How Long Does It Take To Alter A Prom Dress

How Long Does It Take To Alter A Prom Dress?

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Having attended a prom before, I understand the significance of having the ideal dress. However, what occurs if the supposed flawless dress is not quite perfect?

Fear not, my friend – alterations are here to save the day. Now, how long does it take to alter a prom dress? 

Based on my personal experience, the duration of the alteration process will depend on various factors. So today, I’ll share some insights on how long it typically takes to alter a prom dress.  

How Long Will It Take To Alter A Prom Dress?

Prom Dress Alterations

Simple alterations such as hemming or sealing a seam may only take a few hours. 

In contrast, more intricate modifications may take several days, such as reshaping the bodice or adding embellishments. 

Hence, the time it takes to alter a dress [1] can vary greatly, depending on the nature of the alterations, the skill and experience of the tailor or seamstress, and the availability of both parties.

When Should You Alter Your Prom Dress?

It is best to start the alteration process at least three weeks before the special occasion. This allows enough time for appointments, fittings, and any modifications that may be needed. 

Beginning the process early gives you time to accommodate any scheduling conflicts, delays, or unanticipated issues that could occur. 

“Don’t try to stand out that much for prom. Be yourself.” 

Lele Pons, Venezuelan-American YouTuber

Also, it is essential to consider if any changes in your body shape could affect the fit of your dress. 

With adequate time to make alterations, you can have a dress that fits flawlessly and an unforgettable prom night.

Which Is Easier To Alter: A Big Or A Small Dress?

Generally, it is easier to alter a dress with a smaller size than one with a larger size. 

It’s because smaller dresses involve fewer seams and less material, which makes it simpler to modify the fit without totally changing the general shape and form of the article of clothing. 

On the contrary, larger dresses usually have more seams and require more fabric, making them more complicated and time-consuming to adjust. 

“The beauty of altering a prom dress lies in the details. Each stitch, each hem, and each adjustment takes time and care to create a garment that is perfectly tailored to you

Howkapow Gift Site

But the convenience of alteration also depends on the particular design and construction of the dress. 

What Would It Cost To Have Your Prom Dress Altered?

Simple alterations for formal dresses, such as hemming or adjusting straps, may be cheaper – typically around $45 to $150. 

But more intricate alterations, such as taking in the waist or changing the neckline, can be more expensive. 

Considering the cost of alterations when buying a prom dress is important, as this can increase the overall price. 

What To Do If You Can’t Alter Your Prom Dress?

Altering A Prom Dress

1. Sell Or Exchange The Dress

If you can’t alter your prom dress and find an alternative solution, consider selling or exchanging the dress with someone interested. 

With that, you can get your money back and shop for a dress that fits you better.

2. Look For Alternative Solutions

Consider accessorizing your dress with a belt or a scarf to cinch it in at the waist or add some texture. 

You can also add some temporary hemming tape or fabric glue to adjust the length of the dress.

3. Try A Different Style

If your prom dress can’t be altered, consider trying a different style that suits your body type and fits you better. 

Experiment with different cuts, lengths, and fabrics until you find the perfect dress. So, what should you wear for the after-party prom?

What’s The Difference Between Altering & Tailoring?

Changing an existing garment’s fit or length is often called ‘altering.’ It involves shortening sleeves, hemming a skirt, or taking in the waist. 

And it’s a job that can typically be done fast and may be done by a seamstress or tailor with basic skills.

On the other hand, ‘tailoring’ is the process of crafting a custom garment from the ground up, following the wearer’s exact measurements and body shape. 

It requires much more skill and knowledge, as the tailor must consider factors such as fabric drape, body shape, and style preferences to create a piece of clothing that fits perfectly.

Also Read: What’s The Distinction Between Prom & Homecoming?


Why do dress alterations cost so much?

Alterations can be time-consuming and require high skill and expertise, so they can often be expensive.

The cost of the alterations is also affected by the fabric type used, the alteration’s complexity, and the type of machine used.

How can I make my prom dress look more attractive?

Add sparkle to the dress by adding beading or sequins to the bodice and skirt [2]. 

Or accessorize the dress with a statement necklace and a pair of bold earrings to draw attention to the face and neckline.

How early should you begin your prom dress search?

Start searching for your prom dress during January and February so that you’ll take advantage of sales and promotions and give time to make any necessary alterations to the dress.

Find out when your high school’s prom will be here.

Key Takeaways

Altering a prom dress can take around a few hours or days, which depends on the complexity of the alterations and the availability of your seamstress. 

It’s always best to bring your dress in for alterations sooner rather than later to ensure you have time to make any adjustments before the big day.

In terms of cost, alterations range from $45-$15, depending on the type of alterations needed and the seamstress you choose.

So don’t hesitate to take your dress to the seamstress and trust them to work their magic.


Kimberlee Johnson
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