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March 05, 2014

It's All About The Dress


By Kitty Merrill

Movie trivia: in what 1986 John Hughes effort did Iona lovingly hand her prom dress down to her protégé Andie, a girl from the poor side of town? Hint: the dress was pretty, and it was pink.

With the average cost of a prom dress running over $300, nowadays there are plenty of girls in Andie's shoes. The folks at Hampton Bays Library want to help. Hence, their annual dress drive.

Beginning next month, people can bring gently used prom dresses or gowns and accessories – shoes, purses, shawls, and jewelry – to the library on Ponquogue Avenue. Theresa Owens, the library's head of teen services, reported that during last year's dress drive debut, she and her staff were able to display over 200 dresses in all sizes and colors in a pop up "boutique" on site. About 30 girls outfitted themselves for prom, while others snagged dresses and gear for graduation parties

Individuals, local thrift shops, and the upisland shop Estelle's Dressy Dresses donated items. Owens said she decided to begin the drive last year, because Hampton Bays is "sort of a working class community. We heard some girls couldn't afford to go to the prom because of the price of the dresses." Add that to the cost of tickets, accessories, limo, and shoes and the total expense is just too prohibitive.

This year, if donors step up like last year, once again local girls will have a chance at what can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The library's dress drive motto is "Every girl deserves to go to prom in a dress that makes her feel beautiful."

Donors may begin bringing fancy attire to the library on April 7. From April 28 through the end of June the "boutique" will be open for browsing.

Call 631-728-6241 ext. 120 for additional information.

More movie trivia: in the 2000 romantic comedy What Women Want, a previously neglectful dad, played by Mel Gibson, learns something important about getting his daughter prepped for prom. What is it? Hint: see headline.

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

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