‘Tis the Season for… Prom!

by Jen on February 5, 2009

By Sierra Goldberg

How Do You Find a Low-Cost Modest Prom Dress?

Christmas is over, Valentines Day is fast approaching and already high school girls are thinking about prom. Or more accurately, they are thinking about what they’ll wear to prom. While color, style, and modesty are important, probably one of the most important considerations is cost. Where do you get a great modest prom dress for a low cost?

First Stop: Goodwill and Salvation Army
These are my all-time favorite places to shop. They usually have a great selection of dressy and casual shirts, skirts, and pants. If you haven’t been to a thrift store in a while, do yourself a favor and take a look again. There’s more than just sweatpants and t-shirts now. Lately, I’ve been finding some name brand clothes in fabulous condition (and at fabulous prices). Formal dresses are harder to find, but it’s worth checking to see what they have. New items are constantly coming in – you never know what you can find.

Second Stop: Consignment Shops
Consignment shops are different from thrift stores because a consignment shop sells clothes for you. If the clothes you bring in sell, the shop gives you some of the money they make. This means that the clothes usually are better quality and you don’t have to worry about rips or stains. The ones I’ve been in also have a larger selection of formal wear than thrift stores. Also, they have a selection of jewelry and other accessories to complete your outfit. Don’t know of any consignment shops in your area? Check your phone book.

Third Stop: Becca’s Closet
Last spring, my newspaper ran an article about an organization called Becca’s Closet. Becca’s Closet collects prom dresses, shoes, purses, and other accessories and then gives them for free to girls who need them. Beccascloset.org has a list of the locations and dates of operation. It also has information on how you can start your own branch if there isn’t one in your area.

If you’re finding dresses that show a lot of shoulder, try wearing a short jacket or sweater over your dress. Jackets are a great fix for halter-tops and strapless dresses. If that is too casual, you can also wear a wrap (shown here). They are very formal and feminine, but they do restrict your arm motions. Keep this in mind if there is dancing at your prom.

The best way to fix cleavage issues is to wear a camisole. If you haven’t discovered the world of camis, they are extremely comfortable, double as bras, and come in every imaginable color. They can be slightly pricey, so watch for sales and skim the clearance racks. You’ll be able to wear it under more than just your prom dress, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

So it is possible to get a good prom dress for a small cost if you’re willing to do a little hunting. Good thing there’s some time before prom. Happy shopping and good luck!

Sierra Goldberg hails from Rockford, Illinois where she peruses the thrift stores and consignment shops. An English/Theater major in college, Sierra spends the rest of her time writing and acting.

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