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Homecoming – Dresses and Khakis


We are experiencing lots of firsts this fall with our continued public school adventure. And over the next two weeks, both Princess and Gymnast will attend their first Homecoming dances. You probably noticed the ?? in my anticipated spending for this week.

Both of them must purchase their own tickets and if Princess does go to the game, she will purchase her own ticket to that as well. But I committed to purchasing their clothes. For Princess that means a “party” dress and for Gymnast it’s just a pair of khaki shorts or pants.

Shopping Fun

This is a first for us. And Princess and I made a night of the shopping excursion. We, along with a friend who stays with us a lot, took the night and headed over to Kohl’s where she had seen a dress online for right at $40 that she liked. Little did we know that they do not carry these types of dresses in store. Ad frankly, I was hesitant to purchase anything online especially not being sure of sizes.

It was disheartening at first, especially when the salesperson insisted that even department stores do not have “party” dress sections anymore. But we decided to tough it out and headed to the mall. Dillard’s for the save!

The girls spent 2 hours trying on dresses. They tried on everything from long, glittery formal gowns to hobo type flower girl dresses. For my tomboy daughter and me who always chooses comfort over style, it was a new experience. And it was a lot of fun! (And hey, I got over 3,000 steps in just exchanging sizes for them.)

Princess trie on dresses

Princess & friend trying on dresses at Dillards. This is not the dress the got.

It was free, it was fun and I took a ton of pictures. And we laughed ALOT. And did I mention that Princess had insisted that she only wanted a dress as she had every intention of wearing her all white Jordan’s (a gift from her dad this summer) as her shoes. Thankfully, we were able to change her mind on that.)

White and Silver Metallic Jordans

The shoes she planned to wear with her dress. Thankfully we talked her out of it.

She ended up getting a dress she LOVES! And a pair of cream colored Converse shoes with big bow shoes laces to go with it. And what’s even better is that everything was on sale!!! The shoes were 50% off and the dress was 45% off. All in all, we spent right at $100.

Re-wear Dresses?

To be honest, I don’t know if she will re-wear the dress. I remember when I was in high school, we did not re-wear our dresses, but we did swap with friends the next year. But if she does happen to go to any Christmas parties, the style and coloring will work.

But she can definitely re-wear the shoes – over and over. And since her feet are done growing, they will be a good addition to her long term footwear.

Boys are Easier

When I asked Gymnast about his plans, he said “I just want to go to Wal-mart and get a pair of khaki shorts or maybe pants. I really want pants.”

My response, “Done! We will go tomorrow.” I don’t anticipate his pants will cost me more than $20 especially since he can still wear boy sizes.

All in all, I am pleased with their choices and plans. And SO GRATEFUL that I had the resources to be able to have these shopping experiences. I/We do not take them for granted for even one second. They both know that every dance will not be like this, but I’m glad their first school dance will be special.

I know Princess must attend at least one more dance this, the Winter Formal and will require a formal gown for it. It is a requirement of her Anchor Society membership.

Parents of daughters, how did you handle the dress needs of your girls as they were going through high school? And what did you do with the dress(es) afterwards? In VA, there were tons of consignment shops…here, not so much.



  • Reply Angela L. |

    The girls are lovely and glad you all had fun shopping for dresses. That’s too bad there aren’t more consignment shops in your area to find these types of dresses. I used to have to wear formal dresses regularly and the department stores would have some excellent sales. Usually after the big teen events in the area (winter formal, prom, etc.). But maybe if you have the opportunity to shop at off times or plan even a couple months ahead, it would help. Is there a Big Brother/Big Sister organization in your area? I’m a Big Sister where I live and they always have a formal event for the Little Sisters every year where they can find gowns for prom. All the gowns are donated and they set it up similar to a shopping event so girls can try dresses and have fun. Some churches may have similar events. There are also some online resources that sell used gowns at lower costs. Rent The Runway does, although fair warning, they carry some very high end designers so even the sale prices can be high. But they do have some at lower price points. And you can search by limiting the max price. Plus, they have excellent fit guides including customer reviews and photos of real people wearing the dresses.

  • Reply Kili |

    Sounds like you had lots of fun.
    Angela gave some great suggestions for getting the next dress for a good price

  • Reply Sarah |

    All of my formal occasion dresses came from the Goodwill. I scoped it out way ahead of time so there was a surprisingly good selection.

So, what do you think ?