2016 LA Fashion District Prom Shopping Guide

PROM SHOPPIN GUIDE

Every year the LA Fashion District puts together a prom shopping guide to help shoppers navigate Downtown L.A. and find the perfect prom outfit. (See or previous prom shopping guides: 2013, 2014, 2015). There are over 50 prom dress stores alone!

Dress, accessories, tuxedos and suit stores are listed in the Fashion District’s online directory at www.fashiondistrict.org/directory

 

VISITING THE LA FASHION DISTRICT

The district is made up of 100-blocks of fashion, fabrics, and flowers, but prom dress shoppers need only worry about the blocks on Santee Street between 9th and 14th Streets and Maple Avenue from Olympic to Pico Boulevard. Here is where you will find the majority of prom dress stores that are open to the public. All stores in the Fashion District are independently owned and operated, but majority will start to open around 9 a.m. and will start to close around 5 p.m.

Download a map of the LA Fashion District here.

Directions & Parking
Directions to the district from all freeways can be found here.

We strongly recommend parking in a private lot over street parking, as street parking fees in the district vary based on demand and can often cost as much as the private lots. Private lot rates vary based on the day of the week, time of day, and area of the district you are looking to park in. During the week, average rates range from $5 to $10. Most private parking lots are cash only. A list of parking in the area can be found here.

PROM GUIDE 2

THINGS TO KNOW

Pricing – Dresses start as low as $50 and go up into the thousands depending on style, quality, and designer. However in a recent survey of the district we found the average dress to be priced in the $100-$200 range.

Sizing – Most stores in the district carry juniors plus-sizes up to 3x and some go up to size 5x.

Alterations – While few stores offer in-house tailoring, most work with a nearby tailor who can customize your dress on-the-spot.

Accessories – Costume jewelry, clutches, and accessories can be found in the same area as the prom dresses. Accessories stores are generally concentrated on Santee Street from Olympic Boulevard to 12th Street.

Suits & Tuxedos – Men’s formal wear can also be found on Santee Street and Maple Avenue, from Olympic Boulevard to 12th Street, and on Los Angeles Street from 9th to 7th Streets. Search men’s formal wear stores using the LA Fashion District online directory. Suits and tuxedos are available for both rental and purchase.

Return Policy – About 95% of stores in the district have a final sale policy. This means merchandise cannot be returned or exchanged after purchasing.

PROM GUIDE 2017

Prom Dress Shopping Tips

  • Shop on weekdays to avoid crowds and long lines. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days.
  • Shop with girlfriends to save more. Stores often give discounts to bridal parties and the same applies to prom dress shopping. If you and your girlfriends all get a dress from the same store, buy them together and ask for a discount.
  • Try it, before you buy it. If a dress is final sale, it is final sale. Stores will not allow returns or exchanges so make sure you are satisfied with the dress when you try it on.
  • Bring cash. Most stores accept credit and debit cards but if you are here to bargain you might have more success if you pay with cash.
  • Shop around. Many stores in the area carry similar dresses at different prices. We recommend visiting a couple stores before making a purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are dresses so affordable?
Prom dress vendors in the Fashion District are often distributors or wholesale vendors, which cuts out the middle man and allows them to sell merchandise at lower prices. It also means that they sell significantly more merchandise than the average store at the mall, and that higher volume is another reason they can cut costs. Those savings then get passed on to the shopper.

Can I haggle to get a lower price?
Traditionally vendors in the LA Fashion District have been responsive to bargaining, but some vendors are more receptive than others.

Where can I see current inventory?
Check the Fashion District blog, Facebook, and Instagram for featured stores and photos of current inventory. Use the online directory to find stores with websites.

Are stores open when it rains?
Yes! The LA Fashion District is open rain or shine.

Additional questions? Tweet us! @lafashiondist