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Money Saving Prom Fashion

There is a lot of pressure on making prom the biggest night of the year, or even the biggest night of your life until this point. If you're not careful, you could end up shelling out big bucks to give the night the most sparkle possible. It is possible to create a flawless evening without emptying your wallet or charging a fortune on a credit card. You want to make this night memorable without big monthly credit card bills or a debt to your parents as a lasting reminder of the fun!

Dress for Less

Your prom dress doesn't need to be new to suit you perfectly. Second-hand stores and consignment shops are great places to find gently worn dresses and tuxedoes for a fraction of their original cost. Rental places sell gently worn clothes, and may even make necessary alterations or adjustments for you in the shop. In fact, you don't need to own the dress or tuxedo to own your look. Rental shops are great places to pick up the perfect item, especially when you're probably never going to wear what you wore to prom ever again.

Looking to go the zero cost route? Borrowing is also an option. Older friends, cousins, or even your mom probably have closets full of prom-worthy dresses that you can wear for the evening.

We asked Terra Wellington, actress, author and green living enthusiast for her tips as well. Here's what she suggested:

"Re-use/vintage is also a way to go, but you can be more sophisticated about it.  If you love the Boho-chic style, you'll find loads of style options for yourself at second-hand stores.  And, if you're crafty, it is simple to add a little embellishment, a little extra dart or pleat, or some fun accessories to put together a very happening re-use combo.  At Etsy.com and Ebay.com you can find a number of retailers who re-purpose and re-sell vintage wear. 

Because I live in Los Angeles, second-hand stores are king.  We get such amazing designerwear with virtually no wear donated or on commission to these stores. One store I particularly like is Crossroads Trading -- they have a fun blog you can follow to get style ideas using vintage finds.  They have stores in Chicago, New York, and along the West Coast, and they will let me trade in my gently used clothes (if they are in season/style) for credit I can spend in the store."

Hair

Getting your hair done professionally is a nice experience and it can make your hair look great. If you are due for a trim and your stylist blows out your hair for free or a few extra dollars, schedule your trim for the day of prom. Don't schedule a complete haircut with a new style, though, or you may be disappointed with your final look. Another way to save money on hair is to do it yourself, of course. Check out several styles and choose a few that you may like. Updos (messy or neat), braids, headbands and other hair accessories can make your hair look terrific without getting it professionally done. Practice on your own or with a friend, sister, mom, etc. when you have time to spare. Take photos of each one and choose your favorite look. Then give yourself plenty of time to do (and possibly redo) your hair on the big day.

Makeup

Getting your makeup done professionally is another nice luxury if you can afford it. If you live near a department store that has makeup counters, you can schedule a makeover and consultation the day of prom and get your makeup done for free. Purchase the lipstick or gloss for touch-ups the night of the party. If that's not an option, drugstore brands of makeup can be inexpensive, come in sets of several different colors and are many brands are made just for teenage skin and coloring. Go in with a few friends on sets of eyeshadow and lip gloss, bronzer, concealer and tinted moisturizer. Don't share lipliner, lipstick, eyeliner or mascara, however, since you apply those directly to your eyes and mouth, you could share germs and possible infections. Practice applying makeup with each other and help each other out on the big day.

Accessories

Borrowing is the way to go with accessories. It's better to have one really special piece that means something to your mom, sister or close friend than buy a chunky piece of costume jewelry you'll only wear once. Secondhand stores are great sources for solid pieces of jewelry that will look better and more important than something plastic and fake from a teen accessory store.

Use Your Head

Be a sharp shopper when you're looking for ways to make your night special. If the options are to have a beach bonfire (inexpensive) or a night out on the town (expensive), keep fun and finance in mind and make smart choices. Prom is a right of passage from childhood to adulthood. Since you're on your way to becoming an adult, think and act responsibly and you'll be sure to have a night to remember!

Have Your Say

How do you save money on big ticket items? Tell us your thoughts on spending less money and having more fun!

 

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10 Comments

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Where Will You Buy Your Prom Dress?

  • I'm going to get a dress from The Princess Project!
  • I'll buy it at the most expensive boutique in the city.
  • I'm wearing my sister's hand-me-down gown.
  • I'll try to find a cheap, but pretty dress at the mall.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

labimba
labimba posted in Style:
Neko girl I have to get back in shape for September if u want we can be training buddies!  :)  
reply about 16 hours
animallover468
animallover468 posted in Style:
EndlessDream is right. Skipping breakfast and lunch can result in stomach ulcers and sudden weight gain (had personal experience...), ESPECIALLY skipping breakfast! You have to incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Stomach and body fat is mostly caused by lack of exercise, and maybe that means you need to do toning exercises. Try doing simple exercise videos like the 3-mile powerwalk on YouTube (trust me, I sweat like crazy when I do those workouts). Anything that gets you sweating, is the kind of exercise you need to do.  I hated working out when I first started my weight loss journey too. I would always start wheezing every time I started working out. But after pushing through everyday, I think working out is one of the best stress busters I've ever had!  If you want to lower your appetite though, I suggest eating a full lunch and breakfast and skipping your dinner. If you can't skip dinner, then at least try aiming for an early dinner, around 5:30 or 6:00. Your body needs time to digest at least 4 hours before you sleep. I started gaining weight around puberty when I was 12, it could be the same for you too.  But honestly, there's nothing wrong with having consciousness about your weight. Now starving yourself and dieting is BAD, but there's nothing wrong with changing your lifestyle in order to be fit. It's a good thing that kids start caring about their health, and the earlier you start, the better off you are. 
reply about 17 hours
EndlessDream
EndlessDream posted in Style:
You need breakfast and lunch. Starving yourself, even if you aren't hungry, makes you loose energy to the point you could pass out from not eating. Keep your diet healthy. For breakfast, at least have yogurt, fruit, and juice. Drink at least 4 full glasses of water a day. Trim down on the snacks. Everyone has different bodies and build. You may just be large-boned. And that's not bad! That makes you stronger and higher ability to gain muscle. Loosing weight doesn't happen over night. It can take months. 
reply 1 day
Nekogirl101
Nekogirl101 posted in Style:
For years my parents would tell me I'm skinny but compared to other people, my waist was bigger and I would always hide it. Though it was obvious I weighed more, I've only been doing this for a week and I didn't ever tell anyone what I was doing until my parents found out. I would skip lunch and breakfast and say I was full. I only ate a big dinner every night. Once my parents found out, they said it was unhealthy and if I didn't  stop, I would develop an eating disorder. I obviously listened to them, but I've tried as best as I can so far. I have barely lost any weight from exercise and my parents won't let me go on a diet because I already 'eat healthy enough'. I want to lose weight without exercising being 3/4s of my lifestyle. I know, I'm a lazy idiot for saying all this.
reply 1 day
rainbowpoptart
Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
reply 2 days