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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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  • 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.

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

Tati-00
Tati-00 posted in Family Issues:
I would also talk to them and tell them how you feel. If they still say they are signing you up for the membership as a 13 year old and it scares you that much I would just tell them to leave you off the membership until you do turn 13.
reply about 2 hours
Tati-00
Tati-00 posted in Family Issues:
I think every house has some drama going on in it everyday. In my house my Mom is a divorced mother of 3 kids. My older sister is away at college but when she was here there were yelling matches between my mom and her about staying out too late and getting a speeding ticket. Also with my mom being the only one raising us she has to work full time leaving me to watch my little brother who is 10 after he gets home from school. There also can be some battles that go on there and my mom doesn't want to here it from me or him when she walks through the door after work. I just try to not make it all personal and chalk it up to the stress of everyday life.
reply about 2 hours
american_brit
"Tati-00" wrote:I would tell your mother no. I mean she shouldn't be like a dictator and force it on you. I hardly wear any make-up and my mom loves that.
reply about 3 hours
Tati-00
Tati-00 posted in Family Issues:
I would tell your mother No. I mean she shouldn't be like a dictator and force it on you. I hardly wear any make-up and my mom loves that.
reply about 3 hours
american_brit
Hey! Yeah, I'm also one of those girls who doesn't wear makeup either... maybe on a rare occasion? Or if pestered into it.  I definitely understand where you're coming from with this. My mom doesn't exactly try to get me to wear it, but is she did, I wouldn't be to happy out this either. Don't feel bad. You're beautiful no matter what; makeup doesn't  define you -unless, of course you let it...  She probably wants you to feel "more grown up,"  or thinks it's nice for a "young lady," or that'll "boost your confidence." I don't know, there could be plenty of reasons.  If you feel uncomfortable the best thing to do would be to talk to her about it. Respectfully tell how you really feel and make sure she's listening. 
reply about 3 hours

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