What To Do With Old Prom Dresses
Here's where you can donate or consign that worn-once gown, bridesmaid's dress or cocktail dress.
Breathe. Prom season is officially over. And so is your friend’s blockbuster wedding. After shelling out hundreds of dollars for that floor-length gown, bridesmaid’s dress or sequined cocktail number, back into the closet it has gone, where it will stay—perhaps never to be worn again.
But it doesn’t have to end that way. If you’re looking to get a little return on your investment or just want to ditch that empire-waist frock that never was your style or color to begin with, here are some local options for consigning or donating your worn-once dresses. Go ahead…make someone else’s day.
This thrifting emporium on the Pike accepts both donations and consigned clothing. If you’ve signed up to be a consigner ($10 a year), the store’s manager says you can expect a prom dress in good condition to go for around $50. Once it sells, you’ll get 60 percent of the sale price.
4101 Columbia Pike, Arlington
2. New To You
Looking for a place to consign your high-fashion gown that’s still in basically new condition? New To You is forever on the lookout for on-trend, in-demand designers (think Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Tahari), and the Falls Church boutique accepts formal dresses year round. According to the store’s manager, you can expect to score about 1/3 of the dress’s retail value when it sells. It’s best to an appointment online before going in to consign.
108 W. Broad St., Falls Church
This nonprofit is dedicated to providing clean, stylish prom dresses to girls in need. Gently used dresses can be mailed to or dropped off at one of four Virginia chapters and “Becca” will take care of the rest.
If you’re in need of some good karma, consider donating rather than consigning your dress. The Clock Tower Thrift Shop in Falls Church is a strictly donations-only operation, accepting clothing (and other goods) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Though the 2018 prom season has passed, the store’s manager says the shop is still taking prom dresses to expand its collection so that it can make trendy options affordable for low-income families next year. All proceeds from sales benefit the Northern Virginia Family Service.
2860 Annandale Road, Falls Church
Also a donations-only option, this Merrifield operation is known for its expansive selection of in-season clothing, but certain types of apparel are always welcome. “Prom dresses are always in demand—we can’t keep them on the racks,” says a store representative. “Girls come in looking for them year-round because they’re excited about prom, even when it’s six months away. Your donation means a young girl who may not be able to afford a nice dress can find her dream gown for $20.”
2956 Gallows Road, Falls Church
Did you splurge on a couture dress by a big-name designer that no longer fits in all the right places? If so, take it to this upscale consignment boutique (after a trip to the dry cleaners first, please). Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, Current Boutique accepts formal dresses year-round and you’ll receive half the selling price of your dress sells within 90 days. Just keep in mind that its choice of designers is super discerning. Halston, Valentino or Nanette Lepore, yes. Bargain brands, nope.
2601 Wilson Blvd., Arlington