Resale shopping keeps prom affordable

Dresses sell for fraction of retail

Getting ready for prom night can mean dancing away the dollars. Resale and consignment shops are getting in on the high school action, offering prom and party dresses at a fraction of retail.

"A lot of girls are on a budget, or parents have them buy their own clothes," said Dallas Y. Smith, owner of Serendipity Clothing Resale and Consignment Boutique, 19141 Stone Oak Parkway.

Girls can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a dress.  

Buying preowned is one way to stretch that prom dollar. At Smith's shop, full-length gowns ranged from about $50 to $150. Cocktail length dresses with brand names like Jessica McClintock were tagged at $27.

But resale doesn't just appeal to bargain-hunters.

"There's a type of girl that wants something different from what everybody else is wearing, and I love that," Smith said.

At The Garment Exchange, 16662 San Pedro, owner Marilyn Caskey said girls come in looking to save a buck, but also to find a a unique dress that other girls won't be showing up wearing to the prom.

A peek at the dresses there showed full-length styles as low as $30 and a classic, black Vera Wang for $150, half of retail. 

Some dresses still had the store tags on them.

"These girls usually just wear the dresses one time," Caskey said. "I just think it's a really good idea to buy resale jewelry, too. You're going to wear it maybe that one time and you can come back and consign it."

Resale businesses aren't the only place to find prom dresses. A short, one-shoulder navy blue party dress was selling for $14.99 at Goodwill Industries store at Loop 410 and Blanco Road.

In addition to dresses, ranging from slinky to poufy to Cinderella-sweet,  resale shops also sell accessories like blingy clutches and four-inch heels to dance the night away.

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