Formal wear seems to be something most people can’t go without. Whether it be a military spouse searching for ball attire, a teenager looking for the perfect prom dress, brides-to-be on the hunt for the one, or even someone just looking for something spiffy for job interviews, the office, or church on Sunday, thrifting for formal wear will save you tons of money with no loss in quality!
Formal dresses on a thrift store rack are typically ones that have only been worn once or twice. You can find brand new, brand name dresses for less than $50! In most cases, that can be up to 90% off retail price. Look for dresses with imperceptible damage that can easily be repaired like snags at the hemline or missing closures—even a broken zipper can easily be replaced at home if your local seamstress is too busy.
PRO TIP: Consider removing the zipper and installing a lace up back to get the most wear out of your dress! This is stylish and lets you continue to wear your dress even if you lose or gain a few pounds.
Just like dresses, suits can be found in thrift stores for amazing prices and in great quality. Likely to have been worn a few more times than a formal dress, these are made from high quality and durable fabrics more often than not. Again, look for imperceptible damages that can easily be fixed like missing buttons or snags. Find the perfect suit that just doesn’t fit right? Suit jackets and pants are easily tailored in length and girth as the seams generally have a generous allowance to be let out, and taking them in is even easier.
Bridal gowns are typically some of the best thrifts out there. These are pretty much guaranteed to be brand new and only worn once. Look out for the usual snags and missing closures, but also stains because white at a party is basically asking for a stain or two. If you see stains, don’t fret! The dress can be saved numerous ways (YouTube will be your best friend here). If you don’t feel like you can get the stain out, consider dying the dress as a fun DIY project to give new life to it.
PRO TIP: Consider deconstructing the wedding dresses you find for fabric for other projects. Already found your perfect dress? A thrifted dress could be deconstructed to make unique fabric accents in your decor, a matching lingerie set for the day of, or even soft headbands for your flower girls!
Sierra currently serves as the Publicity Chairman on the Fort Drum Thrift Shop's Board of Directors. She is a member of our Fort Drum community and an avid thrift shopper herself!
First Saturday of Each Month: 9:30am-2:00pm
The Fort Drum Thrift Shop follows the Carthage school closing schedules, as well as Fort Drums delays. If either school is delayed or closed, the Thrift Shop will also be delayed or closed, as well. Please check our website and/or Facebook page for announcements of the Thrift Shop holiday and block leave closures. Check these sites also for weather delays and closures.
Disclaimer: The Fort Drum Thrift Shop is a 501(c)3 Non Profit, Private Organization. This site is for the purpose of distributing information and events to the Fort Drum community.
The Fort Drum Thrift Shop nor does this site represent the United States Army, Fort Drum or their views.