Finding Attire Before Time Expires

Chace Blackburn

Dress shopping. For some this
elicits groans, still others, shrieks of
pleasure. Whatever your consensus
on shopping, prom is the time of year
you NEED to go. And for a lot of people,
that shopping takes place dangerously
close to the date of prom.
“Last year, I was undecided on if I
was going to prom. Then, like a week
before, my friends convinced me to
go,” senior Emma Knestaut said.
“But I didn’t have a dress yet! And
when I went shopping the week before,
everything was so expensive.
So one of my friends let me borrow
her dress. It was free, and prettier
than any of the ones I had previously
looked at.”
Here’s an important note, children:
don’t let the dress (or any prom supplies)
stop you from going to prom.
This is YOUR prom and there are
only two you can go to in your life
(unless you are really cool and go as
an underclassmen or sneak in as an
adult, which is, believe me, anything
BUT cool).
Also, children, listen up when I
tell you that you don’t need to spend
a fortune on your prom dress/suit/
Lady Gaga meat dress. Prom is already
a fortune (which Obama soon hopes
to subsidize– Canada has been going
to prom for free for years), and there
is no reason your outfit needs to cost
you an arm and a leg (not really, that
would be barbaric).
Unfortunately, mean old department
stores hike up the prices of
dresses close to prom. This leaves with
you two options: stop being a procrastinating
loser and go earlier OR don’t
go to department stores.
“There are prom dresses at places
other than department stores?,” you
ask, aghast. Yes, my young chap, there
are. Take it from me, a veritable fashion
icon, there are a plethora of stores
around Richmond with prom(ish)
Try a thrift store, perhaps. A new
Goodwill opened up on Brook Road,
there is also one in Mechanicsville
and Carytown. There are several good
thrift stores in Carytown, including
The Hall Tree, where I got my prom
dress from last year and it was really
pretty and cool and everyone complimented
me and that never happens
— but that’s beside the point. There
is also Rumors, downtown, near the
VCU campus.
Wherever you get your dress, and
whatever shape/size/smell it is, never
let anyone deny its inherent fabulousness.
Everyone gets to be beautiful at
prom (seriously, have you not seen
Mean Girls?).
However not all people wait to the
last minute like our dear friend Emma
Knestaut did. Senior Jessica Blazquez
bought her prom dress way beforehand.
“I go shopping a lot, and I saw
something I really liked several
months before,” Blazquez said.
“I went ahead and bought it, as it
was a really good price.”
But Blazquez did not stop there.
She also bought coordinating shoes
and jewelry. Blazquez looked and felt
like a star.
There seems to be sort of a gender
binary on the late minute shopping
trend, however. It seems that EVERY
year boys buy their suits increasingly
closer to the date of prom.
“I rented my suit right before
prom,” senior James Dennehy said.
“But I’m a guy, and all the suits
look the same, so as long as you get
one, it doesn’t really matter.”
However, if you are a guy who
wants to stand out (in a way other
than wearing a bikini– which is totally
fine with me, and you would
probably look better than me and we
would maybe get in a catfight), there
are definitely ways.
Senior Tanner Sigmon bought his
unique, regal vest at Premiere Costumes
in Carytown. He also wore
a head wreath made by senior Ellie
McDade-Nelson’s mother.
“My look was definitely unique,”
Tanner Sigmon said.
“I didn’t want to have a basic prom.
My date, Ellie McDade-Nelson wore a
dress that matched my vest. It was really
fun, we called it fairy prom.”
Whatever your style is, whether
you are someone who does their math
homework while turning it in (procrastination
is a superpower, ladies
and gentlemen) or if you are one of
those strange, type-a robots who believes
in getting ahead, your prom
shopping style will reflect that. In
any case, remember the immortal
words of Tim Gunn, and “MAKE IT


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