Prom season is looming. Dooming, looming, prom season. Who will you take? Who will take you? Where will you go afterwards? Who’s party and how’re you getting there?
And of course, the most popular, most stressful question of all; what are you going to wear?

Now, listen. I don’t know about you, and maybe you don’t relate to what I’m going to say but- I don’t have $600. Some of these dresses that people are posting in the prom dresses 2017 group we have for our school; they’re like, hundreds of dollars. As much as I like clothes, I’m not going to spend three months’ wages on a dress I’ll be pulling over my head in the backseat of my friend’s car as we drive to somewhere far away from parents, teachers, and responsibility.

I’m going to get something I won’t feel guilty about stuffing into an overnight bag and leaving by the door.
So I’m going to thrift.
Now, successful thrifting really depends on where you live. Some places will have really sad thrift stores- some places really great, and then some places will have consignment stores. Consignment stores are basically where rich people go when they’re not rich enough to buy the clothes that even richer people no longer want.
As a teenager, I wouldn’t recommend these- as you get older, they might seem more appealing but I don’t know, I’m still a teenager.
As a teenager, I’m going to the real thrift store. The one that smells like mothballs and old ladies’ living rooms and leave that weird feeling on your fingertips. Yup, that’s the one you’re going to get your wonderful, one of a kind, $10 prom dress at.

Usually these types of thrift stores have gorgeously dated formal gowns that are way over the top and look like whoever donated it must have been at least your mom’s age. If you’re going for originality, I highly recommend looking at this group of dresses. There’s always something that just a little bit less tacky and if you carefully removed the giant bow in the back could give a very retro-y in trend sort of vibe.

Entangled in these dated formal gowns, you can find tacky, cheap dresses someone probably bought online and it didn’t show up as what they wanted but the site wouldn’t let them return it. These are perfect if you’re into DIY. Listen- find a dress that’s exactly the color you want, and a cut that’s either easily modified- like a flowy long dress, or one that sort of resembles a box- or the shape that you’re looking for. These are a gold mine. Since they’re so cheap, you don’t feel bad about tucking and cutting and sewing and frankensteining it together; because if you mess up, you only wasted $10 and I’m sure Lord & Taylor is still having that “looming Prom” sale.

If tacky fabric or retro vibes aren’t your thing- check out the pajamas section. There is always going to be some wonderfully silky, flowy, drapey thing that will cling to your body deliciously because it was created to be worn for comfort and nothing more. Pajamas also always have the most beautiful of pastels, so if that’s your most flattering shade, this is where you look. Plus sometimes you can find pretty embroidered robes that can pass delightfully as coverups if your prom is destined for a chilly or rainy night.

And suit people, don’t think I haven’t forgotten you. Do you understand how cheap suits are in thrift stores? Renting a tux- just renting it- can cost like, $90. At the thrift store, you can get a suit or tux for probably no more than $30- $40 if you’re really pushing it and it still has it’s store tag. Do you understand what that means? That means you can buy that tux or suit, wear it to the after party, wear it to the next formal event, wear it to your next prom- it’s yours until it fits you no longer. And how great is that? No paying for the damage done when someone drunkenly sticks pizza in your jacket pocket or for that stain on the pants that appeared the next morning and you desperately hope isn’t blood.

A friend of my mom’s once told me that prom is the most important event of your teenage life. My mom profusely disagreed to get out of the $50 shoes I was trying to convince her to buy for me- but the idea is all the same. It’s more important that you have fun at prom, around prom and after prom, than that you have the most expensive look in the room.

Happy thrifting.


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