, Speechless and City Studio. They also had a few gowns in their juniors department that would be appropriate for the prom. Their prices range from $19.99 to $69.00. Macy’s has an evening department that offers dresses designed by Calvin Klein, Betsy and Adrian, Adrianna Papell and Jones New York. Their selections range from about $66 to $170. They have an extensive sale rack in both the junior and the evening departments. The sales lady informed me that, “What you see is what you get,” but their inventory is constantly updated. Compared to the other stores I reviewed, their selections are less expensive but you will need to shop often and early to find the perfect dress for you. Macy’s offers alteration services so perhaps you can alter the dress of your dreams to fit perfectly. Macy’s is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday they open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday they are open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Also located at the Stamford Town Center is Saks Fifth Avenue. They have an evening wear department with many sizes of designer dresses in the store. Their sizes range from zero to sixteen and if they don’t have your size in the store, they can order it for you. Many of the dresses they have now are short and glamorous. On the low end of the price scale is a BCBG purple and white halter dress at $158. They also have many dresses by the popular designer, Laundry. A short, green strapless version is $275 and a longer gown version is $350. More expensive Teri Jon gowns run up to $760 but may well be just what you are looking for. If alterations are needed, the simplest ones are free but you can have the most complicated alterations done in the store. Any of their experienced sales associates will help you find the perfect, elegant gown for your prom or any occasion. Dorothea Baer, one of their seasoned sales consultants assured me that, “Once I see a girl in a dress I can suggest something for her and 80% of the time, she will buy it. Anyone in the department can do it because we have so many years of experience.” As she walked me around the store, explaining how various styles would flatter different women, I had to agree that she knew what she was talking about. And, the last dress I purchased was at Saks Fifth Avenue and it was perfect for me and the occassion thanks to their help. They also maintain a list of customers and dresses, so that prom goers will know if someone else will be wearing the same dress before they decide to purchase it. They will be holding a prom dress show at the Fifth Avenue Club in the Stamford location on March 21st. Local girls will be modeling prom dresses as well as after prom looks. Participating models will receive a discount off their prom dresses. For more information, please call 303-323-3100. Saks Fifth Avenue is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. They are open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays. And Sunday, they are open from noon until 6 p.m. More selections of evening gowns are on their website: saks.com.
Helen Ainson is located at 1078 Post Road in Darien, CT. They specialize in sophisticated evening wear for black tie occasions, including gowns appropriate for the prom. They find unique manufacturers and also have well known brands such as Laundry which is really popular this year. Most of their dresses are in solid colors although there are a few printed gowns. They have a wide variety of styles from strapless, to open back halters, to one shoulder styles. The gowns are in a variety of materials too…jersey, silk, chiffon, crepe and even a stretch metal gown designed by Nicole Miller. They have one or two sizes of the same dress but you can order sizes ranging from 2-24 for delivery in about a week. Prices range from $250 to $700. Besides their unique selection of gowns, they also have a beautiful selection of jewelry which they can customize to perfectly match your dress. Their website is www.helenainson.com if you want to get a feel for what you can expect from their lovely boutique. I was honored to wear one of their selections at my prom many years ago. Their 25 plus years of experience and sophisticated taste continues to make them an excellent choice for an exquisite look. They are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, with extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday until 7:00 PM.