Your hair is full of bobby pins, red lipstick perfectly applied, and you even managed to get both eyes winged precisely with that risky liquid eyeliner. You’ve spent all day preparing for the one event all year that makes all the frustrations of military worth it: The Ball.
Nothing will dampen your evening quite like catching a glimpse of your treasured gown on another body across the ballroom. Depending on the size of the ball, chances are no one else will catch the “twin-cident” but it can still ruin your evening, which isn’t fair to you.
Here a few options to help you avoid having a military birthday ball twin.
6 Tips to Avoiding a Military Birthday Ball Twin-cindent
Beat the rush and allow time to find something unique. The hunt for a dress can sometimes be more fun than the event itself, so allow time to enjoy it. The longer you wait, the more desperate you’ll feel to settle for a dress that can easily be found by someone else. Planning ahead may also mean quality deals if you shop during certain times of the year.
Find a Hidden Gem
Staying on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fashion. Thrifting for a gown may take some time, as many second-hand stores are hit-or-miss, so this option goes hand-in-hand with shopping early. You will be rewarded with something affordable as well as unique. It will be quite impressive if you find someone with the same dress as you. And if you do, look on the bright side–you’ve found a new thrifting buddy to shop with!
Dress up the Dress
Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with a dress you bought at a trendy department store, where the threat of someone else sharing the same taste looms high. Don’t settle for something less in your mind based on a chance. Instead, elevate your dress with accessories. Add a chunky, shiny necklace that makes others stare at your neckline and shoulders that you’ve been working on at the gym. Add a fashionable belt. Adorn your wrists with accented colors that boost the wow-factor of the dress and will set you apart from your birthday ball twin who decided to let the dress stand on its own.
You may also consider finding a shawl or a high-fashion cape to drape around your shoulders. This could totally transform the look of the dress, and people won’t even notice your “twin-cident”.
Rent a Royalty Piece
As a very trendy option these days, peruse an online rental company, such as Rent the Runway, Poshare, or JJsHouse.com. These outlets offer a variety of expensive gowns to rent at a reasonable cost, so spoil yourself for one night and feel like royalty. Worst case scenario–someone rented the same dress as you, but at least you didn’t spend your whole clothing budget for the year on it.
Re-Use a Gown
The beauty of living in multiple places every few years is you can impress a room with the same dress more than once. While the hunt for a new ball dress can be one of the most fun things you do all year, save money and stick with a beloved dress you wore at a previous duty station. If you’re worried about having duplicate pictures, utilize one of the accessory tips previously mentioned.
RELATED: Rewearing a Ball Gown? Yay or Nay?
Swap with a Spouse
Many squadrons will host a dress swap event prior to the ball, which allows spouses to wear something that has proven to impress already without it being in a previous picture hanging on your wall. Let someone else enjoy one of your favorite dresses, and simultaneously try out a style you may never have found on the rack.
When it comes down to it, the military ball is a once-a-year affair that you deserve to enjoy, no matter what you’re wearing. If you catch a glimpse of your birthday ball twin, have your moment of frustration, high-five her, and hit the dance floor. No one else can wear your dress as you can. You make the dress beautiful, not the other way around.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out The Price for Having a Ball