15 Major Prom Dress Fails That Will Freak You Out

If you’re into prom, then you know that one of the biggest things about the night is the dress you’re wearing. You want your look to be trendy, yet unique. You want to look amazing, so that you feel the need to take a minimum of one thousand selfies. And you want to do this without spending a lot. Taking all of that into consideration, it’s easy to see why so many girls fall into the trap of buying cheap dresses online and then experience major prom dress fails. And even if you think you would never, uh… think again.

It’s actually easier than you think to order something that ends up being awful. A lot of the scam sites out there have gotten really good at tricking people. They use high-quality photos of real girls in the dresses (how can that be fake?!), they show ads on social media sites like Facebook (it can’t be too shady if it’s a Facebook ad, right?), and they have people online who seem real and actually thrilled about them – they even have great reviews on each individual dress! All of that combined with an amazing price tag and a sense of desperation about finding that right dress can make anyone pull out their credit card and hope for the best.

Of course, this isn’t always the case. There are some fashion sites out there that are very obviously a scam – they use photos of models in fashion shows, low-quality snaps from Instagram, even photos of celebrities on the red carpet! They’re janky looking and don’t even seem legit. They’re so bad that it’s hard not to wonder how someone fell for it in the first place.

I mean. Come on.

It’s unfair to say that you should never order a dress online. There are actual online retailers like ASOS and Lulu’s that carry legit items that are affordable and genuinely look amazing IRL. You just need to be careful about where you’re ordering from! As you can see above, our writer Ashley Reese had a bit of a Twitter rant about this last night, and what she said is helpful. There are some things you have to take into consideration before ordering a prom dress from the Internet. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does the photo seem legitimate? If it doesn’t look like a shoot (model with a generic background, probably will notice the same models over and over again), it’s probably not. Legit retailers use models wearing their dresses, not social media shots or photos of celebrities.
  2. Is the price too good to be true? It probably is! A lot of these sites get you with price slashing – acting like you can get a $2,000 prom dress for $150. That is definitely not legit.
  3. Does the site live elsewhere online? As Ashley pointed out on Twitter, a legit retailer will have social media and probably a large following.
  4. Are there good reviews? All you have to do is Google the site name and “reviews” and you can see what other people say about it. Take advantage of the Internet!

Anyway, your best bet is to pass on a site you’re iffy about, and look in the store for something this important! But, for now, let’s take a look at some of the biggest prom dress fails. They’ll freak you out and make you reconsider that purchase:

1. This baggy disaster:

Source: Twitter/@cooperkay

Oh, let’s not forget that it’s not even WHITE.


2. This top that looks like it’s made with styrofoam cups or something.


Source: Twitter/hannnahhnicolee


3. This dress that is not quite as expensive looking IRL.


Source: Twitter/leahbenoit1


4. This dress that looks, uh, decidedly different:


Source: Twitter/sariarenee


5. This dress that barely resembles the one she thought she bought:


Source: Twitter/ps_sonikar


6. This black gown that has truly terrible illusion netting.


Source: Twitter/ellashleyy


7. This option that was actually an awful TWO piece.


Source: Twitter/kavita1206


8. This one that can barely be called an imitation:


Source: Twitter/viewsfromlay


9. And this one in a totally different shade:


Source: Twitter/anmckie


10. This one that is, uh, not quite as nice looking:


Source: Twitter/LaileeBug1234


11. And this one that can’t even be called similar.


Source: Twitter/godparkjimin


12. Or what about this one, which is so far from the photo it’s laughable.


Source: Twitter/malains_


13. This one, which, TBH, could be a lot worse.


Source: Twitter/madieeeomg


14. And this, uh, tragedy.




Source: Twitter/momatedad


15. And of course, another illusion netting failure:

Have you ever ordered from a shady website? What happened? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

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  • Anion

    Some of these dresses appear to be more measuring/sizing failures than problems with the actual dress. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the websites, I’m just saying that a few of them actually look like the right dress, just really badly sized/shaped (it’s still the site’s fault, because a lot of them have very confusing sizing charts or measuring instructions).