For many, the announcement of a military ball brings both excitement and apprehension. Ladies know there is always one universal dilemma, the question of what to wear. Many find the expense of a ball gown exorbitant, especially for a garment that will be worn once and then wrapped in a closet.

This was why the Klassy Kloset ball gown rental program was created. In 2006, Lynne Grates, then the executive director of the ASYMCA, was teaching an Army Family Team Building Class. Spouses expressed the difficulty of affording a ball gown, and the idea of renting a ball gown was born.

Spouses are not the only ones who find the ball gown rental beneficial. There’s a pretty even split in rentals by both spouses and Soldiers. Any military ID card or DoD ID card holder can rent a gown.

That’s not the best part, though. Rentals cost only $20, and the dresses do not need to be dry cleaned before they are returned. The rental length is about three weeks, giving women plenty of time to pick a dress and accessories.

The program also allows unused or unwanted gowns to find another use.

“Individuals and formal or bridal stores donate gowns. Some units will also hold dress exchanges at the office and trade gowns and the unit will donate gowns that are left over,” said Cherie Bortnick, executive director of the ASYMCA of Fort Bragg.

The gowns can be rented through the ASYMCA office, 2-2411 Rodney Trail, Fort Bragg. Typically, it is requested that only one dress be rented at a time.

The Klassy Kloset usually carries gowns from a variety of sizes, ranging from 0 to 24. It gives everyone a chance for a reasonable alternative to the expensive prices of brand new formal wear.

For more information about the program, visit