Prom dress fails that’ll make you think twice about ordering a dress online

When you’re in high school, you look forward to that special night. The one night where you get to dress up like you’re appearing on the red carpet of some award ceremony or movie premiere, looking glamorous for the party of your life. You guessed it – we’re talking about prom night. Young girls all over America spend months and months preparing for the anticipated evening, since the pressure is on to look your very best for prom. You have to pull off that elegant, yet dazzling look – and for that, you need the perfect dress. The dress to top all dresses you’ve ever worn.

Since buying the perfect prom dress can get pretty expensive, and going out shopping for it in stores can be hectic, girls sometimes opt for ordering their prom dresses online. The selection is huge, the prices are cheap, and you don’t even have to leave your home. But as many of us know, often what you see online is not what you get in the mail. And we’re not just talking about size – these dresses can turn out completely (and hilariously) different than the original ones. These funny prom dress fails come as a reminder for girls to think twice before they order their dress online, because it might look different than you think in real life.

Nighty night

We don’t even know where to begin to describe what’s wrong with this dress. In the picture, it looks like the perfect party dress, with trendy off-shoulder sleeves and a beautiful loose fabric that compliments the figure. In reality? We wouldn’t even wear this as a nighty! This girl is looking pretty pissed off, as she ordered a cute dress online and got this cheap version in the mail instead of the original. The color is way off, the fabric looks cheap and wrinkly, the whole layer underneath is gone, and the way it fits on the body… well, let’s say even a knockout like Sofia Vergara couldn’t pull this dress off.


We’re honestly trying to figure out what this dress is supposed to be. As you can see, it has feather like decorations on top of a see-through fabric, that’s we’re assuming is supposed to look like the dress is not there (it doesn’t). Not only is the dress not doing what it should, but the feathers look horrible, making it look like it was meant to be a chicken costume. And it wouldn’t work even for that! The lower part of the dress, although not as bad as the top part, is pretty bad on its own – and there are those feathers again. This dress is just a terrible disaster.


Well, we can’t say that the original dress in this case was particularly classy, and needless to say that only a photoshopped model could successfully pull it off. On real girls in real life, it looks like a cheap pleathery mess. This girl thought she was going to get a dress that would make her stand out, but she definitely didn’t expect to stand out in such a ghastly way. How could one even wear this in public?

A bad fit

Again, so many things wrong here. While the original dress is a classy baby pink with lovely stone decorations, the dress received online is so pink it hurts the eyes, and the top part is both see-through, and decorated with gems that would even embarrass Barbie. On top of all that, the size is all wrong. It’s pretty risky ordering dresses online, and when you order your size and get something that doesn’t even zip up, it’s really annoying.

Super prom-girl

Another dress that we wouldn’t exactly describe as “princess like”, but it still looks much better in the online picture than it does in real life. This girl got a dress that looks a little like a superhero outfit – except for the mildly excessive cleavage and incredible short hem. But despite the fact that this dress looks totally different than its original counterpart, this girl actually looks pretty good in it. Can’t help but envy those girls who look good in everything!

Just like Kim

How disappointing it must be, when you try to pull off a Kim Kardashian, but end up looking like a waitress offering people drinks at a party. This dress looks nothing like the original, which is glamorous and filled with sequins. It’s just plain black, and those pearls aren’t adding anything to the look, to be honest. No wonder this girl looks so sad, she really wanted to nail the look and the dress just fell short.


We’re pretty sure that anyone who ordered the dress on the left never expected to get the dress on the right. It looks so luxurious, and the collar is high enough not to show any cleavage, just to keep it extra classy. But when this girl got a package in the mail and opened it up, she was undoubtedly shocked to see an entire different dress, with cheap fabric, no flower decorations, and a very deep cleavage.


Who doesn’t want to look like the stunning actress Jaimie Alexander at their prom? This revealing, but elegant dress could potentially be the right fit for anyone looking for an edgier look, that would most likely stand out from the other traditional dresses. But apparently, this dress is really not a good idea, unless you’ve mail-ordered a red carpet stylist to come along with it – you know, just to help you hide all of your lady parts.

Side cleavage

Any girl would want to look like a princess in a beautiful gown, sparkling on top and flowing on the bottom. What an amazing look for the most special night of your life, right? Well, it could have been. This girl was probably disappointed when she got this dress ordered online, and found the top part is not only completely different than what it looked like in the picture, but also too small to even cover everything it should.

Falling short

When you look at the model on the left, you think, “This is a pretty cute dress,” right? It has lace running through it, and with the right shoes it can be a perfect look for prom night. But then you get it in the mail, try it on, and realize some of it is actually missing. We mean, where is the rest of this dress? It’s not only way too short, but also not nearly as elegant. What a disappointment!

Don’t order from China

It’s funny when you order a beautiful dress online – and when it arrives, it’s completely see through and has round white paddings just to cover up your lady parts, right? Well, we don’t think this girl is looking very amused. She took a picture of the horrifying dress with a simple caption that says, “Don’t order from China.” Even if the fabric wasn’t transparent, the jewels on this dress make it look really cheap, so we wouldn’t wear it to prom either way.

Hello world

Wow – and we mean, wow. When we look at this regal looking white dress, it seems almost fitting to wear on the red carpet of some glamorous event. It’s interesting, original, and the train of the dress looks amazing. Less amazing, is the real-life version of this dress, as it was received in the mail. Not only is the train completely cut out, but the cheap lacy fabric is completely see-through, with no fabric underneath to hide anything!


Okay, we admit this dress doesn’t completely belong on this list because it’s not really a fail – it actually looks very nice and flattering on the girl who’s wearing it. She looks incredible! But seeing as it was supposed to look like Nina Dobrev’s red carpet dress, it’s needless to say that these dresses are worlds apart. The fabrics, the cleavage, the beautiful bottom part – everything that makes Nina’s dress stunning as it is, is just not there when it comes to the knock-off.

Like a doll

This one is pretty hilarious. We’re not sure if there was a mix-up, and this girl got a dress from the children’s section, or if she ordered her size and got this ridiculous miniature. Either way, what could otherwise be a perfectly lovely dress, turned out to be an embarrassingly small one. On the bright side, she could always save it to dress her future daughter, or perhaps just use it for dusting her house.

Too short

Such a cute outfit! The white top part with the tasteful cleavage, the fun skirt with the little flowers on it… just adorable. But the difference between the fantasy version of the internet and the real life version is just insulting. The top part looks like a plain white t-shirt, and the skirt is just way too short! It’s the small things that can make all the difference between looking cute and looking like a mess.

Lady in red

How scammed would you feel if you ordered the beautiful gown on the left, and got the unexplained dress on the right? Not only are the floral decorations totally different, but the fabric looks so cheap and wrinkly compared to the original version. This lovely girl who ordered the dress probably thought she’d look like a royal on one of the most special nights of her life, and ended up with a dress that was so beyond saving, she couldn’t even mend it. This is definitely a teachable moment about ordering your prom dress online instead of shopping for it in a store. When a dress looks too good to be true, it probably is.

The Handmaid’s Tale

It’s funny how sometimes you look at a dress on a website, and it can look entirely different than you expect. This dress isn’t all that different than the original (besides being a too loose), but it somehow looks much less regal in real life, than it does in the picture. Sometimes when the model is all glammed up and striking a pose, it’s hard to see that the dress she’s wearing is actually really simple. But when you see the color this girl chose for her dress – that’s where it gets really entertaining, because it makes her look exactly like one of the handmaids in The Handmaid’s Tale. Blessed be the fruit.

Violet dreams

We can’t even begin to describe how these dresses are not the same. Perhaps we should start with the decorative stones that were supposed to look like diamonds, but instead look like a bunch of triangle stickers that a kindergarten kid taped to the dress. And that tulle… even little girls in ballet dresses would think it looks tacky. And of course, the size doesn’t fit, because that’s ordering dresses on the internet for you.

Bad measurements

This poor girl thought she’d look like Kim Kardashian for her prom, but ended up with rags instead. We’re really trying to find the imagination between these dresses, but we’re falling short. It is not the same dress by any account. It may be the same color, but that’s where the resemblance pretty much ends. One thing’s for sure, after getting this weird Aladdin-like costume, this girl is never shopping for prom dresses online again.

Spot the differences

Why, just why? Look at the pretty dress on the left. Such a beautiful lavender color, lush fabric that’s beautifully designed to make an impression, and stunning details on the top. Now look at the dress on the left. It looks like a 12-year-old tried to make her own dress out of tulle, and just put white circles in the top area to hide her lady parts. It’s always a risk when shopping for your prom dress online, but this is an actual scam.

Mermaid problems

Oh, to look like a beautiful mermaid on your prom. Can you imagine walking into the ballroom wearing that sparkly dress, with everyone’s eyes immediately drawn to you, a glamorous amazon? This girl probably imagined the same thing, and then she got this in the mail. It’s not the same color, it’s not nearly as sparkly, and it’s definitely not glamorous. Well, if she walked into the ballroom wearing this, all eyes would be on her. Just for the wrong reasons.

A bad case of ombre

This dress is a little out there, but there’s no denying it has a unique style with its ombre style tulle going all the way down. Sometimes a puffy dress can make you feel like a princess, and we’re on board with that. What we’re not quite on board with, is this dress on the right – and when we say dress, we mean horrifying mess of cheap costume fabric in terrible colors. We wouldn’t wear this dress if it was the last thing to wear on earth.

Going green

Well, you can clearly see that the sizing of this dress is all wrong. It’s huge on the top and bottom, but snug on the waist. Also a problem – it’s a completely different dress design than what this girl actually ordered. She does have a great big smile on her face, but it’s not because she loves her dress, but because it looks so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh out when you wear it.

The same, but not

Can you spot the differences? Yes, this dress is similar to the one ordered online, but somehow it doesn’t have the same feel to it. We mean, the train just isn’t there and the fabrics are totally different than the original, the decorations are way off, and… oh, yeah – there are two giant circles in the middle to cover this girl’s upper regions, instead of a lush brasier. That’s the different, folks, between classy and trashy.


This gorgeous dress spotted online will make you feel like you’re walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards, while reporters surround you to ask who you’re wearing. But beware, when you actually order it, it will transform into a dress you might wear on your cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. Somewhere along the way to the anticipating costumer, the whole decorative pattern of this dress just got lost. We just hope she didn’t pay top dollar for this failed prom dress.

A great fit

One of the many reasons that ordering your prom dress online, is that you can never really get the right size. The problem with this dress isn’t the size, because it fits around the hips – but the top part is huge. You would need to be pretty disproportionate to be able to wear this dress. But as the look on the girl’s face says – that’s what you get for ordering your prom dress online, people.

Under the sea

Oh, look, it’s another mermaid dress. What a beautiful gown, that will truly make you feel like a princess of the sea. Alas, instead of looking like the little mermaid, this girl ended up looking more like Sebastian. In what world is this the same dress as what she ordered? Whoever made this dress hasn’t even attempted to make the top part look the same as the original design, and those horrible beads instead of sequins are definitely not helping.

Not pleased

Another dress, another fail. The round white circles used to cover up this girl make a return – we’re beginning to think it’s a very popular feature among these dress makers. The fabric of the bottom part of the dress looks cheap, as well. But the absolutely worse part of this dress is the jeweling. Instead of the magnificent and well appointed stone work on the original, this dress just looks like someone went crazy with a Bedazzler on it.

Cheap costume

Come on, dress factory guys, show some real effort here! This doesn’t even look like a dress. It looks so weird, we wouldn’t even wear it as a Halloween costume. It can be really frustrating to order a dress that looks so lovely, and end up with a cheap fabric mess. We just hope this girl had an alternative dress to wear to her prom, because this one is not something you could work it.

A study in scarlet

We totally get this girl, who wanted to achieve that glamorous red carpet look like Blake Lively. Blake looks like a beautiful amazon in that scarlet dress. When this girl saw she could order this dress online, she jumped at the opportunity and probably couldn’t wait for the dress to arrive just in time for prom. But fortune wasn’t on her side this time, because the dress looks like a cheap imitation, that could be used as a curtain. And she does not look pleased, either.

Isn’t she lovely

This dress… talk about prom dress goals, right? If you showed up looking like that to prom, you’d probably be the star of the evening. An almost royal vision in ivory. On the other hand, if you showed up to prom with the dress on the right, you might get some weird looks from people. Not only is this dress way too short, but the tulle looks nothing like the picture – not even remotely close.


What is up with this dress? The color is pretty close to the original, yes. The shape? Similar. But where is the whole top part of it? Did they forget to put it on in the factory? Did the stones just fall off on the way to the customer? And let’s talk about the fabric, because in the picture it looks totally different than the cheap looking version on the right. All in all, not an impressive prom dress.

Color block

Did we say the previous dress had cheap looking fabric? We take it all back. This dress… well, they absolutely nailed the colors. And that’s just about all we can give them. We would totally order the dress on the left, it’s a beautiful fit for either spring or summer, and would look amazing on most girls. The dress on the right looks like a particularly embarrassing hospital gown. We can relate to that exasperated look on this girl’s face.

Where’s the rest of it?

If we ordered the gown on the left and got that sorry excuse of a dress on the right, we’re probably scream in horror. The original dress looks stunning enough to wear as your wedding dress, while the one received in the mail looks like a fairy costume, and not a good one. We won’t even start to go on about how this dress is worlds apart from its original design, but just wonder – where did the rest of the dress go?

Well, it is pink

Guess which one of these dresses is the original dress ordered online, and which one came in the mail? You’d have to be blind not to see the differences between these two dress. We mean, what on earth is this thing, a 3-D printer version of the dress? If we ordered this dress for prom and got stuck with no other options, we’d probably opt to wear jeans and a t-shirt over wearing this embarrassment.

They have it in green, too!

We’re guessing this was ordered from the same website where the previous dress was ordered. If you thought ordering other colors would be better, it’s not. This girl thought this dress would look cute in mint green, and we have to say it does look amazing on the model who wears it in the picture on the left. However, things don’t always look the same in real life – especially when you order from a website like this one.

Flower girl

If you want to pull off that lovely and feminine look, ready for spring with delicate flowers in vivid blues over an off-white tulle – do not order this dress. The girl who bought this thought she would look radiant on prom night, but instead ended up looking like a china doll knockoff with cheap, wrinkled tulle – and the flowers are not helping here, either. We guess this girl had to find another dress in order to pull off that spring blossom look.

See through the cracks

This girl ordered what she probably thought was such a chic and elegant dress. The creases in black and creamy white, and beautiful flowing fabric really make the dress seem like the perfect bold prom choice. Alas, when the dress came in the mail, it looked a little different. We can’t really explain why, but it looks substantially less elegant than the original – maybe because it looks like you can see everything underneath that gauzy white tulle.


This dress is so beautiful, we wouldn’t mind getting married in it. All that luxurious platinum-colored fabric and that figure-hugging cut, accentuating everything a dress should. The dress this girl got in the mail, though, is a total mess. Where did the luxurious fabric go? Why does it hang so loosely on the body? And what’s going on with those folds down there? We’ve seen better looking dresses made out of toilet paper at a bridal shower.


If we ordered the beautiful dress on the left, and ended up getting that thing on the right – we’d have a bone to pick with this website’s customer service, no doubt about that. Instead of putting on the dress and looking like she’s about to step onto the red carpet, this girl looks like she’s wearing a bad Elsa costume. Not only are the see-through parts non existent, but the fabric, color, and most importantly, the quality, are all completely different.

One size fits all

We’ve already discussed how when you’re shopping online, especially from websites who ship the dresses from China, you need to be careful about which size you order. But the sizes aren’t always correct, and you might end up with this embarrassing mess. This dress ended up being so short, it actually looks like an oversized t-shirt. Not to mention that it looks like the whole top layer of tulle is missing altogether from the dress!


The dress on the left is the epitome of glamour, with transparent fabric that has beautiful jewels woven through it. If you wore this dress to prom, you’d be sparkling all night. On the other hand, if you tried to order this dress online, you’d only get this weird looking dress on the right. Oddly placed jewels, strange round cover-ups for your lady parts, and a jaundice-yellow tone – all of these make for one horrifying dress.

A frumpy green mess

We’re not even sure that the original dress is so great to begin with – it’s a little too old-fashioned with all the ribbons and pouf, which seems to require an actual crinoline beneath it. But with the right hair and makeup, some girls could really pull this dress off and look like a princess. However, we do not have an explanation for what that mess on the right is supposed to be. It looks as though a fifth grader tried to make a princess costume and this was the result.

Pretty in pink

This pale pink dress on the left is so pretty, any girl would look like a vision in it. Those delicate details on the top, that long flowing skirt – just perfect. On the right, however, is the baby pink dress of our nightmares. We wouldn’t be caught dead wearing this, unless we lost some sort of bet. That is how terrible this dress is. But the worst thing is how disappointed we would be if we were expecting this lovely dress and got the one on the right instead.


Wow. This red carpet dress has the word dazzling written all over it. All that shimmer and sparkle, going from the top to bottom like perfectly orchestrated ombre, looks positively exquisite. That’s why we’re having such a hard time seeing how anyone thought this dress on the right is supposed to look anything like its original counterpart on the left. There is literally no part of this dress that resembles what it was supposed to look like when ordered.

Full of glamour

The original dress shown here was taken straight off the runway. The long, black slinky dress is sparkly on the one hand, and completely elegant on the other. The cleavage is so beautifully cut, it’s an evening gown fit for a real-life princess. The dress received in the mail is neither sparkly nor elegant, the cleavage looks unfinished and uneven, and it’s not exactly figure-hugging either. We would tell whoever made this dress to try, try again – because they did not nail it.

All the beautiful flowers

What’s more fitting for a magical spring prom than this dirty-pink dress, layered with black tulle and woven black flowers decorating it? We can hardly think of anything. While the dress on the left would make for a great prom dress, the one on the right would make for an incredibly embarrassing one. It is pink, yes, but the fabric is cheap, the tulle is white, and the flowers just look all wrong. We mean, that flower on her hip looks ridiculous!

Like a painting

This dress is the proof that the fabrics are the number one thing that makes or tanks a dress. When using the right fabric, the dress is flowing and looks almost like a work of art that any girl would want to wear to prom. When using the wrong fabrics – it kind of looks like you took a white sheet that your nephew painted on with water colors, and turned into a makeshift prom dress.

Cleavage problems

We feel so cheated for this girl on the right. She thought she was ordering a beautiful dress for her prom, with an amazingly detailed cleavage and a luxurious pink skirt. What she got was, of course, nothing like the original. The top part, instead of hugging the body, is dependent on not-so-transparent fabric that looks horrible, and the fabric of the skirt is completely different – which seems to be a recurring theme with these dresses.

Room for the legs

Who wouldn’t want to look and feel like a star? Some of the biggest celebrities have worn dresses like this to the red carpet, with a side split to show off their incredibly long legs. This girl thought she’d go for that look, but instead got this strange dress. Whoever made this dress obviously doesn’t get how a split is supposed to work, because when you’re not sticking your leg out, the fabric is supposed to cover your leg – not provide a weird peek at your legs.