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Thrifty prom shopping can save teens money and earn prizes

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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It’s high school prom season, when teens spend a fortune for overpriced formalwear, but not if a local family has their way. Wendy and Lane Steinmetz, of Loomis, are owners, along with Wendy’s brother Jeff Norquist, of Granite Bay, of Thrift Town, a chain of thrift stores first opened by Wendy’s parents in 1972. Thrift Town has locations in Sacramento and benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento. The company wants to reward teens for being environmentally friendly, economical and fashionable with a Best Dressed at the Prom contest for those who wear borrowed or thrift store attire to their school’s formal dance, or donate formal attire to a charity. “The prom contest provides a wonderful opportunity to promote thrift to the younger generation, especially when so many of them are into being thrifty, unique and green,” Wendy Steinmetz said. According to prom-night.com, the prom experience can cost teen couples upwards of $1,000. While many costs can’t be avoided, new gown purchases and tuxedo rentals can. Thrift stores offer gently used tuxes and suits, along with gowns, most of which were worn only once and have designer labels. At Thrift Town, gown prices range from $4.99 to $49.99, said Steinmetz. Shoes, handbags, jewelry and other accessories can also be purchased at thrift stores for pennies on the dollar. “Going green to the prom also has the added benefit of never having to worry about showing up in the same dress as your classmate,” Steinmetz said. Del Oro High School held it’s junior prom in March and Senior Ball is slated for May 5. Steinmetz said anyone who wore secondhand attire to the Junior Prom could still enter the contest. She said a photo of the attire must be submitted and entries will be judged 40 percent on the story description provided by the entrant, 30 percent on the items actually being worn or donated to charity, and 30 percent on the outfit creativity and originality. She said last year’s first place winner, with her mom’s help, remade a thrift store dress into the dress of her dreams. “Thrift is definitely popular these days. People have become very responsible consumers who embrace the recycling aspect of thrift, and with tighter budgets the value of thrift is appreciated more now than ever,” Steinmetz said. Contest entries will be accepted through June 30, prizes include a new iPad 2, Kindle Fire, iPod Touch and $100 thrift store gift cards. For rules and entry information, go to thrifttown.com. Best dressed at the prom contest What: Contest promoting high fashion, low cost “thrifted” dance attire How: Wear thrift store or borrowed secondhand dresses, suits or tuxes, or donate them Who: Sponsored by Thrift Town, owned by Loomis and Granite Bay families When: Enter by June 30 Information: thriftown.com