Always a fan of reusing / redistributing clothes, I was delighted to read about Project Bridesmaids. Sponsored by Modern Bride Magazine and in conjunction with Project Hope, women were encouraged to donate their lightly worn bridesmaid dresses (jokes of the unwearability of these single serving dresses need not exist!) and formal gowns. Several hundred dresses were collected this year, which were displayed in NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom on March 7 (in addition to a few other U.S. cities), available for redistribution to Harlem girls for their prom nights.

Nikkita McPherson found the ideal dress

Growing up in the astoundingly liberal Cambridge, MA public school system, my own prom was less of a life altering, date stressing fin de siecle and more of an amusing anomaly as a  school-sponsored party in a hotel — an opportunity to hang out with friends in a different location, really. But as someone who likes to dress up, I certainly appreciated the opportunity to flounce around in fancy gear, and I wish every high schooler who wants to participate in prom to be able to prance in something that elevates his/her self esteem, regardless of limited capital. Prom should be an opportunity for teenagers to play a little exploratory dress-up (an important game, I think), donning clothes they imagine adults wear on nights on the town — even if adults who wear prom-like dresses are probably only found in soap operas.

The website helps you find other similar initiatives locally that I encourage you  and your friends to donate your own gowns to.

Related article:

So Long, Bridesmaid; Hello, Prom Queen,” NYTimes March 7, 2009