What to do with your prom dress or tuxedo if you don’t need it anymore

Even if you love your prom outfit, you might not have a need for it after the big dance. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
  • Choosing your prom outfit can be a milestone moment.
  • After the event, however, you might not have a need for your tuxedo or gown.
  • Thankfully, there are numerous ways to donate or sell your old garment.
  • You can also turn the outfit into something new, or re-wear it at a different formal event.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After four years of high school, many students look forward to the same moment: choosing the outfit they will wear to their senior prom.

Unfortunately, many gowns and tuxedos serve little purpose after the big event. The garments often end up in the back of closets, or tucked away in storage containers. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are actually tons of things you can do with your old outfit that could benefit either yourself or other high-school students.

From donating suits to altering your prom dress, here are some ideas.

There are numerous benefits to donating your old prom outfit

Not all high-school students have the same prom experience. Whereas some people pick out the dress of their dreams and dance the night away, others skip the event because they can’t afford a new outfit. That’s where donation programs come in handy.

Organisations like Becca’s Closet and Project G.L.A.M. accept dress donations, which are then gifted to students in financial need. Operation Prom, on the other hand, accepts both dresses and suits in a variety of states.

But don’t fret if you can’t find a local donation group that will accept your garment. Instead, you could drop off your outfit at a secondhand store like Goodwill or Savers, which will allow someone to later purchase it for an affordable price.

Secondhand stores like Goodwill often have prom dresses in stock. Joni Hanebutt/Shutterstock

That being said, you don’t have to donate your outfit to a stranger. If you personally know someone in need of a formal ensemble, you could either gift it to them, or set up a clothing swap so that you both get something out of it.

You can also sell your outfit if you’re in need of some extra cash

Prom dresses and suits can be expensive, so when it’s time to get rid of yours, it’s understandable that you might want to get some money back.

Of course, you might not be able to get a full refund, but you can make some cash by selling your outfit on an app like Poshmark, Depop, or Mercari. These apps do take a percentage of your sale, but you can still feel good knowing that your outfit is going to someone who needs it.

Depop prom
Prom dresses can be found on Depop in a wide variety of sizes. Depop

If you’re feeling creative, try turning your prom dress or suit into something new

Though it can be rewarding to donate your prom outfit, it can also be equally fulfilling to turn it into something new for yourself. If you know how to sew, for example, consider upcycling your dress into something more casual that you can wear regularly, as YouTuber Bira did in a 2017 video.


You could also use the fabric to make a piece of decor, like throw pillows.

Of course, you don’t have to get rid of your prom outfit if you don’t want to

Garments like prom dresses can be sentimental, and not everyone wants to part with them. If you find that to be the case with your outfit, consider saving it and re-wearing it someday. This is especially easy for people who wore suits to their proms, though there are also occasions when you can re-wear a prom dress.

For example, many prom-style gowns work for events such as weddings and dinner parties. You can also wear your outfit to more casual events by making slight alterations, like hemming the skirt or removing extra bows and sparkles.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what to do with your old prom outfit – that is, if you choose to do anything at all.

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