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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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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

rainbowpoptart
Goodness... I see where your mother is coming from: if you eat too much, no matter how healthy the food is, and don't work off the calories, you're going to gain weight. But she's being very obsessive and dramatic about it. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza or a cookie every now and then, and there's nothing wrong with relaxing from time to time either. As long as you aren't constantly eating junk and not burning the calories, then you do not have a problem. Eating unhealthy things every now and then does not make you fat. EATING every now and then does not make you fat. Try explaining this to her, calmly and patiently. Tell her that you don't want to be forced to do all of this exercising - being forced to exercise makes it a lot less interesting. Do not take "This is for your own good" for an answer; if you do not want to do it, it is NOT for your good. (This, of course, would be a different story if you were actually fat.) ALSO tell her that exercising too much and not satiating your cravings is JUST AS UNHEALTHY AS BEING FAT IS. If you were to not eat healthful meals and not snack every now and then, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is, plus exercise so frequently, you would not be healthy.  Eating is good for you, even if the food isn't. Eating too little and eating too much is not healthy. Exercise is good for you. Not exercising enough and exercising too much is not good for you. If you talking to her doesn't help, try telling another adult how you feel, and maybe they can help get it through to her. Regardless of what happens, take care of yourself. Moderate how much you eat, but don't limit yourself to less than you feel you need. Exercise, but don't do something you don't want to; working out should be fun. Good luck with everything. I'm really sorry that she makes you feel so badly about this.
reply 1 day
jake495
jake495 posted in Family Issues:
Make sure she knows its your body not hers In a respectful way of course
reply 1 day
ThePaleWalker636
I'm perfectly happy with myself. I'm around 5'6" and somewhere between 140-150 pounds, and I don't feel fat. But my mom is constantly telling me that I am, or, at least, that I'm going to be. She forces me to go to exercise classes because I don't like many sports, tries making me go on diets, but I don't want to. She tells me that if I continue the way I am, having an extra cookie once in a while and only eating cereal for breakfast, that I'll end up fat, and she makes sure to emphasize how horrible that is for a person to live with. She rolls her eyes and sighs whenever she sees me getting a snack, and just in general makes me feel awful for eating the things I like and for relaxing. I've told her that I don't want to do these things and that she makes me feel bad when she says things like that, but she swears it's for my own good and that I should never want to be fat, that it ruins people's lives. How should I deal with this?
reply 1 day
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
"NS12" wrote: I meet this guy at a festival and we have been talking for the whole week and my mum has noticed I keep texting someone and I know I need to tell her but I don t know how I am going to tell her, I doubt she ll get angry or anything but he lives about 4/5 hours away from me. I know I need to tell her as I don t like keeping secrets from her. I know this was a bit ago, but I truly hope that you were able to be open with your mother. If you feel as if they won't get mad at you, then chances are that your guardian will not. Honesty is the best policy, and if you feel guilt keeping a secret, then it is one you probably shouldn't be keeping.
reply 3 days
drowning
I agree with @rainbowpoptart. You really shouldn't worry about relationships that much given your age. I promise, they're better things to worry about than boys and more secure romances occur later on in life anyways. But, given the situation, you shouldn't worry about either. The boy is unfaithful and so is your friend. If your best friend really valued your friendship, she would not have put it in a position that could end it. Don't waste your time on those who will not put you first just as you do for them; better people will come into your life and they are the ones who you should really worry about.
reply 3 days