Boutique provides affordable prom and wedding dresses

Sheridan Strickland, a high school junior from Newburgh, Ind., looks at prom dresses at Michelle’s Consignment Boutique while in Bowling Green for a college visit at WKU. Michelle Odle has owned the shop for six years.

Sidney Blanford

More than 2,000 dresses line the walls of Michelle’s Consignment Boutique in Bowling Green. Rarely will you find two dresses that are exactly alike.

“There’s a lot of selection and lots of colors,” said Annie Malmquist, a Bowling Green High School sophomore, while shopping for her first prom dress.

Owner Michelle Odle said she rarely gets any two dresses that are the same style, with the exception of bridesmaid dresses.

“We are always able to look on the computer and tell you it came from Marion County or wherever,” Odle said. “We get dresses from everywhere.”

Monica Segura, a Michelle’s Consignment Boutique employee, agreed with Odle that the selection is endless.

Both said customers won’t have to worry about showing up at their event with the same dress as someone else.

“It’s such a variety that I get, because I get every brand, every style, every color,” Odle said. “You hear about the girl who shows up and four other girls have her dress. I’ve been doing this for six years now and never once have I heard that complaint.”

Currently, Odle said, the hot sellers are multicolored formals and the high-low style. However, she has had a demand recently for wedding gowns.

“For women, we have everything here,” she said. “We get a lot of cancelled wedding gowns with the tags still on them.”

When a cancelled wedding dress comes in, it usually comes with everything you would need for your wedding, Odle said, including the heels, the tiara, the skirt for underneath the dress and the gloves. Customers could purchase all they need all in one stop.

“When I first started this business, I expected I would get a lot of divorced or something like that, but we actually get a lot of new,” Odle said.

For those first-time wedding buyers, Michelle’s Consignment Boutique offers both brand new — tags intact — as well as previously owned wedding gowns. The boutique also offers everything else one might want for their big day.

“We have every single thing,” Odle said. “We have the bridesmaid dresses, the flower girl dresses, the wedding dresses — just everything.”

Not only does Michelle’s Consignment Boutique provide for the bride’s big day, the store has recently added tuxedo rental services for around $100 for tux and shoes, Odle said.

According to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost for a wedding tuxedo rental is $197.

In addition to a selection that can fit everyone’s needs, the employees will work with customer if they are new to formal wear shopping.

“The girl that’s been everywhere, that maybe she’s a little harder to fit — that’s my favorite customer,” Odle said.

Segura said the first thing she does is to ask customers what they’re going to, how old they are, what their preferences are and their budget.

“From there I try to gauge their personality,” she said.

As many customers who find themselves at Michelle’s Consignment Boutique, 15-year-old Malmquist was drawn to the boutique because of the affordability.

Odle said that first and foremost what makes her store one to visit is the value the customer receives.

Odle said she offers special ordering for sizes 14 and up.