Author Topic: Prom dress time  (Read 6543 times)

scottish

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Prom dress time
« on: March 28, 2015, 05:31:47 PM »
Hello.  My daughter is graduating from high school this year and she needs a dress for the prom.  DW has been very systematically working through kijiji and consignment stores without any luck.   She's an unusual size (0, I think, 5' 2'' and 110 lbs and fit) and we haven't had much luck.

At dinner tonight we were discussing that it's ridiculous to buy a dress specifically for the prom, and that the dress needs to be something she can wear to other functions (formal dances, synagogue and so on).   

Does anyone have any ideas on how to acquire such a dress at a reasonable price?  I'm pretty sure I'm about to get drafted to help out with the shopping, and I could use some new ideas!

caliq

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 05:40:04 PM »
You'll probably have to be open to hemming something, and possibly other alterations.  I found a prom dress for $35 on sale but I'm also 5'2" and my mom had to hem it for me (and possibly shorten the straps).  It was an empire waist dress, so there wasn't a big change in how it fit when she took off the extra 6" on the bottom ;)

Other than that, my only advice is to shop sales.  Size 0 is not actually that unusual and should be easy to find, as long as you can make it work with the height thing. 

teen persuasion

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 08:16:12 PM »
Put the word out that you are looking for a gently used dress.  You are right that most only get worn once or twice, so older friends or cousins or your friends' daughters may have a dress to lend or sell to you. 

Some schools or cities have organized a prom dress swap - grads can donate dresses, students can borrow (or whatever). 

Check out charity shops like Salvation Army or Goodwill - my DD3 found a fabulous dress that fit while we were searching for play costume items.  For $2 we had to buy it, even if it was nowhere near prom time.

Can you sew, or know someone who can?  My mom made my prom dress (in a week!), and I made a dress for a formal event in college.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 09:06:41 PM »
I haven't personally used it, but I know some friends who have been very happy with rent the runway.

Personally, I found my prom dress at a sale at JC Penny's. Admittedly, this was 10 years ago, but it was $40 (down from I think $100?). Not outrageous, in my opinion, for a one-time formal event. The killers are hair, make-up, nails, waxing, limos, etc etc. DIY these options and you'll save a huge chunk of change.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 09:24:05 PM »
Personally, I found my prom dress at a sale at JC Penny's. Admittedly, this was 10 years ago, but it was $40 (down from I think $100?). Not outrageous, in my opinion, for a one-time formal event. The killers are hair, make-up, nails, waxing, limos, etc etc. DIY these options and you'll save a huge chunk of change.

I got mine at JC Penny's, too!  A little over 10 years ago.  It was on clearance for $20.  I had my friend do my hair and make-up.  I borrowed a wrap from my mom.  It was a pretty cheap Prom for me!

You might also try a few stores like TJ Maxx or ROSS Dress for less. 

mm1970

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2015, 09:32:03 PM »
Hello.  My daughter is graduating from high school this year and she needs a dress for the prom.  DW has been very systematically working through kijiji and consignment stores without any luck.   She's an unusual size (0, I think, 5' 2'' and 110 lbs and fit) and we haven't had much luck.

At dinner tonight we were discussing that it's ridiculous to buy a dress specifically for the prom, and that the dress needs to be something she can wear to other functions (formal dances, synagogue and so on).   

Does anyone have any ideas on how to acquire such a dress at a reasonable price?  I'm pretty sure I'm about to get drafted to help out with the shopping, and I could use some new ideas!
My coworker's daughter bought one off E-bay and altered it, like majorly altered it.  Made it sleeveless, shortened it, etc.

She also cooked dinner for her boyfriend and they drove to the prom.

She was quite the mustachian.

For me...well, it was 1988, it's pretty irrelevant.  (Limos, hair, nails, makeup?? Ha!)

11ducks

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 09:53:00 PM »

If you get really stuck, have you considered renting a prom dress online? Yes, its pretty much wasted money, but I'd prefer to waste $70 than spend $300 for something she likely won't rewear at all. Plus, that way she gets a ridiculously fancy branded dress to wear for the night, without the massive cost. I googled 'rent a prom dress".

In Australia, Year 12s have a formal (essentially the same as prom), and many of the parents spend hundreds on the dresses/hair/makeup, its crazy for one night.

Little Nell

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 10:06:29 PM »
I made both of mine. But that was in the 1970s.
My senior prom dress was in demand from my younger sister's
friends for some years after. Hit the thrift shops! I bought a great
dress for a wedding last summer for $8, which left more to spend
on shoooooos.

KarenwithaC

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 10:59:12 PM »
I can totally sympathize.  My petite (100 lbs, 5'2", size 0) daughter graduated in 2010 and had an awful time finding a prom dress.  One suggestion I have is: does she have any friends with older sisters that might be willing to lend or sell her their prom dress?  Alternations can do a lot for changing the look of a dress, so that it can really be "hers".  I know that my DD still has her prom dress and is almost at the stage of letting it go, because she clearly doesn't have many opportunities for wearing a beaded ball gown these days!

MrsPotts

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 11:22:43 PM »
Try a quinceanera shop.  They work with wholesalers from Mexico, have lots of petite sizes, and are less expensive than American suppliers. 

SSY

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2015, 11:54:39 PM »
I think you can try ASOS, it's one of the biggest online clothing store. They have a lot of sale dresses and they do free shipping and free return.

Rachelocity

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2015, 01:23:29 AM »
Did you try an Indian boutique?  My niece got a prom dress there that was not a clone of the other girls' dresses.  If you want to drive to Montreal, Les Ailes downtown (old Eaton's on Ste. Catherine) is closing and everything is on reduction.  The dresses are shiny and blingy, which is apparently what people wear to prom. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I blew off my prom and went to an Expos game.  We lost, but it was still better than prom!

Stachetastic

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2015, 04:49:34 AM »
My Facebook feed has been blowing up lately with people posting prom dresses for sale. Check the fb garage sale/auction groups in your area.

lakemom

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 05:45:38 AM »
rentherunway.com 

At least check them out.  I looked at it for my son's wedding but found something I loved and bought for a very reasonable price.  My daughter-in-law used them last month for the formal dinner for my son's military training graduation.  If it had been around when my girls were in high school we'd have checked it out then.  My oldest had her grandmother make the two she wore and my middle daughter bought one year ($75 on clearance) and borrowed the next.  No use for OP but for others who may need this information in the coming years, right after the New Year holiday there are lots of great deals on formal dresses because the stores are getting rid of the large numbers they carry for holiday parties....then a couple months later (now) they start stocking up for prom season.  If you are pretty certain your daughter will be attending prom in the Spring shopping after Christmas can be a great deal.

KBecks2

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 05:49:28 AM »
I second Ebay.  The dress may need alterations, see if you can find a seller that accepts returns or that will converse with you about sizing.


Pigeon

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2015, 06:53:29 AM »
I have teen girls and we have had good luck at JCP, but you get the best deals on clearance and you are in the wrong season for that. I would be careful with gowns that need a lot of alteration unless you sew as that can add a lot to the cost. If you can swap with a friend that is a great option.

Seņora Savings

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2015, 07:02:18 AM »
What is your daughter looking for?  I've been looking at prom dresses lately (for a wedding dress) and there seems to be a lot of glitter and bling.  If she's into that, look at ways to add bling, Michaels is your friend.  If she doesn't like it, look to see what can be cut off or covered up with a tie.  That might open up styles.  I second not altering to fit, sewing your own dress would be easier, but look for superficial changes.

If she has trouble finding used clothes that fit, online is a good way to go.  If she has trouble finding clothes that fit in new stores than she probably is a mix of traditional sizes and needs to try it on in person.

Here is where I would shop for styles:
Retro: thrift shops
Classy: consignment shops
Trendy: Ross, Dillard's, I think there is a way to bling some of the bridesmaids dresses at thrift shops into a prom dress.

I wouldn't worry too much about the dress being rewearable.  I think many people find great pleasure in thinking back on their tacky, dated prom dresses.  (Orange stretch with glitter, it was my sister's and I wore it to both proms!  I thought three wears was the height of practicality)

Rural

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2015, 07:43:33 AM »
How much does she want to follow the styles? If she's into showing she's an individual, check antique shops. Dresses there are truly vintage and run small. I got one for my prom from an antique shop for $30 or $40, can't remember anymore.

scottish

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2015, 08:33:11 AM »
Thank you for all the ideas!    There are some new ones in there we can try.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2015, 09:23:44 AM »

I wouldn't worry too much about the dress being rewearable.  I think many people find great pleasure in thinking back on their tacky, dated prom dresses.  (Orange stretch with glitter, it was my sister's and I wore it to both proms!  I thought three wears was the height of practicality)

Oh yeah! David's Bridal is having a big bridesmaid dress sale right now and some of their dresses (especially their Vera Wang "white" collection) look very prom-acceptable to me. So that might be an option- look into bridal shops or websites like weddingtonway.com as another venue, since those stores/sites have petites sections.

MoneyCat

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2015, 09:26:14 AM »
You could also try Etsy.  My wife sometimes gets dresses off that site and they are inexpensive and hand-made originals.

Megma

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Re: Prom dress time
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2015, 10:33:36 AM »
If you want something flexible try an infinity or convertible dress. I just bought for a wedding where I'm a bridesmaid for $50. Basically it's a dress with these long straps that you can wrap a bunch of different ways.