What to Know
- The Prom Shop at Fair Oaks Mall offers free prom dresses for high school students in the area.
- The concept started in a business and marketing class that Centreville High School teacher Miranda Schick teaches.
- Students just have to bring a student ID or school document with their name and photo ID and check in at the desk in the front of the shop.
In many ways, The Prom Shop at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia, resembles its competitors. Dresses different in color and design line the room, with a size sign sitting at the front of every rack. But when the high school students select the dress they want to wear to the big dance, the price tag is missing.
Now in its 12th year, the shop doesn’t charge for any of its merchandise. Starting Friday, students will be able to pick from the range of donated new and lightly worn dresses without having to worry about the cost.
The concept started in a business and marketing class that Centreville High School teacher Miranda Schick teaches.
“Community service can be fun and rewarding,” she said. “The girls have a blast going through all the dresses and setting up the shop. It was a good way to tie in community service and what we’re learning in the class to create a fun experience.”
The dresses are available to all high school students in the region. Students just have to take a student ID or school document with their name and photo ID and check in at the desk at the front of the shop.
Teacher volunteers help run the shop, which is set to be open for three weekends leading up to prom.
"There's no intimidation that should happen, because you won't know anyone there at the time and nobody will know that you came,” Centreville High School junior Joanna Manoleras said, “You should just go and enjoy yourself and have fun."
When it comes to prom preparations, students often pay for transportation, dinner and having their hair and makeup done. So they appreciate The Prom Shop, which makes things a little cheaper.
“Girls, we want our hair, our nails and sometimes our makeup done,” Centreville High senior Madi Van Derlip said. “And of course the dress. That’s probably the biggest slice of your budget that you’re going to have to deal with."