Lexie Ast is fighting the stigma of choosing pre-loved clothes one dress at a time.
Ast, the new organizer of Project Prom is connecting Revelstoke Secondary students with their prom outfits.
“It’s a big expense,” says Ast. “That’s what I’m trying to help these kids with.
“You can look just as good on a budget.”
A new prom dress can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
“It’s kind of like a wedding dress,” says Ast. “There’s no limit.”
Ast inherited Project Prom in the summertime. Along with the organizer title, she received more than 150 dresses – many with their tags still on, others worn just once in a variety of styles and sizes.
Project Prom helps connect girls with outfits to wear to the formal event of the year.
Ast has been spreading awareness of Project Prom using word of mouth and social media.
Her memes are clever, poking fun at the world of prom and online orders.
“Forces parents to buy a $600 prom dress. Wears it once,” says one from November. “Prom dresses. Prom dresses everywhere,” says another from January. She also pokes fun at online ordering disasters.
#projectpromrevelstoke has a collection of over 100 dresses. Yes, yes, prom dresses everywhere 😋
On Feb. 17, Ast will be holding the first private dress selection event. Interested students are encouraged to sign up with the school counsellor.
She says quite a few girls have signed up already, but there’s still room. She’s also planning to hold another open house session later on for those who are more last-minute planners.
Project Prom respects the privacy of those who use their service.
“Nobody knows you’re shopping at project prom,” says Ast. “You don’t have to tell anybody.”
The day of the dress selection will be long for Ast. She’ll drag the storage bins holding the dresses out of her basement to the room where the fitting will be hosted. There, the dresses will be laid out and hung. There will be tables with shoes, handbags and jewellery. A dressing room. The whole set-up will look a bit like a boutique. The Revelstoke Project Prom Boutique.
“It’s a fun occasion,” she says. “It’s going to be a very long day.”
Once a girl has chosen their dress, it’s theirs to keep if they want.
“They’re not rented. They’re not borrowed,” says Ast.
It’ll be a long day, but worth the effort.
Says Ast, “It’s all worth it if somebody finds the dress of their dreams.”