Prom: Spending your money wisely

Sadie McGuire, Entertainment Editor

It seems it’s never too early to start preparing for prom. Some girls have been working on their crash diets since December, while others have already purchased their $600 Swarovski crystal-encrusted dresses. It would be common for prom dress shops to yank that certain dress from their show rooms out of sheer panic that someone else may have the same dress. But they might as well not, seeing how hefty the price tag is for the majority of high school juniors and seniors born without a silver spoon in their mouths.
Although prom conjures up images of glitter-filled limos and hair appointments that cost enough to feed a family of four for a month, the occasion does not always have to be a bank-breaking experience. There are plenty of ways to look great at prom, and not leave your wallet empty.
A good place to start when looking for inexpensive prom dresses is vintage stores. The dresses are inexpensive and totally one of a kind–it’s guaranteed that no one else will have your dress if it’s from a different decade. Such a suggestion may scare away those with a much more modern taste, but there really are plenty of sleek, and stylish prom dresses out there from a bygone era. Just because something is from the 80’s doesn’t necessarily mean it had shoulder pads and pleats.
One great shop in particular is Knee Deep Vintage (1425 West 18th Street, Chicago, IL). They have an extensive selection of party and formal dresses that can dual as great prom dresses. There’s also a variety of high heels, clutches, and jewelry to completely any prom look. Best of all, you can get a complete prom look for under $100. For my junior prom last year, I was able to buy not one, but two prom dress options, a pair of heels, and two purses and didn’t break the bank whatsoever. Knee Deep has the perfect collection of eclectic and elegant vintage that can satisfy everyone from the hipsters to the prom shoppers.

If trekking to the Windy City for a prom dress really doesn’t gell with your style, there are plently of cheap, local finds as well. It may sound crazy, but many department stores located right inside the mall have prom dresses that are unqiue and don’t cost top dollar. Stores like JC Penney’s and Carson’s often have dresses lying around from last year’s prom season. These dresses may not be hot off the presses, but they need someone to love them too. And while it may sound displeasing that they’re last year’s model, it’s comforting to know that you can pick up some of these dresses for $5. That’s right, definitely not a misprint: five dollars. A friend of mine recently picked up a full length dress from a mall department store that was marked down so many times, it cost her as much as a Subway footlong. Another bonus: no one else will have that dress. Most girls will be focusing on getting the newest, hottest dress and not focusing on the hidden gems right under their noses. Besides, last year, this year: is there ever really a great difference in prom dresses? The formula is the same: a little satin here, some glitter there, choose your neckline and Voila!
As for hair, instead of paying sack loads for an updo that looks like a biscuit made of hair on your head, beauty schoosl are a great place to try. It may sound sketchy