Dream prom dress turns into nightmare for Everett teen

EVERETT, Wash. -- It's prom season and girls all over the country are looking for the perfect dress at the perfect price. But an Everett girl learned the hard way that sometimes the best price isn't the best deal.

For high school students like Alee Bryan, next month's graduation will be a huge right of passage. She plans on studying sports medicine at Washington State University, but before that she will attend prom.

After spending hours online, Bryan thought she found her perfect prom dress. She ordered the $90 dress and even paid extra for rush delivery.

"It was such a great price, I figured why not get it?" she said.

Bryan was especially excited because the dress was supposed to be custom made.

That excitement was replaced by horror when the dress arrived in the mail.

"It's, like, six inches too long. I cant walk in this. I can put heels on and still cant walk in this, it's ridiculous," she said. "They like double overed on the stitching here instead of just stitching it to one layer so it makes it like extra poof."

With prom just three days away, Bryan said she was "freaking out" about her dress.

"You have this vision of what you want your prom dress to look like and I was like, 'That's it,' and then I got it and I was like, 'That's not it,'" she said.

Her mom, Tami, was also beside herself.

"It was really hard to see her torn apart," she said. "It was something she was supposed to be excited about."

They tried taking the dress to a seamstress, but the project was just too big and the time frame too short.

She did find another dress, but only after hours of scouring the racks at local dress shops and shelling out another $175.

"Things can sometimes be too good to be true," she said. "You really need to do your homework."

The family tried to return the dress to the shop in Hong Kong, but decided not to when they learned it cost more to ship the dress than it's worth. The company has since agreed to refund only 15 percent of the purchase.

According to the Better Business Bureau, many fake prom dress stores are based overseas, with several locations in China. The BBB suggests shopping for dresses at local retail stores if possible. If shopping online, buy from reputable online stores that you already know. Use a credit card to make an online purchase and never send cash or a check.