One of the most challenging parts of being the parent of a teenage girl is keeping them from becoming a panic-driven bundle of nerves in the excitement of shopping for the perfect dress for homecoming and prom. The best thing to do to keep things under control while looking for the best dress is to KISS your daughter. KISS is a well-known acronym that stands for Keep It Simple Sweetie. Here, KISS is an acrostic mini-guide to give to your daughter so she can be prepared for dress shopping. 

Know your measurements, not your size

Even though standardized size charts do exist somewhere in the universe, clothing manufacturers are not required to adhere to them. This is why you might fit into a size 4 in one size but a size 6 in another. Due to the inconsistencies in sizes, especially when it comes to vanity sizing, it's better to not try on dresses based on your size. 

Know your measurements. Write them down or save them in your phone. That way, when you try on dresses you'll be able to tell the sales rep what your measurements are so they'll be able to give you the appropriate size to try on. Also, don't try to squeeze into a smaller size than what your measurements suggest you are. Not only will you be uncomfortable on the dance floor, you could be at risk of having on unpleasant wardrobe malfunction. 

Investigate your wardrobe and current dress trends 

One thing that is certain is that homecoming dresses come in many different shapes, styles, colors, and materials. Take a good look at your current wardrobe and consider how you feel when you wear various styles. For example, if you feel uncomfortable in tank tops, then a spaghetti-strapped or a strapless dress probably won't be a good option, even though you may absolutely love the way this type of dress looks.

Sit down and take a look at the current trends online and in magazines. Remember to pay attention to what you discovered when you went through your wardrobe. Doing this will help you choose a dress that you will feel comfortable in instead of self-conscious. That way, you'll be able to enjoy being at the dance. 

Study the dress code to make sure a dress complies 

It's important to know what your school's dress code is for the dance. The last thing you'll want to have happen is to be turned away from the entrance due to inappropriate attire. If there are any discrepancies in the dress code or you are unable to locate it, ask your school's secretary. 

Refer back to the dress code when you try on dresses. For example, if the dress code states that the appropriate length of the hem needs to be determined when sitting down, sit down in the dress and measure where the hem falls to make sure it meets the dress code. 

Shop for the essentials with your friends

Wait to shop for undergarments until you find your dress and have it in your hands. It's crucial to make sure you have the right undergarments for the dress. The only true way to do this is to actually try on the dress at the same time you try on the undergarments, especially if your dress has cut-outs or sheer fabric. 

Take your friends with you so you can get their opinions on how the different undergarment styles affect the way your dress looks. Since you'll be dancing the night away in the dress, go ahead and dance a little in the dressing room to make sure there will be no embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions with your undergarments and/or dress. 

For help finding the best homecoming dress for you, check out companies like Bridal Elegance.