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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
Story and photos BY CHARIS LEE | Hillsborough High
Bright lights, deafening music, sore feet and nervous dates, boys and girls. High school homecoming is the bomb, sometimes, and often fills your mental shelf with some of the most unforgettable, if not the best, moments in high school. • If you’re like most, you want to feel confident and worthy of Vogue’s best dressed list on the big night, but without dropping a bomb on your wallet. Teenagers start becoming money conscious when they realize there are those big ticket items, like first car and its insurance and gas, or college tuition. • Investing in the dress of your dreams can give your wallet a recession. • We offer up five great tips to help you look and feel your best at homecoming, while helping your wallet avoid an economic heart attack.
We’re not saying you need to make a dress out of gum wrappers or Duck tape, but sometimes an old-fashioned needle and thread will lead you to a dress that fits you perfectly and tones down the ruffles to your liking. “I just hate seeing an overpriced outfit in the mall, when I know I can make it myself,” says Blake High sophomore Logan Bell. But if you don’t have the time or don’t live near grandma, you can always make changes by dyeing an old dress and changing the length, and adding detail, like clip-on earrings to shoes. This can be a creative outlet for anyone, but note to procrastinators: Make sure to give yourself a week or two.
Remember that the appearance of a dress can be completely altered by the way you “dress it up.” If you wore black shoes last year, try blue this year, add a silver cardigan and maybe a few bangles, and voila! If you use in-style accessories that you already own, you can make an old dress look as if you just raided a Dillard’s rack! Another way to re-accessorize is to even try a new hair or makeup style. This can give your outfit a different statement, say from innocent girl next door to fierce fashion overlord.
Shop out of season
Although AP economics is a major snooze fest, maybe you at least paid attention to your teacher when she told you supply and demand affects the price of a product. Supply and demand is one of the reasons that the dress you want could be $150 closer to homecoming when everyone is scrambling to find a dress, vs. $60 after Christmas when homecomings are history. A great way to buy the dress that you want for a price that doesn’t hurt is to shop off season. This means look for your dress several months in advance, or after the dance has passed when the prices are lower. Also, let the sales rack be a magnet. If you find something you really like “in the window,” you often can find something similar on the markdown aisle.
Play musical dresses
If you really don’t want to re-wear a dress that’s already in your closet, swap with your friend. The key is to find a friend who is similar in size, has a dress that matches your taste and accessories you already own, to further cut costs. Don’t forget shoes are just as swappable as dresses! Not only will this tactic make your wallet smile, but also you and your friends can bond and make an event out of it.
If you’ve never gone to a thrift store before it can sound a little scary, digging for clothes in uncharted territory. But as Bell will assure, Goodwill and the Salvation Army are great because they have a prom/formal section, super low prices, and you’re ultimately giving to a greater cause. If you consider yourself a hipster or you are really into vintage clothing, a thrift store is an even better option than a department store to satisfy your eccentric fashion appetite. “My fashion inspiration definitely comes from my mom, and from ’50s style clothing, so I love thrift stores because it is easy to find old but original pieces.”
Recently, Blake High sophomore Logan Bell , who looked very chic wearing her mom’s old collared shirt with cut off sleeves and rolled up boyfriend style capris, shared the dress she plans to wear for homecoming this year. With an excited look on her face, she ran to her colorful closet and pulled out a perfect, symmetrical ’50s- style little black dress which complemented her blond hair, $6 at Goodwill.
She offered up some more advice for homecoming on the cheap:
What’s your best tip to shopping for a dress at the thrift store?
“Be sure to stick with simple, but not necessarily boring, solid color dresses so you can easily accessorize them.”
So how do you plan on accessorizing this dress?
“This dress is solid black, so it is very easy. To play with the ’50s style of the dress I will add a strand of pearls and maybe a slightly louder knit blazer.”
What’s your favorite DIY practice for homecoming?
“I plan on wearing black flats for maximum comfort and to offset costs, but my mom taught me that back when she was a teenager they would put clip-on earrings on their flats to dress them up. Depending on whether I want to dress up or down, I like to add a little pop on my flats.”