The Fashions of Homecoming

Anna and Gracie’s Fashion Tips and Trends

Photographer: Janette Cobb
Sloan and her father before the event on October 5.

Story by: Anna Adams and Gracie Sist

Homecoming is a tradition for most schools. It is in fact, just as the name suggests. It is coming “home”- back to your school, alma mater, on a particular day for a celebration. At Spring Hill High School, we have a long-standing tradition of having a Homecoming Queen and her court. The Queen and her court are voted on by the student body.  Girls that want to be a part of this legacy, must campaign to be on the count. They persuade their peers to vote for them the week prior to voting. This year, social media was the platform of choice. And, after the votes were counted, 2 Freshman, 3 Sophomores, 2 Juniors and 6 Seniors won a spot as Spring Hill Royalty. The actual “winner”- the Queen- is a secret until the night of the big game. Our Queen, Raygan Barnhill, was presented the title on Friday, October 5 before the game began.

However, the announcement of Queen was not the only thing Panthers were interested in seeing at the game. What would the court be wearing? The minute winners were announced, the shopping frenzy began. The dress is almost as important as the title. Girls all around were anxiously awaiting the fashion trends the court would set. With Prom just around the corner, the styles and flair of the season are getting top billing.

So, what were they wearing on the “blue” carpet? We wanted to know ourselves.

One of our favorites was worn by Allie Sloan. It was a floor-length royal blue dress loaded with jewels on the top half. We asked Allie why she picked this great dress. ” I love the style of this dress; I think it is very unique. But it was expensive.” The price tag for Allie’s dress comes in at just under $450. But, the dress was well worth the money if you ask us. The color was Spring Hill #BetterinBlue and it looked spectacular from the bleachers. The bejeweled bodice shined in the stadium lights making Allie look like royalty.  Kaitlyn Whitsett, on the other hand, shared with us that she would be wearing a crimson red with a train and open back designed by Sherry Hill, Whitsett’s favorite designer. But, this dress is a  high dollar fashion as well- coming in at $500.  We couldn’t wait to see the bold red choice Friday night. However, much to our surprise, Kaitlyn debuted a lovely silver straight fitting gown that was a definite hit with the crowd. Every girl has the right to change her mind! And this was a great choice. The shine and shimmer caught the lights and the attention of the crowd. Change is good. 

But our big fashion question is, how can anyone afford such lavish gowns? Especially to be worn once? SO, we went on a hunt for look-alike fashions that won’t break the bank. Here are some tips from the pros.

1. Save money at the dress shop

There are loads of ways to save money at the mall or in a dress shop, including:

  • Sample dresses. Sample dresses are basically the floor model of dresses, but compared with full-priced gowns, they’re dirt-cheap. Your local dress shop might have a sample dress sale day, but it may also have some samples for sale right then, so ask an employee.
  • Minor imperfections. See if the shop has a selection of sale-priced dresses with minor tears or stains. You can sew them up yourself, and if a stain isn’t too noticeable, you’ll have saved a chunk of cash.
  • Almost-perfect sizes. If you find an inexpensive dress in the wrong size, you may be able to get it tailored and still come out ahead. The dress shop will likely have a tailoring service available but don’t hand over your dress without doing some research first. You’ll want to find a tailor who is both affordable and talented.

2. Shop unusual places

Mall department stores don’t have a monopoly on dress sales. You might save a bundle shopping somewhere else, like:

  • Consignment shops. While they’re a bit more expensive than a standard thrift store, you’ll have more selection and a better quality to choose from and you’ll still save money over the mall.
  • Outlet stores. Check stores like the Dillard’s outlet and discount shops like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls for deals.
  • Bridal shops. They carry more than wedding dresses. Check clearance racks for cheap and cute bridesmaid dresses.

3. Rent

If you’re only going to wear it one night, why not rent it? Renting a dress is much cheaper than buying one outright and you might be able to afford trendier pieces this way. Prom dress rental shops are popping up in several major cities. Bridal and tux rentals in your area might also rent bridesmaid dresses that double as prom dresses.

4. Make your own

If you have patience and a sewing machine, you can make a prom dress for a fraction of the cost of in-store dresses. Plus, you can customize the color and pattern of the dress and make it to the perfect size. We’ve found many inexpensive prom dress patterns:

5. Customize an older dress

If you aren’t confident enough in your sewing skills to make a dress from scratch, you can still save a ton by recycling an older dress. Pick up new fabric, beading, and supplies from a fabric store and then add your own touches to a dress you already own or one from a thrift store, or alter the dress by changing the length or sleeves.

6. Organize a dress swap

If you don’t want to wear an older dress, set up a dress swap with friends. Family friends may have prom dresses they wore once and now have no use for. You can swap your older dress with theirs and save 100 percent of the cost of a new one.

7. Get help when you can’t afford the cost

If you can’t afford a prom dress, you might qualify for a free one. A few charities offer prom dresses to low-income and financially strapped families. Check out: