Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 21, 2014

Prom dress re-sale Saturday, Sunday

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger news editor | Jan 17, 2013
Photo by: JULIE JOHNSTON/Ledger archive photo Nykole Thacker models the dress she designed and sewed from two deconstructed prom dresses during the 2010 Greater Jefferson County Fair. Organizers of the Jefferson County 4-H prom dress re-sale are encouraging each shopper to use her imagination on how to make a dress uniquely hers with accessories and alterations.

The Jefferson County 4-H organization is planning a prom dress re-sale gala from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Activity Building.

The gala is open to anyone, not just 4-H members, to consign and to shop, said Kaye Gilbert, Jefferson County 4-H youth coordinator.

The deadline to consign a dress is at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Jefferson County ISU Extension Office on the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

“Ladies bring in their dresses, and we do the marketing, selling and setting up for a 10 percent commission if the dress sells,” explained Gilbert. “All they have to do is tell us how much they would like to have for the dress. If the dress does not sell, we do not charge. If they do not want the dress back, we will donate it to an organization of their choice, such as Goodwill or the school drama department.”

As of this morning, 73 dresses had been consigned, and Gilbert was expecting more before the 4:30 p.m. Friday deadline.

“We have three girls from the same family bringing in 10 dresses Friday they’ve worn to their proms,” she said. “Another girl is bringing eight dresses that she wore to formal college events out of state. ... I think we’ll have 90 dresses plus.”

Gilbert said the consigned dresses range from size 0 to plus sizes in the 20s in a variety of styles.

“We have short dresses, long dresses, what I call slinky dresses to the Cinderella ball gown type dresses,” she said. “We have retro dresses, and we have dresses that have never been worn.”

Gilbert added several cocktail-style dresses that would be perfect for women going on a cruise or to a formal event also have been consigned.

“An older lady brought in several of those dresses,” said Gilbert. “They’re mostly black in a velour-type material with simple lines. They would be perfect for formal dinners on cruises because they’re fancier than street clothes, but not as fancy as a ball gown. ... She only has $10 on each of them.”

Gilbert said another woman dropping off a dress, browsed through the consigned dresses and came across the retro-style ones from the 1970s and 1980s.

“She said no one would want them, but some girls are into retro,” said Gilbert.

She added if the retro dresses don’t sell, the owner has requested they be given to the school drama department for possible use in future productions.

“We have dresses from Fairfield, Van Buren, Pekin, Washington, Columbus Junction and Mount Pleasant,” Gilbert continued. “We also have dresses that have been worn in areas, such as Des Moines, Quad Cities, Texas and on cruises.”

Plans are for dresses to be organized by sizes. Plans also are for each dress to be labeled with what year and to which prom or event it was worn so anyone concerned about showing up in a “repeat dress” can know the background of the dress, but each shopper also is encouraged to use her imaginations to make a dress uniquely hers with accessories, like jewelry and shoes, and alterations, such as changing the hem line.

In addition to their dresses, sellers also can consign accessories, like shoes, jewlery, shawls, purses and other items.

Gilbert said some sellers are offering their dresses and its accessories as a unit, but she cautioned not everyone who wears the same dress size wears the same shoe size.

She said some sellers are pricing their items as a unit, but also are pricing each item individually in case a buyer is only interested in part of the unit.

Organizers are planning to have a screened off area in the activity building, with sheets on the floor to help keep the dresses clean, where shoppers can try on their choices. Gilbert said helpers will be available to assist girls in and out of dresses.

“We don’t want it to feel like a re-sale,” she said.

Gilbert’s goal for today is to contact area businesses to see if they would like to provide business cards, brochures or other items promoting their services, like tanning, hair styling, tux rental and more for shoppers to pick up at the re-sale event this weekend.

The 10 percent commission for each sale goes to the Jefferson County 4-H organization to help pay for enrollment fees, awards and other program expenses.

Anyone with questions about the prom dress re-sale can contact Gilbert by calling 472-4166 or emailing kayeg@iastate.edu.

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