Sneak Peek: Mission ImPROMible as a shopper

When I first walked into Mission ImPROMible, I was stunned and rather impressed by the sheer number of gowns made available at a student-organized event. Dresses of different colors, styles, sizes and prices were available so any shopper could find their ideal dress. Polka dots, sequins, beaded embellishments and lace all amplified the glamour vibe radiating from Admin 206 — the makeshift dress studio.

Local high school students joined this shopping spree in search of homecoming, semi-formal and prom dresses. With trends ranging from tulle princess skirts to sweetheart necklines, I knew I would have a variety of options at affordable college prices.

For Seton Hill University (SHU) students, December brings Christmas on the Hill. For this occasion, I was favoring shorter length gowns with beaded collars or rhinestone accents. Anything that would gleam and sparkle gained my instant approval.

Other upperclassmen and underclassmen browsed around for their perfect holiday dress.

“I would say the perfect Christmas on the Hill dress is something you wouldn’t wear anywhere else! It is a chance to wear an adorable cocktail gown that may be too dressy or glitzy for a recital or wedding. I know this year I’m planning on wearing a white dress with feathers all over it. Where else could I ever wear that?” said Kelli Alfieri, co-creator of the event.

After selecting the two dresses that I felt were most fitting for Christmas on the Hill and in accordance with my taste, a worker escorted me to the improvised dressing room in the Admin parlors. It was evident that the event creators Alfieri and Lauren Sciacca had planned ahead — fulfilling any shopper’s request with poise and professionalism. Assistants even helped me decide which dress looked best.

My first option, a wine colored dress with a subtle pattern and beaded embellishments, was gorgeous — and could definitely be worn at a number of semi-formal events. My second choice, a simple but memorable gray dress with shimmering shoulder rhinestones and a deep V-neck cut, was also a favorite of mine. It could easily be worn with red heels and accessories, and then re-worn with a different color accent.

With the cheerful assistance of Alfieri and Sciacca, I chose dress number two which proved to have a more flattering and wearable top with sturdy straps and a glitzy appeal. Despite what might be depicted as an easy shopping experience, let me clarify one thing: I am a very picky shopper. If I can find a dress at Mission ImPROMible, anyone can. Look for the sale again in the spring semester!

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