One of the things I love most is seeing new friends adopting the thrift life! I love going thrifting with them and seeing that spark ignite! It’s not just the good deals or the sustainability of secondhand shopping that lights the fire; it’s the fun of it! So when my friend Terri asked if I’d go with her to help her thrift a formal dress for an upcoming Christmas party, I was thrilled!
We met at Goodwill since the larger thrift stores tend to have the best selection. Terri was looking for a full-on formal gown (something like what I wore to the Crazy Rich Asians party!) and didn’t have a set budget in mind. As we scanned the racks we also kept an eye out for work pieces to bolster her wardrobe. Terri is a Geologist and free spirit! She is not completely new to thrifting and already embraces sustainable practices in her life. She tends to wear her clothes out before replacing them. She was an eager participant in my clothing swap last year! Terri knows what she likes but was willing to try anything on I suggested which made it easy shopping! Here are some shots from the floor:
Now for the fitting room shots!
And for the formal wear options:
AND THE WINNER IS….
While browsing, Terri and I discussed thrifting formal wear versus doing something like Rent the Runway which is a formal wear rental service. Though Rent the Runway is better than buying new, it is still way pricier than thrifting a gown. The advantage is that you’re not left with a formal gown that you’ll never wear again BUT to that I say, spend a fraction of the price and thrift then donate it again if you don’t want to keep it around. As for Terri, she will take this gorgeous gown with her on her upcoming cruise vacation for the formal dinners! WIN WIN!
Terri plans to have the dress professional cleaned and pressed as per the tag recommendation. I would probably cheap out and wash it at home then iron it myself. It is 100% polyester so I know it is washable despite what the tag says and I’m a confident presser but if you’re not, leave your precious gown in the hands of experts! All total, Terri scored 12 pieces for $74 which works out to a cost per item of $6.17including her formal gown! Do you feel that thrifting spark when you read that?!!!
So there you have it! If you have a formal event coming up – a party, wedding or even homecoming or prom, consider secondhand shopping to thrift your formal dress. It makes so much sense and you’ll look just as fab as those who spent five times more! Have you ever thrifted formal wear? I’d love to hear about it!
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