There's a new store in town with exclusive designer names — Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Yves Saint Laurent and White House Black Market, to name a few — all for $10 or less. 

Whether you need a dress, suit, shoes or jewelry for a family dinner, job interview or some other formal event, you can purchase an entire outfit without worrying about breaking the bank.

Where is this store located? Right on Bakersfield High School's campus.

Driller Threads set up shop a year ago in Ludden Hall to help students look like the Belle and Beau of the ball without having to pay full price. For plenty of students, those savings mean the difference between having a good time at formal and prom vs. staying home.

"We’ve seen the impacts it’s made. A lot of times people can’t go to formal because financially it can be a little difficult," explained junior Monika McKenna. "But this gives them the chance to go and experience what everyone else gets to experience."

A ticket for Saturday's formal costs $40 to $60. Add to that the cost of a dress or suit, shoes and other accessories, and students could be spending $200 or more for a night of fun with friends.

Most students — and parents — don't want to spend that much money, thus Driller Threads was born.

Students turned a former storage room for culinary and fashion classes into a shop that includes two dressing rooms and shelves that show off fancy dresses, shoes and accessories. The store is open about a month before formal, prom and graduation during lunch periods. Students can purchase jewelry for $1, ties and purses for $2, shirts, pants and shoes for $5 and suits and dresses for $10. 

All proceeds benefit students — such as purchasing dance tickets for homeless and foster youth — and other community service projects at BHS. 

It has received donations from students, community members and local businesses, and all items that are not used in the store go to Goodwill.

Dresses, suits, purses and shoes come in a variety of colors, styles, sizes and lengths perfect for any occasion. Many of the clothes even have their original price tags still on them — a short grey Betsey Johnson dress cost someone $398, but one lucky student can call it theirs for $10. 

"Why go to a store and give $60 when I can get the same dress for $10?" said senior Jayden Reyes, who was looking for a dress for her upcoming birthday dinner. "I don’t mind if it’s barely used ... I love saving money."

After trying on a few options, she ended up walking away with a plum Calvin Klein dress and a sequin blue Roz & Ali dress. What she likes most about Driller Threads is there is something for all body types and the ease of shopping, as previous experiences in stores have left her frustrated.

"It’s hard for me to find certain dresses because I’m small at the top but wide on the bottom," Reyes explained. "They have a variety of dresses, and I wouldn’t be discouraged trying on dresses ... and my friends are here so they can hype me up."

Each time the store opens, more and more students take advantage of it. Sometimes there's even a line to get into a dressing room and students have to come back the next day to try on clothing. Plus it gives students the opportunity to meet peers they might not have met otherwise.

But perhaps the best part is actually seeing items they sell being used.

"It’s really cool if someone buys a dress and you get to see them at formal," said senior Chloe Mauldin. "I told a girl, 'Buy this dress and take off the (accessory) on the top and I swear it’ll be the cutest thing ever.' She wore it and it looked really cute."

"And even if you donate something and see someone else wearing it, you see it in good use," added senior Claire Bellue.

As Driller Threads continues in the future, there are hopes to expand it to a larger location and have more than just formal wear available for purchase. Students and activities director Anna Olson did not feel they were ready to take it to the next step previously, but after seeing its success so far, it might be time.

"The goal is to turn it into a thrift shop with school clothes," explained Olson. "We're helping others shop and it's just such a positive feeling."

To learn more about Driller Threads or how to donate, contact BHS at 661-324-9841.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.