By Katie Walstrom
Every day junior Samantha “Sam” Volpe comes home from school and goes straight to work on her latest project: her Homecoming dress. Volpe said she has made her own Homecoming dress since freshman year. She’s taken sewing classes all through high school, but she said her love of fashion started long before then.
“I got serious about making my own clothes in middle school,” Volpe said.
With today’s economic downturn, more and more students are looking for new ways to save money. This means spending less on luxurious items such as expensive Homecoming dresses. Little did Volpe know that her talent would also save her money in a creative and fun way.
Volpe said her favorite fashion magazine is Teen Vogue and the clothes she makes are often inspired by Lauren Conrad, her favorite designer. The Homecoming dresses aren’t Volpe’s only projects.
During her freshman year in mid-October, Volpe created her own tote bag by sewing together World Trade Market plastic bags. Volpe said it’s her way of “efficient recycling that just happens to have style.”
Students not only have to cut back on dress shopping, but other Homecoming expenses as well. In the past, students have gone to the extremes of getting their hair and nails done professionally, renting a limo and going to expensive restaurants before the dance.
“I think the money people spend is unnecessary and over the top,” Volpe said. “You can have fun without going all out with limos and manicures. Save your money and do your own hair and nails.”
Not only do students have to limit their spending, but the school does as well. Homecoming can become pricey. House co-sponsor Sarah Wolff said House is responsible for most of the work that goes into school dances such as Homecoming and Winter Formal.
To save money, Wolff said House began to do little things like making the signs for the convertibles themselves. In addition for the dance itself, WHJE provides the music while the 300 students in House provide food and drinks. “Both efforts help to cut costs,” Wolff said.
“Money comes from the student government budget and we have enough,” Wolff said. “We don’t have a lot of expenses made.”
Along with House, the Senate also helps prepare for Homecoming. Senate sponsor Michelle Foutz said, “About $600 is spent on Homecoming, including the spirit games during the Homecoming week. It used to be probably double that.”
Like Wolff, Foutz said she believes the school is all right as far as money. “A decrease in students attending Homecoming is definitely a possibility, as well as prom,” Foutz said. ”But students can cut costs by spending less at dinner or finding an inexpensive dress.”
As for Volpe, she said that her hand-made dresses have an added benefit besides just the savings.
Volpe said, “It’s easy on your wallet, and you get more satisfaction.”