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Prom Dress Swap is March 10 at Holmes

Do you have a prom, wedding dance or other social occasion coming up that requires you to be there in formal wear?

These days, buying a formal dress can be an expensive proposition -- costing anywhere from $100 to $300 or more.

To help make finding a dress for that special event more affordable --as well as put a little cash in the pockets of area residents who have a few formal dresses lying in the back of their closets -- the Historic Holmes Theatre is hosting the first-ever Prom Dress Swap on Sunday, March 10, from 4-8 p.m. in the Holmes Ballroom. Shoes, jewelry and other dress accessories will also be offered for sale.

"Everything is gently used, or never worn," says organizer Nikki Caulfield of Skirting the Rules alterations shop (located on the upper level of Norby's Department Store). "The maximum price for any dress will be $40."

A $5 consignment fee will be taken off each dress sale and 10 percent off all shoe and jewelry sales, to cover the cost of the event, she added.

"We will need all the dresses to be clean and in good repair," Caulfield said, noting that organizers reserve the right to reject dresses that are soiled or damaged. All dresses must be cleaned, pressed and on a hanger when presented for sale, she added. (Shoes and accessories must be in similarly good condition.)

To aid shoppers, each seller is asked to include basic information such as when the dress was purchased, what size it is and approximately how many times it has been worn.

All types of formal gowns -- prom, formal dance, bridesmaid or even wedding dresses -- will be accepted, Caulfield said.

"If we have enough dresses, we may even include a bridal section," she added -- and the same price limit would apply.

Caulfield herself will even be on hand to consult with participants on whether a specific dress can be altered to fit the purchaser, and how much the alterations would cost.

"Dresses purchased at the Swap will receive 25 percent off alterations at my shop (Skirting the Rules)," she added.

There is no cost to attend the Prom Dress Swap. All purchases must be made by cash or check; no credit cards will be accepted at the event.

Dresses, shoes and accessories may be dropped off at the Historic Holmes Theatre during the following times: Tuesday through Fri-day, March 4-8 from 4 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 9 between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday, March 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. All dresses must be turned in by 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, for inclusion in the event, Caulfield added.

A complete set of requirements for purchasers and sellers is available online at Caulfield's website,

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454