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Rentals Options Can Make Prom Affordable

Senior+Antonio+Moreno%2C+pictured+next+to+girlfriend+and+junior+Gabby+Valunas%2C+rented+his+tuxedo+from+Carltons+in+Rehoboth.+He+enjoyed+the+experience+and+says+he+will+be+renting+from+them+again.+
Senior Antonio Moreno, pictured next to girlfriend and junior Gabby Valunas, rented his tuxedo from Carltons in Rehoboth. He enjoyed the experience and says he will be renting from them again.

Senior Antonio Moreno, pictured next to girlfriend and junior Gabby Valunas, rented his tuxedo from Carltons in Rehoboth. He enjoyed the experience and says he will be renting from them again.

Photo Credit: Submitted by Antonio Moreno

Photo Credit: Submitted by Antonio Moreno

Senior Antonio Moreno, pictured next to girlfriend and junior Gabby Valunas, rented his tuxedo from Carltons in Rehoboth. He enjoyed the experience and says he will be renting from them again.

Hannah Lowe, Editor-in-Chief

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There’s no doubt that prom can be an expensive affair. Between finding an outfit, preparing for the dance, and going out to dinner, families can end up shelling out several hundred dollars from start to finish. For some, that’s fine; prom is a major event in the high school experience and worth the money. For others, spending so much on one evening is simply unrealistic — or impossible. Luckily, one of the biggest expenses of prom — finding a dress or suit — can be cut back thanks to the formalwear rental industry.

Purchasing a formal outfit is undoubtedly expensive. A typical prom dress costs between $100 to $500 dollars, with the average number sitting around $400 (according to The Week). Similarly, the cost to buy a tuxedo is around $500 (My Tuxedo Catalogue). Some dresses and suits can be worn again at future formal events, but some will simply gather dust in the attic after prom ends. For that reason, there are hundreds of rental businesses both locally and nationwide that specialize in making formalwear affordable.

On a local scale, the Lewes-Rehoboth area offers a variety of tuxedo and dress rental stores, including Brides 2 Be, Peebles, and Carltons. My Sister’s Closet in Seaford offers gently used dresses for $25, with $10 given back to the buyer if they return their dress after the dance. Online sites for tuxedo rental include The Black Tux, Generation Tux, Simple Tux, and Menguin (for a comprehensive rundown of tuxedo rental sites, see here), and popular dress rental sites include Rent the Runway, Wear Today Gone Tomorrow, and Lending Luxury. (A similar rundown of dress rental sites can be found here)

Senior Phoebe Callard rented a prom dress two years ago through Rent the Runway. Her experience was excellent, and she recommends it to her peers looking for an affordable option. “I liked the company,” Callard said, “and it was a really nice dress, high quality, and I only paid $100. I knew I’d never wear it again, so that was a reasonable price, and I felt beautiful for the evening.”

Similarly, Senior Antonio Moreno rented a tuxedo from Carltons in Rehoboth for last year’s prom. “It was easy — the tuxedo was expensive, but what they provided was in great shape and very comfortable!” He said. He continued, “I will be renting from Carltons again for this year’s prom as well.”

On the other hand, Senior Juan Marquez hasn’t rented formalwear before and doesn’t plan on it, having found a more economic option. “Tuxedos are very cheap on ASOS.com and they have a ton of options for guys — especially boys with smaller frames,” he explained. In some cases, buying a suit from sites such as ASOS can be cheaper than renting one.

While prom can be a very expensive event, spending tons of cash getting ready for the big evening isn’t necessary. Whether rented, bought secondhand, or purchased online, there are plenty of high-quality formalwear options for prom-goers on a budget.

Senior Phoebe Callard, pictured as a sophomore with then-senior Ahkeem Waples, rented her dress from Rent the Runway.

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Rentals Options Can Make Prom Affordable