Prom Dress Shopping: All the Options


ava horsman, Journalist

With Junior and Senior Prom just around the corner, May 19th & 26th, time is running out to find the perfect dress. The sale of prom dresses is a big business. Dress companies are selling well over $100 million worth of prom dresses every year, and teens are spending anywhere from $100 – $800 on a dress that’s most likely worn once. The prom dress shopping experience can be pricey and overwhelming, but there are lots of options. 

An easy and affordable way to buy your perfect prom dress can be achieved right from your own home. Buying a dress online can save you hundreds of dollars and your precious time. When asking Eleyna Dubrow, an IHS senior who bought her dress online, she stated, “The dress situation can be really overwhelming. You’re walking into a store with dresses well over $150. Of course, you want to buy the dress you want, but it’s like, how can I do that when it’s $500. It’s just not worth it in my opinion.” Eleyna bought her dress for $100, adding, “People should know you don’t need to spend all that money to look good. $100 is a lot of cash, but it’s relatively cheap in comparison to what you’ll find at stores like Glitterati or The Ultimate.” 

Another easy affordable way to look good at prom is renting a dress! With a little bit of research, this is an easy way to get a dress by skipping the dreadful shopping process. Facebook groups pave an accessible path for anyone waiting to rent or even buy a dress. But, there are also websites that’ll do the job. provides a variety of rental options with a huge dress inventory. Dresses that are on sale for $400 can be rented for $40-$60! This is just another painless option that avoids the hassle of dress stores, expensive bills, ect.. 

Although there are many online buying options that are easy and affordable, with renting being even cheaper, there is one option that seems better than the rest. Amy Prichard, of Gloucester, MA, will be hosting a free prom dress event during April vacation at Cape Ann Bible Church at 8 Thompson St. “We had our first event 5 years ago,” Amy said. “We were hosting a formal banquet at our church and started a conversation about everyone bringing formal dresses they had in their closets to share. From there, the conversation grew to ‘why don’t we do this for proms?’ Everyone has dresses in their closets that they’ll never wear again.” With over 200 dresses sized from 0-22, this event is perfect for anyone in need of a free prom dress or anyone that would like to donate prom dresses!

Amy and her two partners, Missy Sponagle and Abby Olsen, are working hard to hold another event for girls in need of prom dresses. You can contact Amy directly through [email protected] for individual appointments or donations! If you are overwhelmed by dress shopping, it’s important to remember your options!