Prom and semi-formal events are coming up soon at Bedford High School.
Last year, BHS teacher Sandra Arena organized “Prom Dress Pop-Up” events for students. Students can try on and choose from 200 pieces including dresses, suits, and accessories displayed and ready to be borrowed on racks in the High School locker room. The efforts are continuing into this year.
The “Prom-Dress Pop-Up” events use donations from the community to provide formalwear options to students at no cost. Students are able to borrow semi-formal and formal attire from the collection, which includes clean long and short dresses, suits, and accessories of all different fashion styles and sizes.
During the pop-up events currently scheduled during the school’s Flex Block, students can casually try on clothes with friends and sign out the items they choose. All students are welcome and invited to attend and find a wardrobe option for upcoming school events. Part of the idea for the program is for kids to feel welcome and comfortable at formal events and aren’t left out due to a lack of finances, support, planning, transportation, or fashion experience.
The other premise of the program is environmental. “These events offer a more sustainable option for kids by sending less to landfills while also reducing the need for production of raw materials,” Heather Thacore, a parent organizer, said.
Because the program is based on reusing items, the Prom Dress Pop-up is looking for additional donations from the Bedford community of formal ware, both long and short, that are sitting in closets at home not being used; as well as formal accessories like shoes, purses, jewelry, neckties and shawls. They are also looking for formal suits, ties, and tuxedo donations. Any financial contributions the program receives is used for repairs, alterations, dry cleaning, purchasing clothing racks, and refreshments at the event. Clothing donations should be in good condition, attire should be dry cleaned prior to drop off, and all donations can be dropped off to the vestibule outside the Bedford High School office.
Last year the Bedford High School Parents Association (BHSPA) purchased dress racks to be used for the events. BHSPA co-president Susan DiGangi said, “The BHSPA is excited to partner with Sandy Arena once again this year for the Prom Pop Up events. The events promotes sustainability, helps those in need as well as those looking for a less commercial experience when looking for semi/formal attire.”