Thursday, March 15, 2012

After The Prom


The Prom Project was my favorite experience of last year.  In fact, it was one of the best times of my entire life.  I learned so much preparing for the event and then experiencing it.  Apparently, that learning isn't over.

I just learned something new -- the cost of dry cleaning a prom dress!  Categorized as an "evening gown", there's an entirely different price for these items.  A shockingly high one.

It was my plan from the outset to donate the two dresses after my photoshoot.  I was a little disappointed last year when I discovered that the local charity I want to give the dresses to stops accepting donations after prom season and doesn't start accepting them again until March of this year.  Presumably they don't want to store them over the Winter.  Okay, so I calendared my donations for this month.

To prepare the dresses for donation, I recently brought them in for dry cleaning.  They'd only been worn for the photoshoot and didn't really need any cleaning but I wanted to be extra nice.  Up to now, all items I've had dry cleaned (male and female clothes) have been $10 or less.  I was floored to learn that the cost for cleaning an "evening gown" is $35!  Each!

So, it cost me $70 to give away dresses for free.

Of course, I don't regret that.  The idea of two young girls, who can't afford a prom dress, getting to wear these beauties warms my heart.  They are very pretty dresses (size 14) that were worn only once for a few hours of photography.

Did you know how expensive it is to dry clean an "evening gown"?

29 comments:

  1. If you think evening gowns are expensive to dry clean, you should see wedding dresses! EEEEKK!! And that's even without their supposedly ideal "preservation packages" (I worked in a museum - I know their packages aren't necessarily going to help preserve the dress, so I make my own). But it's sweet of you to make sure the dresses are in their best form for whoever gets them!

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  2. Adorable dresses! Any girl would be proud to wear them! It was so sweet of you to donate them. Most people would have consigned and tried to re-coup the funds. I love the blue one with that detailed edge. And the pink is so fun and flirty!

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  3. I think I have dry-cleaned one evening dress in my entire life. Honestly, if I let the dress hang in my bathroom for a few weeks, the steam from the showers kind of cleans it on its own. Or maybe I'm just crazy ... That's a good possibility, too, but it seems to work.

    P.S. I loved that Prom Project of yours. It was one of my favorite posts you have written.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  4. Wow, that's quite a price tag for dry cleaning. But think that it was super sweet of you to donate them. I'm sure two teen girls will be very happy. I love how bright and fun the dresses are - totally something I would have reached for during my high school days!

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  5. Wowee, that's expensive! But you're right, the girls who get those dresses will be so thankful. Sometimes the money doesn't matter, it's the feeling we get from giving.

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  6. Wow! That's a pricey giveaway! I'm so glad you posted these photos again Ally, they're my favourites of you.
    Have a nice day xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  7. This speaks so clearly about your character- money is kinda nothing if it means a positive experience for someone else. You're just so lovely, I can hardly stand it!
    I had to chuckle when I saw the pictures- you look so elegant, but all I could think was the Cinderella "Make it Pink! Make it Blue!" scene.

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    1. I believe that is sleeping beauty, not Cinderella haha

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  8. The Prom Project was absolutely amazing and you looked gorgeous in both dresses. Although the dry cleaning price tag is ridiculous, two young girl are going to be able to take the dresses and wear them immediately ... You will be blessed for being so kind.

    You are a super special human being!!!

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  9. I like the second dress! What a great cause!

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  10. I am guessing this is just in the US - I pay about 7.00 to 10.00 USD for formal dresses.
    Thirty five dollars seems waaaaaaay too much, then again it's nothing as its much more rewarding to have those girls smile.

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  11. Yipes! Yeah, I knew dry cleaning was pretty expensive. I looked into getting my thrifted fur coats professionally cleaned, but they don't stink and were thrifted NWT soooo yeah.

    I love that you are donating your dresses though. I think that's such a generous act off of such a great project. I donated my wedding dress (to my mom's dismay). I kept my tiara.

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  12. lol at your $70 donation
    the thrift store where I used to volunteer had the same policy on accepting donations.
    just no where to store them
    brett

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  13. Ally, I did NOT know it cost that much to clean a formal! I'm gobsmacked! But you will make two lucky young women very happy, and that doesn't have a price, right? :)

    I've been thinking a lot about your prom project, which I loved. I think a lot of adults would go for a "Martini Prom Do-Over" - to make up for hideous dresses picked out by mom (me, junior year), not getting asked (me, senior year), crazy stalker dates (me, junior year), and no open bar at prom. When I take The Teen prom dress shopping, I've promised myself I'm going to try on a few, too, just for the beautiful prom-goer experience :)

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    1. I absolutely love this idea, Lynne. When we're young, we squander opportunities; now that we're more mature (and in control of our lives), doing a prom over again opens the door to all kinds of fun. It'd be a GREAT experience!

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    2. We should totally host it - even if it's just a style blog theme project. Although it won't be the same without a martini bar :P

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  14. I had no idea. I think it's really great of you to go above and beyond the call of duty. I'm sure that some young girl out there is really going to love her new prom dress this year!

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  15. No I had no idea- to be honest I only wore my prom dress at prom so never thought to dryclean it- still at the house I grew up in! What a thoughtful donation- two lovely ladies will be so lucky thanks to your generosity!

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  16. Whoa! I know that there are some things I've gradually learned to dry clean at home--like our down comforters and my down trench. I was shocked to hear these prices, but then it's been nearly 40 years since I wore a prom dress. That blue one is just delicious.

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  17. What a lovely gift to give someone you have never met! That is so sweet. And you look divine in that blue gown!

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  18. You are so sweet! Those girls probably won't be able to afford to clean them themselves so you really helped them out in the long run :)

    I honestly have not worn anything so fancy for long! I gave my dresses to my little cuz who used a Dyell bag. I guess I'll know when I take my wedding dress in :P

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  19. Both dresses look so pretty
    Dry cleaning prom/eveving dress sounds expensive!!

    P.S You look so lovely in the pictures :)

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  20. Ouch. But that was nice of you! I never went to prom and let's face it: northern MN doesn't have much in the line of fancy events where I would need to wear an evening gown, so I had no idea!

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  21. they are so pretty and you got grt legs!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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  22. aww, i remember the prom post from last year! i love these dresses and it's really great that you can give them away for someone else to enjoy! you look gorgeous in both of those. and wow, $70!!! that's kinda crazy. i did dry clean my wedding gown but i don't remember how much it cost!

    http://spinning-threads.blogspot.com

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  23. That price is insane!! That is about how much it costs to dry clean a comforter. Eesh!

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  24. Precisely why I've been putting off having my wedding dress cleaned...ahem, a year-plus later...

    I think it's so great of you to donate them. Especially for a charge of $70. ;) I have to admit, I don't know if I could part with them. I get really sentimentally attached to my clothes. But you do always have the pictures and the memories. Your compassion really sets you apart from the average person. Hell, most people probably wouldn't even bother to have them cleaned first, but that's what makes you so thoughtful. Two girls somewhere out there are gonna be very happy and very beautiful at their proms because of you.

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