Princess Project gives away prom dresses

High school senior Sunderiya Ganbold had a problem.

She didn’t own a dress, any dress, and now she needed not just any dress, but the dress – the one she would remember fondly for the rest of her life.
She needed a prom dress.
As she walked into an otherwise vacant storefront on San Francisco’s Market Street on Sunday, nearly 6,000 formal dresses hung on racks in front of her – dresses in yellow, green, pink, silver, gold, light blue, dark blue and every shade of blue in between.
Rhinestones shimmering, they ranged in size from a very petite double zero to a voluptuous 32.

cheap prom dresses

And every one of them was free.
Every year since 2002, the San Francisco nonprofit Princess Project has been giving away prom dresses to girls from across the Bay Area, with about 15,000 teenagers taking advantage of the giveaways.
This year, organizers and volunteers hope to send nearly 2,000 girls home with the dress.

The organization’s motto is simple: “Making dreams real – with time, talent & taffeta.”
“Every girl wants to look and feel beautiful and confident on her prom night, but a formal prom dress can easily top $200 these days, and some girls can’t afford to participate,” said Katie Zimmerman, president of the Princess Project.
On Saturday, the first Bay Area giveaway day this year, 530 girls got dresses, necklaces, bracelets, tiaras, earrings and purses. They came alone, with mom or in giggling groups from as far away as Sacramento, lining up as early as 4 a.m. to get the first pick off the racks.
The only requirement was to show a valid high school student identification card. Financial need was also required, but that was on the honor system.
“It’s really kind of sad to see how that need has expanded,” said Meredith MacNeill, vice president of the project’s board, referring to the down economy.
Yet something as simple as a ball gown can significantly boost a teen’s self-esteem.
“It brought tears to my eyes when a mom said she hadn’t seen her daughter smile that big in years,” MacNeill said.
These days, a prom can be costly, with single tickets reaching $70 or more. Add hair, nails, makeup and dinner, and the tab can be several hundred dollars. While some of that stuff is optional, every girl needs something to wear.
A pair of 17-year-olds from Vallejo, Deja Lee and her friend Nicole Richardson, were among those who found dresses Sunday. Deja scored within minutes, selecting a sparkly blue short dress.
“I couldn’t take it off,” she said. “It’s kind of unbelievable, like a dream.”
The Princess Project started small nine years ago, when organizers realized some girls had to skip their prom because they couldn’t afford a dress. It has grown since, reaching out to girls in the Bay Area and San Diego, with hundreds of volunteers staffing giveaways and helping collect dresses throughout the year.
Sunderiya – pronounced a bit like Cinderella – heard about this year’s event from a friend.
She doesn’t have a date for Washington High School’s prom in May. Like a lot of teenagers these days, she wanted to attend with a group of friends.
While the date was optional, the dress wasn’t.
She sifted through the racks, picking three to try on: a peachy gown with rhinestones, a black cocktail dress and a taupe Mori Lee taffeta halter dress with a pickup skirt and a black velvet belt.
The latter had never been worn, with tags still hanging from the seam. It fit perfectly.
“I love it,” Sunderiya said, smiling.
Less than an hour after she walked in, she stepped back onto Market Street owning a dress, but not just any dress.
A prom dress.

Evening Entertainment in London That Requires Formal Dress

If you’re looking for an excuse to don your spiffiest garb, London has plenty of venues ready to open its doors to you. On the other hand, for visitors to the capital concerned about appropriate attire, relatively few of the locales require extremely formal dress. Where formal dress is required, expectations range from a smart jacket to black tie. As rules and expectations vary widely from one place to another, check with the specific establishment, whether it’s a theater, a restaurant or a lounge.
Fine Dining

London has no shortage of fine restaurants, many of which require that patrons adhere to a formal dress code. For example, Le Gavroche asks gentlemen to wear a jacket. Petrus requires men to wear collared shirts and prefers they don a jacket. At Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, diners should dress “smart,” ideally with jackets and collared shirts for gentlemen, though ties are not required. No sportswear is allowed. Claridge’s requires a shirt and jacket; ties are optional.

3bcb812d08d3104d09b48ae36df41683
Lounges and Clubs
London’s nightlife is sufficiently varied that you can find a pub or a club catering to any taste. For the sartorially ambitious, some of the city’s finer hotels have swanky lounges where formal dress is the rule. Fine hotels such as The Dorchester, The Ritz and The Savoy each has opulent bars and lounges that serve decadent cocktails and champagne. At the ritzier clubs, the dress code is often unspoken, but dressing the part gives you a better chance of getting in. Annabel’s and Bouji’s are exclusive spots for cocktails and dancing where black tie dress will improve your chances of getting past the doormen.
Theater and Opera

Historically, London’s theater and opera scenes were strictly black-tie affairs. The tide changed, and matinee performances are especially likely to attract tourists wearing sneakers and t-shirts. While the West End theaters no longer require it, many patrons prefer to wear smart dress for evening performances. Likewise, the Royal Opera House has relaxed its official rules for dress. The unspoken expectation, however, remains that opera-goers dress in smart or even formal attire.
Formal Balls and Parties

With dress codes relaxing throughout theaters, clubs and restaurants, balls and gala events are left as the chief situations that demand formal attire. For example, while the London Philharmonic Orchestra regularly plays to audiences dressed informally, the company’s annual fundraising ball is a black-tie affair. The required dress for gala events is typically indicated on the invitation, as you would expect elsewhere in the world. Many balls and galas are designed as fundraising events for charities or artistic organizations. Venues are typically the ballrooms or lounges of the city’s finer hotels.