About Us

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About Us

The Dress Boutique at Merle Norman Burlington stocks thousands of dresses and gowns for every occasion, and we love helping women and girls of all ages navigate our collection to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Whether you’re planning the perfect prom ensemble, searching for a tasteful evening gown or seeking a show-stopper for a company cocktail party, our consultants make it their mission to help you discover the dress of your dreams. They’ll also guide you through our sizeable stock of shoes, accessories, and cosmetics to help you pull together a cohesive and polished look for your special event.

The pieces we carry are unique – you will not find them in a department store, and the selection we offer is unrivaled – most boutiques have a few hundred dresses, but we provide thousands of pieces for every body type, every occasion, and every style.

By providing a huge range of options and unmatched customer service, we make sure that every girl and woman who visits The Dress Boutique is empowered to create a look that makes her feel comfortable, confident and dazzling on her special day.

Our Story

By 1986 Wanda Shelton had a college degree, but she also had a big problem: she wasn’t ready to give up her job managing Merle Norman Burlington to pursue the career college was supposed to kickstart.

With the support of her parents and a healthy dose of daring, Wanda got approved for the loan she would need to buy the business and make the Merle Norman Cosmetics store of Burlington, North Carolina her own.

Business chugged along until one day when Wanda needed a lovely dress and, after searching high and low, couldn’t find one anywhere. She guessed that other women might share her struggle and when she finally found a dress, she bought twenty extras for her store. They sold out in a couple of weeks, so she bought 40 dresses. When those sold out she purchased 100, then 500 and then 1,000. Within a few years, she needed to remodel the store to make room for more dresses.

Today, The Dress Boutique at Merle Norman of Burlington stocks thousands of dresses in sizes 00-28 ideal for prom, reunions, cruises, quinceañeras, cocktail parties, weddings, galas, homecoming and other special events. It also carries accessory collections, shoes, daywear and, of course, the Merle Norman cosmetics that started it all.

Store Hours


11:00am - 5:00pm
11:00am - 6:00pm

Fitting rooms will close 30 minutes before the store closes every day.