I’ve never done this.
You buy a jacket for a special occasion. After wearing it once, you have little use for it. Do you return it for a refund?
I don’t buy it if I don’t have intention to wear it again. The only exception there is my wedding dress, of course. I sort of left the shopping until almost the last minute but got a very affordable bridesmaid style gown. I chickened out in getting it in red which would have looked awesome, but might have been overkill given the Man’s red shirt and the Little Man’s nearly matching suit set. I went for the same in ivory instead. I wasn’t sure if it’d arrive from the makers in time so I shopped for a back-up dress and found a neat one at Ricki’s that I hope I’ll get a chance to wear again (last year’s version of this, kind of). I’m not much for dress wearing, all told.
I have a few other things I bought for special events that never got worn again but I didn’t keep the tags on so I could return them the next week. I think that’s a pretty shitty thing to do, actually. If you really don’t want to own it, rent a dress from a company like Rent the Runway. That looks like a kick-ass set up.
I keep meaning to look for a prom dress donation group in my area. I still have my high school grad dress and I probably could donate the wedding dress at some point, too.
People own too many things in a lot of cases. The Man and I aren’t minimalists by any means, but we’re both people who try to own just what we need in terms of daily necessities and make do where others might splurge. We’re getting a new couch at the end of the month, though. Wedding gift money was set aside for that last year and for good reason:
Library work has saved me buckets of money, let me tell you. Why own if you can borrow? The library offers all the latest films, TV shows and CDs a person might want, and still buys books by the truckload. If you do want to have your own copy and if the luck is with you, you can hit the Friends of the Library tables at nearly any branch and buy withdrawn material for a buck or less. As a library employee, I get it all free. Usually I just nab the animated stuff for the Little Man, though.
I’m rambling. Point is, if you need it, but only need it once, consider renting or at least budgeting for something nice that won’t break the bank. Or look for used donations that will suit your needs. Don’t cheat the system by buying something grand, stress all night trying to keep it clean, and then try to return it without anyone being the wiser.