Tough enough to find the perfect prom dress, but how about one that looks stylish, without costing $400? Mothers of teens have been asking for suggestions of places to shop beyond department stores and prom shops like Glitz at Mall of America. I've been trying to steer them to special occasion consignment, vintage and some lower priced alternatives like Sears and JCPenney - both of which might surprise (in a good way). Local mom Chris emailed me for ideas, and then followed up with the results of her two-day prom shopping marathon with her picky daughter and friend. She's got some great observations:
"We did all the vintage shops out 50th and France way, they really didn't any formal wear that would appeal to teenagers but we definitely plan on doing that shopping trip again in a few weeks just for fun when we are not on a mission, the stores were great! Brides of France had a small selection, but in the $400 range.
"My Sister's Closet on Grand had a small selection of dresses that appealed to us and the staff was very helpful. It was worth the trip. Macy's at Rosedale had a great selection - the girls each found a few that made the final list there. And the prices were $120 - $180 so right in the price range for prom. JCPenney has a nice selection too and every dress is 50% off right now - we actually put dresses on hold there.
"Both the girls found the perfect dresses at Cache at Rosedale. (I would have never thought to go in there). The staff and even a few customers were having fun with the girls helping them shop. The dresses were right around $200, the jewelry the sales ladies were trying to accessories the girls with was a bit on the expensive end ($60 bracelets and $40 earrings). A suggestion for shoes is Charlotte Russe. "Both the girls got their shoes there and the store had a special, second pair for $10 so we got two pairs of shoes for $32.00 - can't beat that!
"We're done until next year! Again, thank you for your suggestions and your web site. We are planning some more vintage and consignment shopping trips because we didn't get through the list and we have some new stores on our radar. The girls were amazed that they could get those favorite Abercrombie and/or other name jeans for a mere fraction of the price in these stores so I think they're hooked on the idea. We did score on jeans and some other items at Nu Look. Strongly recommend that store for the teenagers, three pairs of designer jeans and two t-shirts for $50."