Photo: Confessions of a Shopaholic

Photo: Confessions of a Shopaholic

So you’ve left it to the last minute. Either your mind’s been stuck in exam mode or going to Party in the Car Park has been a spur of the moment decision, but now with Summer Ball only a few days away, the rush to buy a kick-ass dress has you panicked. But don’t worry, to get you through your stressful shopping woes here’s what you need to know about last minute Summer Ball dress shopping…

1. Know your shops

If the store doesn’t have your size in that dream dress you’ve just found, which is a big possibility, then you’re going to have to shop online. Some shops are notorious for their long dispatch dates and delivery times so the best strategy is to pick a shop with a good track record for getting items to your door quickly. From my experience I’d recommend Mango, Zara, Debenhams and Next – mainly because they’ve never delivered an item to me late and their selection of dresses is always pretty damn good. If you fancy taking a risk with an online-store-only make sure they have a next day delivery policy, so you won’t be disappointed.

2. Use what you already have in your wardrobe

At some point you’ll have to realise that buying an entire new outfit for Summer Ball is near impossible. Trying to find a pair of heels to match that amazing dress or trying to find accessories to match with everything else is not going to happen without a miracle. So, although it kind of sucks, you need to be practical when shopping for Summer Ball. When shopping try and match up a dress with shoes and accessories you already have, then that way you don’t have to panic when nothing seems to pair up or look amazingly good together.

3. Expect to compromise

With little time to venture up to London or Bluewater for a shopping trip, Canterbury is your lot (and let’s face it, it’s not the best lot). Whitefriars may have a good selection of shops but it’s not the biggest. Most shops in Whitefriars don’t stock those prom-style dresses most Summer Ballers go for, and if they do, there aren’t that many to choose from. So don’t think you’ll get the exact look want, because in reality you are going to have to compromise on something, whether it be the dress, shoes or accessories. But sometimes compromise can be a good thing, you may not get exactly what you wanted but you might end up with something even better.

Need some inspiration? Here’s some of our Summer Ball dress picks…