Couture Without the Cost?
(Memphis) Some girls dream of looking like a princess on prom night.
“Well, I knew I wanted something simple,” says Kenzie Thaxton, a shopper at Ballew Bridal.
Many don’t worry about the price. “I spent $325 dollars,” says Rachel Hagerty.
Research shows average prom spending tops $1,000 in 2012, and these days, just about anything goes.
“It’s short in the front, long in the back,” explains Misty Wagner, a consultant at Ballew about a dress with a high-low hemline.
Trends that are hot for women of all ages.
“One shoulder, strapless, short, people still want short,” adds Ella Store Manager Jamie Yarbrough.
For many ladies, though, there’s always the worry about spending so much money for one special occasion.
“I’m a maid of honor in a wedding and I was just stressing out about having to buy some $400 dress that I’m gonna wear one time,” says Lauren Whiteside.
There is a way to avoid that exact problem.
Websites for women to rent formal wear.
It’s couture without the cost.
One of the most popular sites is Rent the Runway.
Users sign up for a free account and for as low as $75 can rent gowns by designers like Calvin Klein, Versace or Dolce and Gabbana.
“It’s awesome, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread,” exclaims Ellis Dixon who is a Memphis native and fashion designer.
Dixon says while such sites might have been slow to catch on in the South, they’re red-hot in the Big Apple.
“I needed to look fabulous and I just, I didn’t even have time to think about it, I went online, renttherunway.com and I found a Christian Dior dress.”
For those worried about the fit, Dixon adds “I rented it for three days and they’ll actually give you an extra size for free in case.”
Besides shopping by designer, you can also search the site by age, body type or occasion.
“I would be all about that,” says Whiteside. For some though, renting instead of buying is not an option.
“I’d rather buy my own dress and have it mine, than wear something that’s been worn over and over again,” says Thaxton.
“Especially a prom dress, the one dress you’re gonna remember all your high school years, I would never do that,” exclaims Hagerty.
If you’re on a budget, but want a nicer, dress from a local boutique, check the sale racks.
“A lot of times, we recommend something that you can dress up or dress down,” Yarbrough says.
But if you want the designer label without spending the dollars, renting the runway, might be an affordable option.
“You’re in Dior, you’re in McQueen, you’re in whoever you want to be in! You can be just as much of a chameleon as the runway models can be, but you can do it and return it,” Dixon says.