Five Top Tips to Help You Choose Your Ideal Debs Dress

It's mid June, the Leaving Cert fortnight is almost over unless you did Music like me and had to wait until June 25th for the last exam. You're almost there, you dream of the last second of putting your pen down on the extra paper you asked for because your writing got so big and messy after two and a half hours of writing. And then you realise that you've just done question one.

It's a daunting time but a summer of fun awaits you. And ladies of the Leaving Cert, the dress search can begin. Ah the Debs. It's was a lovely thing to plan, from dress to date to hairstyle. Now, I had a boyfriend so the date was automatic which took one thing off the to do list but then there was the dress.

Yes, it was a mammoth search I tell you that took me most of the summer months. It was August by the time I had it all done. But fear not I'm here to help you get started and give you my best tips on what to look for first and of course where.

And different schools tend to hold them at different times, so whether you are getting close to the evening itself or just thinking of dress styles, we're here to help!

  • Choose the dress because you love it

Dress, from a selection at Debut, Debenhams Dress, from a selection at Debut, Debenhams

Ignore where you buy it and the brand, if you love it and you love the way it looks on you, then that's the dress. If you've saved up all your Communion money and you're getting ready to blow it on a dress that you can use over and over again or if you've only a small budget, it doesn't matter. It can be a €500 all out gown, or a treasure of a find at a vintage shop for €50, it's all about how you feel.

Research is key, have a look on pinterest and see if there are any red carpet styles that tickle your fancy that can inspire you. Look for cut, shape along the body and of course, colour.

  • And yes, colour

Sienna perfection at Cannes this year, be inspired! Sienna perfection at Cannes this year, be inspired!

When doing your research look at colours; what a celebs choosing in terms of colour and take note of their colouring and see if it works for them. This is what I did, and went for a claret coloured dress. On my pale skin, it was softer than red and worked with my blonde hair.

  • Set your budget

This is the tough one. Look at your spend and then do your best to focus on dresses that are less than this; so what I'm trying to say is stay away from temptation. Avoid the shops and brands that you know won't meet your requests (and that goes for style too) so that you are more focused on staying within your means.

  • Vintage

Debenhams_587115920500291 Dress, from Jenny Packham at Debenhams (from the new Autumn Winter Collection soon to arrive at shops!)

Nothing beats a one off vintage dress; no one will have the same one as they tend to be more unique. Try out shops like Folkster and Om Diva in Dublin and Miss Daisy Blue in Cork for the ultimate vintage party dresses. The selection is amazing and very well priced too.

  • Style

Left, Dress by Needle and Thread, €315; Blue dress, €305, Self-Portrait both available at BT2 Left, Dress by Needle and Thread, €315; Blue dress, €305, Self-Portrait both available at BT2

When we think debs we think full length. But don't fear something different, like a mid length, fifties inspired dress or a hi-lo hem. Then you could always do an Angelina and wear a tux! It's totally up to you. The night is yours and you can wear whatever represents you.


I'll have lot's more debs posts to come, so if you have a burning question just add in a comment and I'll take it from there!

Tell us, what did you wear it your debs? And did you ask that handsome fella from the boys' school to be your date? And if you've any funny stories from the night, we'd love to hear 'em!

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