Homecoming shopping from a hypocrite


Rent the Runway

These are five dresses from Rent the Runway that I would much prefer to see for school dances, as compared to plain ones.

I want to preface this by saying that I am a hypocrite. 

I buy my dresses for school dances at Von Maur and Macy’s, and I always attempt to find one at Windsor. My dresses are often plain colors. Every dress I wear could easily be worn by any other person who has access to Woodland Mall. And yet, here I am, vying for more unique dresses.

I understand that unique dresses take a lot of work to come by. They likely need to be thought-out months in advance. I know that I only start to think about dresses for dances maybe a month prior. 

While the prices may seem reasonable to some, I can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a dress for one night of many high school dances. 

Another obstacle is the cost. A one-of-a-kind dress, or basically any dress that can’t be found at a typical Homecoming dress store, tends to be expensive. While the prices may seem reasonable to some, I can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a dress for one night of many high school dances. 

So with these things in mind, here are my thoughts on how to get less basic dresses.

My first idea is by renting, specifically from Rent the Runway, but I’m sure there are other renting services. Rent the Runway is a company that allows people to rent designer clothing. It also has a section on the website where they sell designer clothing, that has previously been available to rent, for a discounted price. 

My best advice for finding a dance-worthy dress on Rent the Runway is to dig deep. Don’t only look in the cocktail section. Devote a chunk of time to searching through several sections. A dress marked as casual may just be your dream dress. Honestly, I am not a fan of many of the short dresses in the cocktail section. To me, they look like they were made for an older crowd. But I often find more luck by selecting to see all mini dresses—casual included. 

Moving on to the next practical way to find a unique dress, I present thredUP. I am a huge thredUP fan, for more than just dresses. As an online thrift store, thredUP is packed with amazing finds. thredUP is harder for me to navigate than Rent the Runway when searching for dresses, but the prices are lower and the dresses are for sale, not for rent. Because it’s harder to navigate, thredUP takes a larger chunk of time than searching on Rent the Runway. My best advice for those considering thredUP for their next dance dress is to start the search months prior. New clothes are added every day and can go quickly, so it’s important to look often.

Now that I’ve given some places to find a dress, let’s go into what I’m looking for in them.

A “loofah” dress (Pinterest)

Patterns—need I say more? Many dresses at Macy’s, JCPenny, Windsor, or Von Maur, are patternless. While I am a fan of some of these dresses, they can be boring. Add in some extra colors or just more shades of one color. 

Also, new silhouettes. I was a big fan of seeing several tulle dresses this year. The ones that flare out at the top and bottom and somewhat look like a loofah. I love the loofah look. I also liked the more babydoll-style dresses rather than ones that taper in at the waist, or the ever-so-common bodycon dress.

When preparing for FHC’s Winterfest, or whatever dance you attend next, please try to think outside the box.