By Ellie Seta
When junior Emily Patterson first tried on her “purpley blue” full-length prom dress, she knew it was the one. While some high school girls opt for buying expensive prom dresses from department stores and specialty boutiques, Patterson took a very different route. After scouring Indianapolis and Carmel stores for several weeks in order to find the perfect prom dress, Patterson decided, after a suggestion from her mom, to try a local consignment store, InVogue located on Rangeline Road and 116th Street. Patterson ended up finding her dream dress for $30. Patterson said the price of her dress was also a definite perk.
According to an article by Go Green Travel Green, an organization devoted to green living for the eco-conscious traveler, thrift store shopping is often very misunderstood. Besides the low prices, Go Green Travel Green points out that the items found at thrift and consignment stores are one-of-a-kind and most likely cannot be found anywhere else. In addition to this, they said that products bought at thrift stores are also eco-friendly. The Web site points out that the most common misconception about thrift stores is that items bought at thrift stores are of poor quality.
“Dresses and prom itself is so expensive, and you can get something just as good at a consignment store for half the price,” said Vanessa Kobek an employee at the InVogue consignment store. She said shopping at thrift stores also gives you the opportunities to hone shopping skills. She said at InVogue, formal prom dresses cost anywhere between $10 and $100.
While Patterson said InVogue did not have a huge selection of dresses, she was very pleased with the dress she found. She said her friends all liked the idea, despite not buying their dresses at a thrift store. She said she has shopped at thrift stores before, but is not always successful. “It just depends on what I find,” Patterson said.
Kobek said a particularly unique feature available at InVogue is that buyers are given the opportunity to sell their purchases back to the store. She said that customers even have the opportunity to make a profit by selling gently used clothing and accessories to the store.
Kobek said what sets InVogue apart from similar consignment and thrift stores is that InVogue specializes in designer products for prices much cheaper than the original. In addition to this, Kobek said they also have their share of unique vintage items that cannot be found at a normal store. She also said it is reassuring to know that no one else will have the same dress.
However, Go Green Travel Green warns that in order to have a successful shopping trip at a thrift or consignment store, a shopper must be patient and not be afraid to barter. They said the best times to shop are at the end of a season or during a stocking day.
Patterson said she is happy with the dress she ended up finding even though it took a while to find, but she said the price was the best bonus. She said, “I am always looking for good deals.”