Prom on the cheap

May 20, 2005, midnight | By Adedeji Ogunfolu | 16 years, 8 months ago

How to prepare for Prom on a budget

Prom is a word that equates to a night of dinner, dancing and remembering events of the past school year but the bill of the magical evening can damper the experience. To prom a night to remember, and to make it hurt less on the wallet, Silver Chips Online has provided some quick and cheap ideas for the student that does not have endless monetary resources to splurge on prom.

Thrift Stores

Secondhand stores like the Salvation Army and Value Village are a great place to find accessories such as vintage purses, old fashioned shoes and slightly used dresses with potential. Senior Anahita Karimi did some bargain hunting in search for the perfect prom dress and stumbled across a good deal at a local thrift store. "I bought a strapless satin-like dress with pale blue beadings at Filine's Basement for $35," she said. "The irony is that I paid more for my shoes ($40) then I did for my dress."

Thrift stores can be also the ideal location for guys to find used suit and tuxedo parts and other formal to wear on prom night. Senior Alan Thomas went to Value Village and bought a pair of dress shoes for $10 and a pair of pants and a matching jacket for $4 each. "When I went to After Hours, they wanted $140 to $150 to rent a full tux," he said. "I'm going to have to make adjustment to the pants, otherwise I'm very satisfied with my choice."

Sew, What?

If you want your prom dress to be something that's intimate and reflects your personality, then making the dress yourself is a wonderful idea. If you haven't sewn before, you can always ask a friend or relative who sews to help you. Senior Blazer Wilma Bainbridge went to G-Street Fabrics in search of material to make her dress and commissioned her little sister to sew the dress for her. "I love the material, and since we're making the dress, it can be more personal," she said. "You don't use prom dresses after prom anyway, so it doesn't make sense to put so much commitment into buying an expensive dress."

You can also find used prom dresses from your family friends. "Two years ago I went to my friend Elise's house and played dress up and her mom's dress is one of the dresses that I really liked," Senior Lillian Rosen said. "Elise asked me about it a month ago if I wanted to wear it. The dress is being fitted to me, and I'm not paying that much for it."

Spicing up the ride

Decorate your own car with balloons and streamers (being careful not to obstruct the driver's view). If you're going with a large group, rent a van or a bus and a driver and show up en masse! Other Blazers came up with more creative ideas, like renting a fire truck. "I am a firefighter for Wheaton Rescue Squad, and I'm 90 percent sure that my group is going to show up in a fire truck," said Junior Sean Conte. "It's going to be unique, and probably something that no one has ever done before. And it won't cost me anything."

So for all Blazers that think prom is not possible without a hefty wallet full of bills with Benjamin Franklin plastered across the front, have no fear. The dress or tuxedo of your dreams is possible if you are willing to search hard for it.

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Adedeji Ogunfolu. Adedeji Ogunfolu is now a senior. Besides working dilligently on the Silver Chips Online staff, he is an extremely enthusiastic musician. He is not ashamed to tell people that he has been to band camp, but he prefers to call it orchestra camp. He has … More »

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