Thrift Stores: A Prom Dress Haven

13 May

It’s all about finding the perfect dress — from prom to the season’s biggest charity ball and of course, the big “I-do” day.

{Thrift Stores: A Prom Dress Haven}

Whether you are 16 or 36, the process goes about the same — a massive hunt, more intense than the search for America’s Most Wanted, with umpteen dresses tried on and a bevy of stores left in disarray in the wake.

For most of us women, the objective is to find a dress that will fit the occasion, make us the sexiest and most beautiful woman attending, as well as be the most unique style statement.

Me in my $10 senior homecoming dress, Fall 1997.

Call me crazy, but it never made sense to me to shop at anchor stores and chain formal wear boutiques and think that no one else at my high school event was not not going to show up wearing the same dress.

So for my high school years to even now, my formal dresses have been found at thrift stores. Straight away, the dress search begins as what it is “an adventure” and one guaranteed to end with a one-of-a-kind find, plus a built-in story about the unbelievable price and discovery to make the dress truly unforgettable!

And just so you don’t get any ill-placed notion that I carry the luck of the Irish in finding such treasures, here are a slew of dresses (and shoes) available right now at the Chelsea Goodwill in Manhattan.

What you need to know @Goodwill

  • All Women’s Dresses start at 12.99 for regular color tags (i.e. not Boutique tagged-items). If the color tag is missing that generally means the item was a Boutique item, but most likely the tag fell off.
  • Boutique tags (standard white price tags) can range in price depending on the age, quality and designer of the dress, but in general, the price range for gowns is between $15.99 and $39.99.
  • Save an extra 50 percent if the dress’s tag is the color of the week. (This special includes other Goodwill clothing, accessory and shoe items.)
  • Wedding dresses start at $99.
  • Returns: All wedding dresses are non-returnable; But other dresses can be returned to the same store from which they were purchased with receipt for a store credit.

From Sweet 16 to Now

Found in a Gettysburg thrift store during a summer break “yearbook camp”, I scored my senior year’s homecoming dress for $10. (This is a recent photo of me in the dress)

The best thing about not spending a lot on fomal attire is that you have “left over” money to do more fun things.

Plus, the chances of getting a vintage dress at a thrift store like Goodwill goes up and that means 14 years later, your Fall 1997 “homecoming” dress can still be in style!

How’s that for a double investment — money saved and value earned!

Stop by the Facebook page to share your thrifted formal wear photos and check out the 16-year-old me in my $30 junior prom gown!

Special thanks to the folks at A Goodlook by Goodwill NyNJ for making this post possible. Check out their awesome blog for great thrifty style ideas!

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47 Responses to “Thrift Stores: A Prom Dress Haven”

  1. LaCheryl Cillie February 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

    This is a great post! Besides dresses and shoes, some thrift stores carry gorgeous vintage purses and handbags, which can look great with prom dresses. I’ve also found vintage purses at estate tag sales.

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  1. Thrift Stores Can Be Great for Savings Or Make You Really Itchy | The Scratch - August 20, 2014

    […] Thrift stores, I must tell you, are just the best. Where else can you stumble upon a designer dress and whatever the hell this thing is supposed to be for almost exactly the same low […]

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