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Prom Dress Shopping Presents Challenge for Plus Size Teens

Shopping for a prom dress can be the most exciting time in a young teen girls’ life as she prepares herself for the biggest night of her high school career. However, if you are a plus size teen, shopping for prom may not be as simple as one would think, in fact it is presenting much of a challenge for those that are a bit heavier this prom season.

Clothes shopping for plus-size teens can be challenging and arduous in general, but looking for a dream prom dress can be gut-wrenchingly painful with the amount of poor designs and limited options, especially for teens that want a dress that fits the curves of their body instead of a garbage bag that they get lost in.

prom dress

Plus sized teens encounter difficulty finding prom dresses.
Image courtesy of Facebook.

“It’s like people kind of assume that’s what I want and that’s what I like. I’m 18. I really like the way the tight dresses look,” Maria Giorno tells SF Gate, who plays roller derby and hopes to study music education in college.

Consignment stores and organizations that collect donated prom dress for girls in need are also agree that they can’t get enough plus-size gowns. Shop owner Kristen Harris decided to collect them after a teen left her store empty-handed and burst into tears. Harris was tagging clothes at her just-opened Designer Diva Consignment Boutique in Abington, Mass., when a plus-size girl walked in looking for her perfect gown.

“I said, ‘Hey hon, what size are you looking for,’ and she said 22, and that’s when I felt like someone had just kicked me in the stomach, because I knew I didn’t have anything that size,” recalled Harris, who desperately pulled some smaller sizes in stretch fabrics for the girl. Minutes later, the teen was crying in the dressing room.

So Harris started begging social media for plus-size consignment and hunted her young customer down on Facebook, offering a private appointment and a free prom dress from 40 she’d collected.  “She was so sweet,” Harris said. “I just couldn’t get her out of my head.”

Operation Prom, which offers free donated dresses to girls in need in 8 states, has also had to hunt for plus-size dresses.

“We are going crazy trying to get plus-size dresses,” said founder Noel D’Allacco, in Bronxville, N.Y. “We have this problem, unfortunately, every year. A lot of times we get plus-size donations and they’re not appropriate for a 17-year-old. They’re for your grandmother to wear. It’s difficult.”

About Chelsea Alves