I remember when I went to prom… ya know- about 2 years ago or so… and devoured the latest Seventeen and YM magazines to find the hottest, trendiest dress that would instantaneously make me look like Sarah Michelle Gellar (er… i mean -Mila Kunis. it was just two years ago after all, ahem) and provide a crowd of men to crawl on their knees begging for that dance. And then the entire gym would break out in perfectly choreographed unison much like this

Anyways – I usually did find that “ideal” dress even if nothing else went exactly as I’d planned. But guess what? that ideal dress looked like every other girls dress they’d found in that exact magazine.

And then I had this friend. We’ll call her Laura. Laura had her own style that really did make the crowds stare and follow. She shopped in all the popular mall stores like all of us but she also had a knack for finding the unique spots around the corner. She was way ahead of her time. And come prom time- Laura would find the most INcredible unique dresses that no one knew even existed.

The point of this far-too-long story is that sometimes when we’re young we don’t realize that the best (and even sometimes trendiest- the very dresses you see in the magazines) most red-carpet worthy, show-stopping outfits are found in the places perhaps we didn’t expect. “A consignment shop? What’s that? Lets go to Lazarus.” That’s what I would have likely said in my teen years. Thankfully they’ve become a little more familiar and popular these days but for those that are still not so sure about the likelihood of finding a dress outside of the mainstream…. let us show you a bit of our formal stock. There were so many I’ve had to break it up into a few posts. This is just the first so make sure to tune back in for more.

The following should be an easy sell due to the vampire fandom phenomenon of late. These are the elegant and feminine yet dark as night.

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What makes it unique? Sweet, simple and very subtle tie at the bust leads into draping skimming silk that ends in the popular “mullet cut” on the bottom. Ok, ok… “mullet cut” is definitely not the most attractive way to describe it (just kinda funny don’t ya think?). Excuse me- the popular high-low dress cut is what I mean. Oscar de la Renta sz 8; 25% off of $88 = $66

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What makes it unique? You mean- what makes it perfect? Answer: Lace. Beautiful, beautiful lace. Girls- you can never go wrong with lace. Especially when it keeps away from frou-frou and/or overtly victorian. This dress nails the drop-dead romance and gorgeousness of the timeless fabric. Ashlee sz 6; 25% off of $60 = $45

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What makes it unique? Simple, glamorous, modest cut with a “wowza” set of bling -still managing not to overdo it. This is the stuff oscar winners wear on stage, blinding the viewers at home because 1,000 different lights are reflecting in 1,000 different directions making the star’s face look like… well, an actual star… like 10 of them up in the sky blinking and flashing in glorious brilliance! I think we’d all like to be those stars. (Don’t worry- doubt the average prom venue lights are going to draw such attention to you…unless that’s what you’re looking for) City Studio sz 9; $48