Have you been dreaming about the perfect prom? The rustle of gowns, the sparkle of jewelry, riding in a limo, laughing with friends, dancing the night away; prom is seen as the ultimate high school experience. But, it can also have quite a hefty price tag. According to a survey carried out by Yahoo Lifestyle in 2017, teens are, on average, spending more than $600 on prom. With gowns or suits, tickets, transport, hair and makeup to consider, the costs of going to prom can really stack up.
If you’re lucky, you or your family will be able to buy a prom dress you love, and you can check out our tips on how to make prom that little bit more affordable.
But did you know that some girls can’t afford to attend their prom at all because it’s too expensive?
Thankfully, there are loads of amazing charitable organizations all over the country that accept donations of new and nearly new prom dresses and offer them free to girls who can’t afford to buy their own. Some of them even let girls pick out shoes and accessories too.
Easy ways to keep prom costs down
One of the best ways to make prom cheaper is to set yourself a budget and be strict about sticking to it.
You could try looking for a prom dress under $100 by checking out stores in your local mall or your favorite online brands rather than going to fancy formal boutiques. At SimplyBe, our range of plus size prom dresses starts at just $24.49, with the average prom dress costing a savvy $92, so you can look great for less.
If you or someone in your family is handy with a sewing machine, you could slash the cost of a prom dress by purchasing a plain or basic dress and customizing it yourself by adding embellishments or altering the length to reflect your style. You could also hit up your local thrift store and see if they have any prom-worthy dresses.
When it comes to accessories, see if your mom, sister or grandma has any jewelry you could wear. As well as being free, it’s also a great way of creating special shared memories with the people you love. You can also save yourself some dollars by doing your own hair and makeup. The chances are you already know what looks good on you, and you can practice a few times beforehand to make sure you get perfect results.
‘You shall go to the ball’: The charities who offer free prom dresses to underprivileged girls
So what happens to the girls who can’t afford to shell out hundreds of dollars on gowns and accessories? That’s where charities like The Glass Slipper Project step in. The Glass Slipper Project is one of many charitable organizations across the US that collect donations of new or nearly new formal dresses that they offer to high school girls who can’t afford to buy their own. According to their website, they have helped over 20,000 girls find their dream prom dress since 1999.
Another one of these amazing charities is Becca’s Closet , which began with Rebecca Kirtman, who believed all girls should have the opportunity to attend their prom. After Becca passed away in a tragic accident in 2003, the charity remains her legacy, and has grown from a simple dress drive in Pompano Beach, Florida to having over 70 chapters across the country.
For those on the Californian coast, The Princess Project currently has five different locations that offer the full Cinderella package. They promote female empowerment by providing dresses to suit girls of all shapes and sizes, making sure everyone has the perfect prom experience.
Other worthy organizations include Project G.L.A.M. run by WGIRLS , which has so far collected donations of over 13,000 dresses for underprivileged girls, and The Cinderella Affair, which has just celebrated its 15th annual free prom dress event in Chandler, Arizona.
There are so many more amazing organizations like these across the US who strive to make prom dreams come true for disadvantaged girls, including:
- The Cinderella Project
- Operation Glass Slipper
- Operation Prom
- The Priceless Gown Project
- Belle of the Ball Project
- Abby’s Closet
- Girl Talk Foundation’s Prom Project
- The Prom Dress Exchange
- Pace Centre for Girls
To make sure these charities are able to keep up their great work, why don’t you see if you have any old formal dresses that you can donate?