City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
The Assistance League of Boise/Cinderella’s Closet is 100% volunteer-operated.

Featured Article

Fairies and Formals

Making Dreams Come True

Article by Jamie Ames

Photography by Provided by Daphne McNeal

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Once upon a time, a girl wished to attend a ball, but she had nothing to wear! As she looked at her dresses, she grew distressed. What would she do? She didn't have a trillion dollars for a formal! Suddenly, a magical lady appeared and whisked the girl away, fairy-like, to the closet where she kept her most lovely ballgowns. The girl found her size and tried on a dress that she felt really made her eyes pop. She thanked the lady, paid the minimal rental fee and texted her prince to ask if he would like to go to the dance with her.

The ball was the kind of event a girl remembers always, and the couple had a spectacular time. There was no funny business to do with shoes or pumpkins—just a dress that made it safely back to Cinderella’s Closet by the following Wednesday.

If this story sounds like a fairy tale, get excited! Dreams come true! Cinderella’s Closet is an affordable, formalwear rental service. It was started in a basement in 2003 by some moms from Borah High School and was taken over in 2005 by the Assistance League of Boise. About four years ago, the ladies at the Closet realized Prince Charming probably needed accessible formal wear too, and they began collecting tuxedos. Cinderella’s Closet now rents evenly to young men and women. The unbelievably low rental fee barely covers the cost of dry cleaning.

Cinderella’s Closet services students with a student ID from Ada County. They open their doors for the five weeks of prom season each year, around the end of March and beginning of April. See for specific days and hours of operation. The dress collection currently includes every size from  0-28.

“I think it’s an amazing community service," Daphne McNeal, Cinderella’s Closet co-chair says. "We have something for everyone. The advice I would give to teens is come out early in the season. You can check out your dress before your prom, and it’s not due until the Wednesday after your prom. The sizes are limited, so get there early in the season.”

Formal wear donations are always welcome and tax-deductible! Bring “gently used” formal wear to the Assistance League Thrift Shop and mention to a volunteer that it is a donation to Cinderella’s Closet.

5825 N. Glenwood St., Boise

  • Charmaine Cates, Cinderella’s Closet fairy godmother and former chair
  • The Assistance League of Boise/Cinderella’s Closet is 100% volunteer-operated.
  • Cinderella’s Closet chair, Daphne McNeal, and her son, Zane, getting ready for prom