, Derry, New Hampshire


May 8, 2014

Astro Boutique offers fashion support

Astro Boutique offers affordable option for formalwear

DERRY — The Astro Boutique is open for the business.

Pinkerton Academy is offering a way for students to dress for all formal occasions at the Derry high school. The Astro Boutique is a way to ease the financial stress of attending the prom or other formal event.

Racks are filled with donated, quality formal wear on the second floor of Pinkerton’s MacKenzie House. Students needing help can go to the boutique and shop for a prom dress, shoes and other accessories.

“We have everything for every size and shape,” said Wendy Despres, associate dean of students.

She said the gowns and dresses have come from many places. Some are donated by parents or staff members. Many are brand new and still have the tags attached. There are all lengths, colors and styles to choose from.

The Astro Boutique has been in business for about five years, Despres said.

Prom can be expensive, even prohibitive for some students, so the boutique offers a way for some students to attend at little to no cost. Student volunteers are also on board to help.

Students are often referred by their teachers, parents or guidance counselors.

“They walk out of here feeling like a princess,” Despres said.

Pinkerton’s junior prom is May 17. The cost to attend the popular spring event can be extremely high.

“I know someone that spent $700 on a dress,” senior Ashleigh Avila said.

She was one of three students helping out at the boutique recently.

“Times are tough,” Despres said. “People struggle with all the expenses.”

It’s not only the female students who get fashion help. There are also suits available for young men.

The boutique is a big hit with its customers.

Dresses are also available for other formal occasions, including the senior banquet and sophomore formal events.

“We’re off to a good start,” Despres said.

Contact Despres for information at 437-5200, Ext. 1157, or email

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