How to get a prom dress for less
Prom may be the best night ever for high school students, but for their parents, it promises to be one of the most expensive nights ever.
In recent years, the cost of prom has been increasing more than 30 percent each year, according to some estimates. A Visa study found prom costs for 2013 averaging $1,203 per person in the South Atlantic region. If the trend continues, this year prom expenses could run just over $1,500.
A big part of that expense is the dress. In the metro area, girls began shopping for dresses in December. Depending on the style, prom dresses can cost several hundred dollars. For many girls and their parents, it is a splurge they don’t mind making, but as Melissa Baxter, owner of Back By Popular Demand/Forever Young consignment stores, points out, few things lose value faster than a prom dress.
“If you bring me a dress you paid $900 for, I am going to sell it for $350 at the most, which means you get half of that,” Baxter says.
Baxter’s prom business grew so quickly, she began buying dresses wholesale to supplement her consignment inventory. With thousands of dresses priced from $49 to $299, the store has become such a resource, Baxter had to institute a five-dress rule — on any given visit, a girl (and her entourage) can select only five dresses to try on. The rule, she says, is to make sure the girl is focusing on what she really wants, not what everyone else wants her to wear.
Brides aim for blogworthy gowns
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something askew. That's today's twist on bridal style.
"Mismatched elegance is the name of the game," said Abby Larson, editor and founder of the bridal site StyleMePretty.com. "(Think) bridesmaids in a variety of hues or cuts; a rich layered look where different but cohesive centerpieces grace tables; food is innovative; details are unique and handcrafted; and the entire wedding really feels like an extension of the personality of the couple."
That desire for texture translates to bridal attire, Larson said.
"Simple silhouettes are updated with stunning fabric work, layers of soft, lightweight fabric and an underlying flirty vibe," she said. "Bridesmaids are often given much more liberty to dress themselves, with either a designer, a color palette or a style in hand. Grooms are all about the classic but modern touch — sleek and styled tuxes, gorgeous tailored black suits and a general nod to tradition, though styled to the 'right now.'"
Local woman's dresses featured in show
Mrs. Deal has had a bridal collection each year since 2011. Her gowns are sold through magazines, wedding blogs, her website— www.whitneydeal.com —and stores in Newport, R.I., Cooksville, Tenn. and Pittsburgh, Penn.
She makes the gowns in Wilkes and ships them to customers.
Mrs. Deal is a 2003 graduate of Wilkes Central High School and a 2007 graduate of N.C. State University. She is also a 2011 graduate of Parsons New School of Design in New York City. She is married to Dustin Deal and they have a one and half year old daughter, Glory Maeve. Mrs. Deal is the daughter of Gloria and David Mastin of Wilkesboro.
(The article below originally ran in the Spring 2014 issue of Charleston Weddings (www.CharlestonWeddingsMag.com).
Whitney Deal, who lives in rural Wilkesboro, first came onto our radar a few years ago as a finalist in our Emerging Bridal Designer Competition.
Back then, she caught our eye with her delicate bridal and bridesmaids gowns that harken back to garden weddings from the earlier part of the 20th Century, yet still seem to manage to seem as fresh and clean as a new day.