Affordable alternatives to costly dance attire


Evanthia Stirou

Historically, clothing for school dances have been outrageously expensive. Read below for affordable options.

Aiden Kovich, Staff Writer

No doubt about it, attending a school dance can be very expensive. Besides the cost of the ticket(s), which can sometimes reach close to a fat 100 Washington’s, dance attendees must also purchase proper threads for the event. 

Despite this, all students going to the dance can cut costs and stress from their thread search by shopping at unlikely alternatives to the mall. 

Several students have already adopted this tactic. Just ask senior Jordan Trost, who is known for her snazzy outfits.

Aiden Kovich
Thrift stores like Goodwill are a cheap alternative for finding school dance clothes on a budget.

Trost states “I enjoy shopping at Goodwill because there is a huge variety of clothing styles, all at affordable prices.”

Appropriate clothing for dance extravaganzas, such as formal to semi-formal dresses for gals and suits for guys, can often amount to a hefty cost of $200-$300. 

These costs aren’t necessarily a reason not to attend homecoming, but they can be a significant deterrent.

So, if you want to avoid some of those excessive costs, you can turn to a variety of different sources besides just shopping at The UTC. What I’ve found to be the best alternative is the good old thrift store, specifically Goodwill.

In preparation for the Homecoming, Prom, or Winter Formal, boys usually need to purchase some form of a suit jacket, dress pants, dress shoes, and maybe even a tie. Also, if the guy’s lucky enough to bring a girl to the dance, he’s gotta be a gentleman and pay for the cost of her ticket; and he’d better take her to dinner before the dance too. 

Aiden Kovich
Here we can see a suit jacket priced at $6.99, significantly less than a brand new option

To get inside the head of a frustrated boy neck-deep in school dance prep, we decided to question an anonymous source who I felt best represented the frustrations of many others. 

His troubles are made apparent to us in the following statement: “I needed a new tie, which was $30 plus shipping, and the sign I bought to ask my date was $45. Plus I spent $60 for two tickets. My corsage was around 30 dollars, and I still have to save money for the cost of dinner that night!” 

Girls on the other hand, arguably have it even worse than boys. Besides purchasing an expensive dress or gown, it’s common for girls to go out and get their hair, make-up, and nails done before they hit the dance floor; thus amounting to a much higher cost than the boys. 

Aiden Kovich
Here we can see a dress priced at $6.99, also significantly less than normal retail price.

This concern with looking good for the dance can turn into a competition between girls. This means that if a girl attends the dance without a date, or wears a dress her peers think is ugly, she can be subject to ridicule that can be difficult to deal with. Nobody deserves to be laughed at, especially at a small high school like Saint Stephen’s.

To mend these issues, both boys and girls can expand their horizons, and shop at thrift stores for some surprisingly sick formal attire.  I’m not kidding when I say there are some quality gems to be found at thrift stores. At every Goodwill, I’ve been to I’ve come across numerous Polo dress shirts, nice khaki pants, and even nice dress shoes. 

Thrift shops contain a huge selection of clothing sold at less than half of their original price. Plus, the large selection offers a shopper a larger variety of clothing styles, which then means there’s a greater chance a shopper might find something they enjoy.

Now that you have this in mind, get out to your nearest thrift store and get searching through those racks. I know you won’t be disappointed.