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What do you do with old concert dresses?

Our choir (will be getting new show dresses this coming concert season - and we'll have about 40 women who will no longer want (or need) their old dresses. Any suggestions on what we can do with them?
on August 6, 2013 6:15pm
When I had old uniforms to sell, I contacted nearby school districts and offered them at a low price.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 7, 2013 4:11am
This is a great question - is there an exchange somewhere? I came into a program with concert dresses I don't care for, nor do the students, but I can't justify getting rid of them because they're already here. I've been slowly replacing them one group at a time one year at a time, but I would love to be able to exchange them with another group's.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 7, 2013 5:44am
We donated ours to a theatre department.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on August 7, 2013 6:11am
Post them in ChoralNet Classifieds - For Sale: Used
Applauded by an audience of 2
on August 7, 2013 7:31am
1. Give them to the girls to take home and play dress-up. 
2. Re-sale shop: Donation
3. Re-Use the fabric for craft projects (drapery lining or shelf lining etc
 4. Re-Use the fabric for cleaning rags
5. see other posts for other creative ways. 
Lastly, with my stance as a committed environmantalist, Than You very much for not putting them in the garbage or dumpster! We have far too much landfill waste destroying our planet. Reduce, RE-USE & Recycle! 
Applauded by an audience of 2
on August 7, 2013 10:49am
I like all these ideas, especially Emily's and D. Costanzo's.
 I suggest thinking creatively!  Adding a long, thin-fabric scarf, draped across the neckline, will sometimes update a look, and/or make it much more attractive and versatile - also more appropriate for varied temperatures/environments.  Sometimes a ribbon, a strip of lace, or nylon translucent fabric, will make the style more attractive.  Several of the outfit companies sell little jackets - straight, bolero, or shrug style.  You could get a contrasting color, or if you use the same color, it just adds that to the style of the dress.  (Straps becomes a sweetheart neckline, for example.)  If the color is too bright, sometimes a translucent overlay of black, or a darker shade of the original color will work to tone it down.
Another possibility - if you have some seamstresses in your community - is to change the neckline, sleeves, or whatever you were not-so-pleased with.   If the fabric is hot/itchy, you might try washing some old cotton T-shirts and/or underwear, cut strips,  and carefully hand-sew them to the inside, [over shoulder seams and other strategic places] to feel softer, and lift it slightly from the skin.  If they are just a mess - broken zippers, ripped seams/fabric -  then perhaps the top part could be cut off and skirts could be made from the bottom half.  If they have sleeves and the top parts are good, jackets might be created.    I could be more specific if I knew what your current ones are like.  This is also intended to respond to Emily's dilemma.
  We had some old ones that were unhemmed, so I took 5 minutes of rehearsal time and showed them how to hem - a pretty simple procedure - and the altos hemmed while the sopranos rehearsed, then vice versa.  Hemming is an important life skill, especially for performers!  ;)
I taught in several places where families simply could not afford a dress.  It might have been great if they could have gone to a designated section of the local Plato's Closet, or similar re-sale shop, and bought one for a fraction of the original price.
Considering current economy, and awareness of environmental sustainability, it seems to be time for some concert-wear stores/websites to have a re-sale corner, so that ensembles [at least small ones ] wishing to dress alike (on a 0 -to- low budget) could buy several used dresses. (They could even have cute, musical names; "Upscale Re-sale",  "2nd Note-worthy" , "De Dress-cendo",  "Da Capo", "Sweet Repeat",- .. ;)
- Lucy
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