Making formal affordable

Despite a troubled economy, women in the Capital District can still find affordable formalwear for special occasions, from weddings to proms, thanks to two innovative women who launched a Web site earlier this month.

Developed by coworkers Jessica Cipperly, of Ballston Lake, and Amanda Sanger, of Clifton Park, the Web site, www.capitalregiondresses.com, provides a place for local formalwear buyers and sellers to come together.

The pair was motivated by several discussions with coworkers and friends who were looking for formal wear, but were lamenting at the price.

People are trying to find creative ways to save money, Cipperly said.

Cipperly and Sanger have a coworker who is planning a wedding on a budget, and they said they continually thought of her when developing the Web site.

"I think most women can think of a dress they would like to sell," Cipperly said.

Sanger said she regularly goes to a charity gala and has a collection of dresses sitting in her closet from the annual event, and as she started thinking and talking it over with her business partner, Cipperly, they figured several women were probably in the same boat.

After attempting to sell dresses on other marketplace Web sites, including eBay and Craigslist, Sanger said she realized there needed to be another venue where only dresses were available. She said dresses often get lost on larger sites because so many products are available.

Cipperly also said many girls cannot afford to go to prom because the cost of dresses is too high.

"We make it easy to get a nice, affordable dress," Cipperly said.

One trend the women have seen since launching their site is the sale of new or never worn dresses.

"We have gotten beautiful quality," Sanger said. "The tags are still on some of the dresses."

The pair does not handle the delivery of dresses. They said the buyer and seller have the flexibility to arrange pick up or delivery of the dress.

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