19 May 2012

Multi-Purpose Prom Dresses

For young girls, it’s hard to get to this time of year without thoughts of prom on the horizon.  Though proms are a thing of the past for some of us, it’s fun to look back on those formals and think about what really mattered: the dress. I know that was the case for me when I went to prom in high school, and I look back at I what I chose to wear with a few thoughts in mind.  As a young adult, I can’t help but wonder if I could’ve done better in the dress department, picking a dress that was more mindful.   Often, girls search for months ahead of time and parents shell out hundreds and even thousands of dollars for a dress that is typically worn just once. I too was one of these girls, and for years I had old prom gowns sitting in the closet gathering dust. 

Prom dresses made out of sustainable materials were not the first thing I considered when finding a prom gown,  but there are other ways to be mindful when searching for the perfect prom dress that would have been good to consider.

One of my proms dresses was a flourescent orange, floor length gown and while it was a really fun choice at the time, it didn't really leave a lot of room to be worn again.  Choosing a dress in a classic style with elegant details will make your dress more than just a treasured keepsake: it will remain a beautiful dress that can be worn again and again.  With the right choice, a dress could be used again for college formals, receptions, or maybe even a night out with friends. If going this route, it is important to consider certain things that make a dress long lasting, such as fabric quality and cut.  A dress with trendy details may be fun, but one that has classic details and a trendy color may be more flattering and worthy of looking back on fondly.


Jasz Couture 4045

 Another option is to consider choosing a shorter dress. A shorter dress will have more longevity than a big, poufy Cinderella gown and it is both functional and fashionable. With dancing and dining and all of the other activities that go along with prom, strutting around in a floor skimming gown isn't always the safest or or most comfortable choice. 


Still, if a long, elegant gown is more of your thing than there is still possiblities for making  your dress multi-purposeful.  You can have the dress altered  by a tailor so it can be worn again, in a shorter more wearable style. Or you could consider convertible dresses that feature the length of a regular gown with the added versatility of removable features that make a dress both formal and fun.   like this piece from
The Cotton Bride by Chris Kole

And if you're spending a lot on a prom gown, it may serve you better to look at other couture gowns instead of just limiting it to prom styles.  Many prom gowns are priced similarly to designer dresses and offer quality that will last. 

You can even use rent a dress services, in which a dress is returned after the prom, avoiding the problem of having a dress that sits in a closet or is thrown out after the big day.  Sites like Rent the Runway  allow users to rent designer accessories at a fraction of the cost.

Other options include shopping for a vintage dress or making your own with sustainable fabric like hemp or organic cotton.

Etsy Vintage Dress

For those seeking an extra challenge, there are prom dresses and accessories made out of unusual materials.  When I was in high school, there were prom dresses made out of duct tape and other strange materials, but none seem as intriuging to me as those made of upcylced or reused matterials, worn by a Wisconsin teen in 2011.

Starburst Prom Shoes

Crafting and funky creations are not everyones cup of tea, and just as I did, you end up with a dress you won't use again.  A nice option is donating your dress to a charity, or giving it to someone you know who is less fortunate. Many areas have their own Prom Closet's or other organizations formed solely for the purpose of reusing old prom dresses and giving them to the less fortunate. Donatemydress.org is a good place to start.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Prom dresses come in many different styles. It's good to know the prom-related terms and definitions related to prom dresses and prom accessories before shopping.