Monday, March 22, 2010

An Ode to Dresses

More specifically, Prom Dresses.

This month kicked off the season for one of my favorite organizations, The Ruby Room. A most awesome group that provides dresses, shoes, purses and jewelry to girls (and some boys!) that cannot afford the typical prom apparel. Last year, Anna and I worked as Personal Shoppers and helped pair local teens with the dress of their dreams, or as close to the dream dress as we had.

Originally, we found the Ruby Room when we were researching how to donate our prom dresses. Last year we missed the dress drive, but this year we provided about 12 homecoming/prom/bridesmaid dresses for our local lovely ladies. (Who doesn't love alliteration?)

Almost immediately after I made the decision to save up and buy my own gloriously ridiculous prom dress, I regretted the amount of money I spent on it. So much so, that I vowed to never spend that much on a piece of clothing EVER AGAIN (wedding dress included, my friends). I was always happy to lend my dresses when people wanted to borrow them and I even found ways to "re-wear" them. Read: Fake Homecoming and Faux Prom:

I was more than excited to discover that I could pass my dress on to someone who really needed it. But I was surprised the day Anna and I were preparing to drop them off, I felt a teeny tiny twinge of regret. Not enough to deter me, but enough to make me feel nostalgic. So I captured some of my dresses on film before passing them on.

I give you, a Photographic Ode to Dresses:

All together!

My freshman homecoming dress (as seen on Stephanie above).

My beautiful sparkly purple and blue two-piece worn to my Junior Year Homecoming.

And THEE prom dress, the orange beast (yes there was a reason I chose an orange dress): 

After dropping off the dresses, we spent the rest of the afternoon working on getting the boutique ready for our prom-goers as well as sifting through piles of dresses that needed to be sorted. 

Some of those dresses needed some work done to make them wearable. I snagged one to take home for what I thought was minor repair work, a snap needed to be re-sewn. Nothing too extreme right? After completing that task, I was going to throw the dress on to model what an impressively grotesque example of prom finery it was when I realized that the zipper was pulled out. As I said, this dress was a piece of work: beading, lace up, halter, purply-pink, mermaid cut... I knew some girl would loooooove it. So I did what any sane person was and figured out to sew a zipper into a piece of prom couture. It was totally worth it:

Wait... maybe I should get married in this?
You know this is someone's dream dress... can't wait to find that girl!

YAY! Ruby Room!!!!!

Disclaimer: Although as an "older" (and "wiser"?) lady I may not want to bring a frilly, fancy dress into my life, I do not underestimate the significance of prom and THE prom dress in a young women's life. Prom most definitely is rite of passage for many a lady and I am more than happy to pass on my dresses and to help these girls find their dress. 

**Update: if any of the ladies that read this are looking for ways to donate their dresses, check out this network to find dress drives near you! Also, many high school put on dress drives and if you are in the Puget Sound area, just let me know I will hook you up with the Ruby Room.


  1. I think this is such a great idea! And you have such fabulous taste in dresses- I can't wait to see what you wear for your wedding! I also have some old dresses I'd like to donate- did I miss the drive this year? IF so, I bet there are other similar organizations in the Maryland area- now to find the time to go through my closet

  2. It is an awesome project, I love the Ruby Room. I found this network of dress donation programs and here are the ones in your area:

    Creative Kids Inc.
    Location: Baltimore County
    Contact: Jennie Fumarola
    Telephone: 410-628-1207

    St. Anthony’s Bridal and Prom Dress Drive
    Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
    Contact: Susan Jamison

    The Magic Wand Project
    Location: Baltimore
    Contact: Diane Freeland, Kim Moss and Lynne Williams

    The Priceless Gown Project
    Location: Baltimore
    Contact: Becky Davis


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