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Okay, there are girls with a tight prom budget, and then there are girls with little or no prom budget at all . . . meaning it’s not about the perfect dress as much as it is about snagging a dress, period. There’s no reason, however, that a girl with a non-existent prom budget can’t hook herself up; she’s just going to need to be resourceful. That, fortunately, is our middle name:
Borrow one. Maybe your best girlfriend, or cousin, or a friend of a friend, went to prom last year and has a great dress (in your size!) that you could borrow for the night. No, it’s not the same as having a dress all your own—but once you’ve zipped up, slipped on some pretty shoes and earrings, and done a couple of twirls in front of the mirror, it really won’t matter. Trust us.
Hit the thrift stores. Seriously! Sure, you’re going to come up against some peach satin and lace puffy-sleeved, bow-bedecked, floor-sweeping bridesmaid dresses. But hitting the Goodwill or St. Vincent DePaul can turn up some perfectly reasonable—even fabulous!—dresses for a fraction of the cost. Just be sure to try dresses on, and inspect closely for stains, tears, and other issues. If there are imperfections, decide BEFORE you buy if it’s something you (or Mom or Auntie . . . ) can remedy—returns are not usually an option.
Contact prom dress charities/organizations. Meaning groups that take donated prom dresses and make them available to girls who can’t quite afford their own. Check out The Princess Project or Inside the Dream to see if there’s a chapter or affiliated group near you (and this link to the Princess Project gives you a number of other organzations across the country)
image courtesy of PromDresses4U.com