Nonprofits and businesses help teens to pick out the perfect outfit for the big night.
Prom is the magical evening that many teens dream about; to get dressed up and attend the event is often a dream come true. And with that dream comes a ridiculous price tag to fund the event, especially when paying for that perfect dress.
It can be heartbreaking for a student who wants to go but knows her family struggles to simply put food on the table. In Denver, while the economy is booming, the high costs have taken their toll on more families than ever, putting prom out of reach for many.
Enter Bella Boutique and other similar organizations that hope to make prom special for all.
"The glitz, the glamour, the date! Prom is a magical night, but sometimes we don’t want to burden our families by asking them to buy an expensive dress or the shoes to match. Even Cinderella needed a little help, and that’s why we’re here to make sure you or a teen you know makes it to the big dance (pumpkin carriage not included)," said Bella Boutique.
Bella Boutique officially opened on March 9, offering gowns shoes, and accessories at no cost to students. The nonprofit has provided over $100,000 of prom wear, and clothed over 1,000 students, since 2014. It offers a wide range of dresses in sizes up to 30, and volunteer personal shoppers aim to create the prom-shopping experience that is as exciting as the event itself.
In addition to clothing, students also get a voucher for hair and makeup at the Aveda Institute in Denver to complete the glamorous look.
Courtesy of Bella Boutique.
"Bella Boutique believes that school dances are a rite of passage. We promote inclusion by providing free dresses, shoes, and accessories through a unique personal shopping experience in a beautiful boutique space. Equity matters," says the boutique website.
The boutique will stay open through May to serve the entire prom season. To make reservations for a shopping experience, see if you qualify, or to volunteer or donate items, please visit bellaboutiquedenver.org/.
Parker Secret Closet also offers several free dresses and free tuxedo rentals. You can see what the store offers on March 27, or make an appointment. The website has all the details you will need to find that perfect ensemble.
Prom Dress Exchange is another nonprofit that has offered free and discounted prom dresses to metro Denver high school students for almost 20 years. On March 9, it held its annual event, offering dresses for a $10 fee, though if students couldn't afford the fee, they weren't turned away. A seamstress was on hand to make alterations to ensure each dress fit perfectly. While this year's exchange has already happened, this organization is always looking for donations and volunteers. Check out its website for more information.
Do you have an old prom dress, bridesmaid dress, or formal gown that you don't wear anymore? Consider donating it to these amazing organizations to make a dream come true for a deserving teen!
What's your favorite prom memory? Sound off in the comments.