Prom Gowns for Less

by Maureen O'Boyle - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)  - It is that time of year, prom season.  While some families budget big for the prom, many families are looking for ways to save and still look stylish.  If you are in search of a gown, think about some of the Charlotte area's best thrift stores or consignment shops.

I went in search of the hottest trends for this year's prom, and found great deals and great color for a price that is perfect.

Sarah Cassidy is in Chair of the Junior League Wearhouse's merchandising.  Cassidy is also a personal shopper professionally so she stays on top of trends.  "Color, lots of bright colors are in this year," Cassidy points out.  We walked through a sea of colorful evening gowns at the Junior League's Pecan Avenue store.  "How much would this cost if it was in a store?" I asked her.  "This would be upwards of two hundred dollars in a bridal shop."

The junior league has both new and gently used gowns.  Members, like many of us, wear a dress as a bridesmaid once and can ever really see themselves in it again.  "But even the ones that have been worn, sometimes they've only been worn once," according to Cassidy.

I also visited Consign By Design on Providence Road in Myers Park.  The tiny store is jam packed with some of the most expensive labels in the world.  You will find Gucci, Prada, Stella McCartney to name just a few.

The price point reflects what the clothing would have originally cost.  Some of the evening gowns I saw still had their original price tags on them.  Gowns that would have gone for 800 dollars originally might be found for 250 or three hundred.

There is another consignment shop in Rowan County I learned about on my facebook page.  Encore On Main has dedicated an entire floor to evening gowns for prom season.  They have hundreds of both new and used gowns, with prices ranging from as low as fifty dollars to over one hundred.

As Cassidy pointed out, if you can't wear the dress more than once, don't spend too much.  Instead, invest in shoes you'll wear again.  And if you do go with a consignment or thrift store dress make sure you love it, most places will not return or exchange dresses.

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