Should a prom dress cost more than your wedding dress?

It seems the recession/depression has not affected the prom industry, where prices remain pretty doggone high.

I ran into a mom friend at the Publix on Monday who regaled me with stories of buying her daughter’s first prom dress. She’s a down-to-earth-mom with kids ranging from elementary to high school.  Her daughter is a sophomore I believe so she will have two more proms to go after this one.

They went to a very popular local store to look for dresses. The salesperson asked what the mom’s budget was and she replied about $150. The lady said our dresses begin at $300.

The mom was floored. She didn’t want to embarrass her daughter and wanted her to have a dress she wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear. So they looked and tried to keep the price as low as possible. She ended up with a dress off the clearance rack. Originally in the high $500, she bought the dress for $399. (The mom emailed me and wants you guys to know she did shop around and wasn’t lured in at the store. She said the big a mall had two dresses in the $200s but were too skimpy for her daughter to wear.)

However, I do remember the mom saying it was MORE THAN SHE PAID FOR HER OWN WEDDING DRESS!

The mom left the store worried about telling her husband what she had done. They went to mall and priced dresses there but said $300 was really where most were starting . (Her daughter wanted a ball gown style dress not a short cocktail dress but even those were usually in the $300s.)

The Dad was OK with it and in the end Grandma kicked in some money to help, which was very nice!

The mom is hoping her daughter will recycle the dress her senior year, but I told her the only way she’ll wear that dress again is if she gets invited to another school’s prom.

Besides high prices, here are some other prom trends I read about:

From Women’s Wedding Dresses.com, a full prom style report:

  • “Hook into Hollywood styled prom dresses

The influence of Hollywood is not new on the dresses, rather whatever a celebrity wears on the red carpet becomes a big fashion statement influencing the dressing trend of the women. The trends for 2010 prom dresses are the long formal dresses, with bull’s eye on the satin sheaths coupled with the Latin-styled ruffles and trains. Thus, the 1960s fashion is back with a bang in the prom dresses category, with A-line and cocktail length dresses, which can be further carried in style with the gloves and a gleaming pocketbook.”

  • Strapless
  • Baby doll –six inches above the knee – They say it’s a girlish look. I can’t help think it gives a boy easy access.
  • Halternecks – Ditto on the halter necks. My friend was shocked by all the boobs hanging out of dresses at the store. She though their parents were buying the wrong size!!
  • Radiant colors with elaborate designs
  • Bold eye-catching prints
  • Add bows to give more feminine touch
  • Sparkling sequins – Are sequins ever not in?
  • “Fabrics in prom dresses –Prom dresses for 2010 are majorly found in chiffon, taffeta and metallics fabrics. Chiffon prom dresses are very flowy in nature, enabling you to hit the dance floor comfortably, while metallics one helps you to shine in gold, silver and bronze colored gowns.Taffeta is yet another popular fabric in prom dresses category currently.”
  • Little Black Dress — This might save you some money.
  • Low back and “x” back prom dresses
  • Brooches – Probably too old looking for prom dresses
  • Polka dots prom dresses
  • Mermaid styled prom dresses

Here is a site where you can see some of the trends they are talking about. (The baby doll gowns are on the home page.) This is a local Atlanta store is run the sister of a high school friend of mine.  I haven’t seen the high school friend in 20 years but my babysitter works at the store some.

So what do you think: Should a prom dress cost more than your wedding dress? How much did you pay for a dress? How much should you pay? Any chance she’ll rewear it? Or consign it? (My two prom dresses are in the basement right now! My mother still has her dresses under the guest bed – my old bed—at home.)

What about the poor guys: do the girls/should the girls help pay for a limo and dinner? Does the limo, prom tickets and dinner equal out to what the girl spends on her dress, nails, hair and shoes?

You can submit your prom photos here to be published on AJC.com!

134 comments Add your comment

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 25th, 2010
9:02 am

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday guys. I woke up with a swollen ankle that I couldn’t walk on. (having a bad week for injuries.) My own mom had to drive me to the doctors for an ankle x-ray. They were worried I had a stress fracture from walking 4 or 5 miles every other day for the last few weeks. No crack so just looks like a sprain. how idiotic!!!

MomsRule

March 25th, 2010
9:05 am

Sorry to hear about the ankle!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 25th, 2010
9:10 am

I may have to correct the price on the dress — maybe she said it was $399. I’m waiting for a note back from the mom.

motherjanegoose

March 25th, 2010
9:18 am

Theresa…I hope you feel better!

Most of you will be shocked when you read this…my Senior Daughter did not go to her prom last weekend.

Here is why:

She got a job last fall and likes it a lot. Her boss announced ( months ago) that EVERYONE would be working on the day of her prom, as it was a special spring promotion. I told her that I would be happy to go and speak with her boss, if she was too nervous to do so. I normally do not meddle but realized that this is a once in a lifetime event. She thought about it and then decided NO.

During the past 4 weeks, her girlfriends were all in a tizzy and she continued to tell me that she was glad she was not going….too much drama. She is not a wallflower and has lots of friends but not a steady boyfriend. Most of the girls she knows all went together or with a guy they were not dating….just knew and liked as a friend.

I came home from North Dakota on Sunday. When she said that her boss found out, he told her he would have certainly given her the day off. She also said, ” My friends all told me I should have just quit my job ( to go to the prom) and I told them that if I quit my job for ONE day of fun…it would take me MANY days to find another job I like as much as I do…so NO…I will not do that.”

I felt a bit sad for her BUT it was her decision and I am thinking she may be quite a bit more mature than many of the teens her age. I am going to do something special for her but have not decided what it would be …just yet. Any ideas?

MomsRule

March 25th, 2010
9:18 am

I’m not sure “should a prom dress cost more than your wedding dress” is a fair question. As we all know price generally increases as time passes so there could be 20+ years between the two events (your wedding and your daughters prom).

I don’t remember exactly what I spent on my prom dresses, I had 3, but they were definately in excess of $150-$200 each. This was 22 to 25 years ago. So $300 would seem to be in line….

Of course, I don’t have daughters so it is easy for me to say! LOL

I do think that the overall cost of prom is very high. The dress, flowers, tux rental, limo, dinner, nails, hair, tickets, etc. But it is a fun event and it is one that I look forward to my boys experiencing.

I spent $1000 on my wedding dress. It certainly would cost me more now.

MomsRule

March 25th, 2010
9:22 am

@MJG – your daughter’s reply to her friends is commendable. Parenting well done. But it is a little sad that she didn’t get to experience her senior prom.

Thrift Store Shopper

March 25th, 2010
9:25 am

Neither your wedding dress nor your prom dress should cost nearly that amount of money.

People wear these types of items one time. You can go to a used clothing store, buy a nice dress, have it altered and cleaned and pay a fraction of the cost.

Additionally, childrens clothing is often barely worn because children outgrow their things so quickly. You can buy clothes for your children for next to nothing if you shop at thrift stores.

I suppose the economy has taken its toll and I am seeing more people in thrift stores now that weren’t previously there.

Spacey

March 25th, 2010
9:26 am

I only spent $700 on my wedding dress about 5 years ago. I think that was pretty cheap!
Prom dresses have always been expensive. The one I wore to my Senior Prom was about $300.

BTW – This is on the Jessica Shops Blog!
A local dress store is going out of business this weekend. Maybe some of you can get a deal…

$99 Prom Dresses

10:19 pm March 21, 2010, by JessicaShops

All Dressed Up specializes in special occasion, mother of the bride and prom dresses. The store will be closing Sunday, March 27th at 5:00PM. Dramatic markdowns have been taken to clear the inventory before closing day, go take advantage of the deals!

Prom Dresses: originally up to $425 are all now $99.99. Sizes are from 6 to 30 with almost 200 dresses to choose from. Colors are mostly jewel tones although there are also pastels and brights.

Mother of the Bride and Special Occasion Dresses: originally up to $675 are all now $49.99! Sizes are 6 to 26 with around 125 to choose from. Colors are mostly neutrals although there are also some pastels and jewel tones.

Wedding Gowns: originally up to $1275 are all now $199.99. Sizes are 20 to 30 with 30 left. Color is Ivory.

Also for sale are store fixtures and hangers for 25% to 50% of original cost.

All Dressed Up
3872 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
404-237-9911

Uconn

March 25th, 2010
9:28 am

Hmmm…. Me thinks that maybe if the daughter wanted the expensive dress, maybe she should have pitched in for it as well? Crazy ideas! Seriously, when it was my prom (16 yrs ago! YIKES!,oh and we only had a senior prom and a jr ring dance when we got our rings, I digress)I found a dress that I LOVED, however, it was pricey at 250, so my mom said that if I contributed half, it was all mine, so I did and she helped. $250 for a prom dress I now realize is ridiculous and such thoughts carried over to my wedding dress this past Feb. I could not fathom buying a dress for $2K+ for only about 5 hours of wear… So once again mom stepped in and offered the same help (not that I needed it this time but she wanted to be “the mom” for the wedding) so I did accept and I paid $500 for my wedding dress and mom picked up the other half.

I guess if kids want the “fancy” things, why can’t they conrtribute to it? Oh and I helped out my prom date with the cost of tickets … Hey its was my prom too… Just as my now husband and I split the cost of the wedding (not very romantic, I know) but thats what is fair..

MJG… As for your daughter… What about a spa party? I know many nail places (read not assembly line places) will host a party for her friends and her and she can get the mani/pedi without all the hassle of prom… It may be very relaxing…

Uconn

March 25th, 2010
9:29 am

I think my post is lost :( and not one cuss word…

lmno

March 25th, 2010
9:29 am

With all the cuts in education spending, prom should be the first thing to go.

It amazes me that schools still pay for proms, homecoming dances, and other social activities when our academics are failing, teachers are beign fired and furloughed, schools closed, and other big cuts.

Maybe we should cut out football, baseball, and other sports too for a while. At least until we get back on our feet.

motherjanegoose

March 25th, 2010
9:33 am

LOL…I spent $150 on my wedding dress nearly 28 years ago, as I made it myself.

In my previous life, I was a seamstress and made plenty of bridesmaid’s dresses and all of my own clothes. I could knock out a pair of shorts, dress and shirt in one day. I have not touched a sewing machine in over 12 years….funny how things change. I bought myself a new sewing machine over a year ago and have not even opened the box…too many other things to do.

Thanks MomsRule. Yes, I am a bit sad for her but life goes on. She has had LOTS of other wonderful opportunities that her friends have not had.

Hey, lmno...

March 25th, 2010
9:35 am

…schools DO NOT pay one penny toward the cost of the prom – under what rock are you living?

And, as far as I can tell, they pay very little towards athletic programs, too, other than when they build fields and gyms that ALL students use…

Peachy

March 25th, 2010
9:35 am

@Momsrule – great point, the prices of a wedding dress 20 years ago to a prom dress today aren’t really comparing apples to apples. And a $150 prom dress then is probably about a $300 dress now…

I think the rule of thumb here is “what can we really afford” if a $300 dress doesn’t really affect the family’s budget than go for it, but if you are buying a $300 dress and eating ramen the rest of the month, not okay. And I wore a couple of my prom dresses again to sorority formals in college, and so did some of my friends. Your “new college friends” haven’t seen those dresses so that seems like a great way to “reuse” and get a little more for the money…

Michelle

March 25th, 2010
9:38 am

Well, my sister and I shared a prom dress during our sophomore year! Her BF went to a different school. The dress was close to $200 though and that was 25 years ago! The dress I bought for my senior prom was about that much as well!

I just cannot believe how much the prices have changed in 20 years! That is probably about right though. If you look back to 40 years ago, the dresses were probably about $100 or so.

As for the wedding dress, I was LUCKY! I was able to buy mine off the rack. I had looked in several places and was disgusted with the service at David’s Bridal! I went to a little hole in the wall shop in a strip mall in Indy and liked the look of the dress. I tried it on and it fit PERFECTLY! (Which is amazing because my boobs at the time were a DD on a size 3/5 bottom!) I took my dress to a private seamstress to get the length altered and a bustle put in! Total cost was < $350!

Did you notice that I paid for my own prom dress?! I think if the girls want to spend this much money, it's a good time to learn some financial responsibility! :o)

MJG-why not do something "formal"? Go to a classy, formal restaurant here in the city…or have dad take her on a "date"! I can honestly say I have never done anything like that with my dad…I would love it! She did show quite the responsibility by choosing which was most important to her!

MyOpinion

March 25th, 2010
9:39 am

NO. When a prom dress cost more than a wedding gown, then that is entirely too much money spent on a prom dress. When I was in High school 2000-2004, I spent $9.92 and $32.50 on my junior and senior prom dresses respectively. I bought my prom dresses out of season (winter or right after prom season at Macy’s). The styles and cuts never really change, just the colors and only the vibrant seasonal colors. I spent $60 on shoes (big feet) and a purse my junior year and wore them again my senior year. In addition, $135 was spent each year for manicure/pedicure, hairstyle, costume jewelry and professional pictures at the prom. So my junior year I spent a little less than $210 (including pictures) to go to prom (My date parents drove-no limo was necessary). My senior year I spent a little under $170 (pictures included) to attend prom. For each prom I brought along $100 for entertainment (movies, bowling, whatever) after prom and for a taxi just in case something happened and I needed a ride home. Although I offered to pay, I didn’t spend any of my extra cash because my prom dates were longtime friends and paid for everything.

The reason why to buy off-season – both of my prom dresses bought during winter was selling for $175 – $250 during prom season depending upon the store.

JATL

March 25th, 2010
9:40 am

Uh, NO! Good lord -kids have gotten WAY too nuts over prom. It seems like everyone has to have limos and hotels and $300 dinners beforehand -WTF? You’re 16,17,18 years old -get over yourselves! Once again I blame a select group of parents who seem to have to live out their dreams and wishes through their children who got this craze started. I had a great time at the proms I went to. I wore beautiful gowns (and none cost over $100), we took the guy’s cars and for one had dinner beforehand at a nice restaurant, but it wasn’t all about how much money everyone could spend. In today’s money I can see paying around $300 for a prom dress IF you have it, but there are lovely dresses to be had for less. Spending more is getting silly!

Becky

March 25th, 2010
9:42 am

Theresa, sorry to hear about the ankle..

I’m with Thrift Store Shopper on this one..Of course, my wedding dress only cost $75.00..Bought at JC Penney Outlet and was missing one bead..People place to much emphasis (sp) on what other people will think about them if they can’t say that something cost a certain amount..

My 7 year old grandaughter just picked out her Easter dress last week..Bought at the thrift store for $3.29..Still had store tags on it where someone else had paid $75.00 for it..She was so excited that she found just the right dress for her at such a good price..

So, to answer the question, NO, a prom dress shouldn’t cost more than your wedding gown..Actually, neither one of them should as much as most people pay for them..Just my opinion..

Michelle

March 25th, 2010
9:45 am

T-my comment was eating by the blog goblin!

Oh…both of the proms I went to sucked! The first one, I had broken up with my boyfriend a few weeks before but my parents insisted that I go anyway. Then (remember I shared the dress with my sister), the dress fell apart! The elastic on one of the sleeves came undone and instead of being an off the shoulder dress, the sleeve just hung down! THEN, I forgot to take a bra to wear afterwards and we went bowling! LOL!

My second prom was at a different school with a friend. He wouldn’t dance (which I LOVE to do), then they all went to get high at someone’s house. I was never into that kind of thing. Totally not my style.

I wore the same dress for my prom. My date was the son of a friend. I was home by 10:30! His dad said he should have taken me! I’m sure we would have had more fun! LOL!

Michelle

March 25th, 2010
9:46 am

LOL…eaten!

Kathy

March 25th, 2010
9:47 am

Theresa…..I have an idea that another friend of mine did for her teenage daughter. They asked some moms with daughters who were in sororities in college to borrow a dress. Most of those girls have tons of dresses from formals and other Greek functions that they buy and only wear once. Some of those girls would be willing to sell their dresses to other girls or let them borrow. Just a thought……

About your ankle…..make sure you are wearing good shoes. As a runner (and sometimes walker) myself, shoes are THE most important thing that you have. There is a store in downtown Lawrenceville called Fleet Feet that specializes in running and walking shoes. All the salespeople are FANTASTIC (especially Rich Fallon) and are extremely knowledgeable. They can help you find the perfect shoe for you, if you need a good one. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in about
that. : )

lakerat

March 25th, 2010
9:48 am

Yes, I was one of those parents who supported the kids and their prom “dreams” – fortunately, they were both boys so the rental tux was $65 – $75 each year, and they did go to dinner before (at a cost of approx. $100 for them and their dates – nothing too extravagant). Flowers/corsage for the date was another $25; and the limo did cost each rider (the girls paid there own, too) was about $100 (well worth not worrying about who was doing what after possibly drinking). No hotels!

And, no, they did not live out my dreams (I went to three proms all those years ago, so “been there, done that”). We just felt it was part of the overall high school experience and were glad that we were able to afford it, as both son thanked us and said they, and the others, had a great time!!!

MyOpinion

March 25th, 2010
9:50 am

@lmno
At my school the money for prom came strictly from junior fees. We paid about $150 for junior fees, which is why it was called the Junior/Senior prom (can’t make me pay the fees if I can’t go to the prom). That’s why the bigger the school, usually the bigger the prom – more people means a larger budget.

In schools where they only have a senior prom, the seniors usually pay more in senior fees. If the school does not have junior/senior fees, they usually pay for a prom ticket $50-$75 per person or fund-raise to have a prom.

This is why they tell parents that they cannot make a student pay for their fees; however neither do they have to be included into the extra social activities that are paid for by junior/senior fees.

Our senior fees included our senior t-shirts, yearbook, cap & gown for graduation, and activities during senior week.

stepmom2

March 25th, 2010
9:52 am

No way!! I graduated HS in 1996 and I didn’t pay more than $125 for my junior or senior prom dress- due in part because I had to buy it myself but they were still great looking dresses. I just couldn’t fathom spending all that money on a dress. My wedding dress was almost $500 and I hated spending that. I still have all these dresses just sitting in a box in the attic. So I just think it’s crazy to spend that much money on something you only wear once.

lakerat

March 25th, 2010
9:54 am

Sorry – should have added that the cost of prom tickets was at least $75 per kid, might have even been more by the time the younger son paid) – so with approx 200 – 400 kids attending, you can see where $15K – $30K from tickets pretty well covers the cost of the prom itself (rental of the ballroom, decorations, DJ/band, refreshments, etc)

Jeff

March 25th, 2010
9:56 am

As a society, we’re creating monsters with these little girls, who will one day become women with expectations that cannot possibly be met. We already see it with grown women (most of whom are not on here, btw) who “want it all”, “won’t settle”, blah, blah, blah.

That being said, kids are kids and thier sense of reality is admittedly warped. Mine was, maybe still is, lol. Motherjane’s daughter seems so reasonable and refreshing. I’ll do what I can for my 7 year old girl, of course, but I also know that someone has to reign in the princesses in the making.

So, Theresa...

March 25th, 2010
9:57 am

…are you saying that after your comments last week about walking your kids to/from school may not have been such a good idea after all?????

Hey mamajane...

March 25th, 2010
10:00 am

…how about just giving your daughter the cash you would have spent on her for the prom – bet she will be quite grateful, and you and your spouse will be heroes….couple of hundred bucks goes a long way in a thrifty person’s life…

DB

March 25th, 2010
10:04 am

As the veteran of four proms (sophomore, junior and and two during senior year), I am WELL acquainted with prom dress shopping! (And the other side of the equation, tuxedo shopping, too!) Your friend ended up getting swayed by the all the emotional hoopla — almost as bad as a bridal store! I bet I know the store she’s talking about — and yeah, the dresses start high. BUT IT IS NOT THE ONLY STORE IN TOWN, for heaven’s sake.

You can absolutely get a beautiful prom dress for less than $200 — often less than $150 — if you shop the right stores and don’t get sucked into where you “should” buy your dress. We found my daughter’s favorite dress just off Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles at a national department store — it was $129.00. Four years later, she still has it. The next year, we found a dress on clearance for $149. We kinda sprung for the third dress — it was $189. We stopped by the “prom” dress shop — they actually have a raised runway that the girls can shashay up and down on, with huge mirrors, etc. We tried on several dresses, but when my daughter saw the price tag on her favorite — $599! — she declared, “No WAY!” in horror. I was paying half, and even at that, she felt it was a huge rip-off for a dress she’d only wear once. My only criteria is that her boobs didn’t hang out and that it didn’t show more skin than her bathing suit :-) As my daughter commented, she was going for the Audrey Hepburn look, not the Pamela Anderson look — “elegant” I can think of worse movie stars to emulate :-)

Personally, I think it’s sad that the prom dresses have gotten so glitzyfied — honestly, on the evening of the prom, you have to look at some of these dresses that make their daughters look like porn queens and wonder what in the hell their moms were thinking when they bought the dress. Whatever happened to “NO!”? Then add the shoes, the jewelry, and the hair appointment, and prom for a girl often costs more than some weddings. It’s ridiculous, catering to the unformed fantasies of girls whose only sense of reality about these things is what they see on “Secret Life of the American Teenager” or “Dancing with the Stars”. I don’t know who has the worst taste — the girls, who have the excuse of being young, or their mothers, who SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN TO DRESS THEIR DAUGHTER AS A HOOKER! Your friend’s comment, “A dress that she would not be ashamed to wear” is rather telling — does her daughter have so much experience with evening gowns that she can choose wisely the first time? Probably not, and yet, these girls end up in unflattering skin-tight dresses that they can barely walk in, much less dance in. And I can tell you this: It will NOT be recycled, unless she is invited to a prom at a different school. NO ONE wears the same prom dress twice to the same school. “It simply isn’t done,” and they seldom borrow each other’s dresses, because everyone remembers who wore what.

MJG, kudos to your daughter for being responsible and mature about her work situation. Unless she had a date that she cared about, she probably had a better time working than half the girls there — and think of all the money she saved!

My daughter only had a limo for one prom — the other times, her date had a car — and I believe she split the cost of the limo with her date that year, while he paid for dinner and her corsage. For two years, they went to an after-prom event at ESPN Zone that went to 2 am, and a bus returned them to the school. The last year, they had an after-party at a friend’s house, chaperoned by three sets of parents, where they swam, played pool, hung out in the hot tub, and played games all night.

@lmno, the school absolutely does not pay for the prom. In the schools I am familiar with, the money is raised by the junior class, usually starting freshman year. In most public schools, the students have to buy tickets to supplement the cost, and the ticket can be expensive — up to $150 for a couple. In many private schools, there is no ticket — it is funded by the class. At at least one private school that I know of, the “prom” is for seniors only — no underclassmen invited, and no outside students. It’s a dinner dance just for the senior class — very classy, no limos allowed. At one private school on the Ga/SC border, the girls had to submit a picture of their dress to the administration, who had veto power over the dress — if it was too revealing, it was not approved.

Proms have gotten more and more elaborate — what happened to the dance in the gym? Most proms are at hotels (and DON’T get me started on the parents who pay for a hotel room for their darling children for the evening!) At my kids’ school, the administration was adamant — the prom was always held on campus. And it was always lovely.

Anyway, I can rant on this all day — so I’ll quit now. :-)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 25th, 2010
10:07 am

Hey Kathy — My running shoes are like three years old and completely spent — I know they are part of the problem — I also have very high arches — I am totally going to the Fleet Feet place as soon as the swelling is gone — that is exactly what I needed to know about —

to So Theresa — the school is a half-mile away — that is not my problem and the four to five miles in one shot is not my problem — my problem is non-supportive shoes!!!!!

I will go and find the missing entries!!

Kathy

March 25th, 2010
10:12 am

OH Theresa! 3 years?!?! My feet are hurting for you!! You should only be wearing shoes 6 months max. Hope your ankle gets better soon! : )

Michelle

March 25th, 2010
10:21 am

Theresa, New Balance also has several stores around the ATL area that will “fit” you with a shoe!

TT

March 25th, 2010
10:22 am

I think a reasonable price for a dress is $100- 150. Unless you make loads and loads of money, I think spending more than that on a dress is just stupid.

Also i just don’t believe how many parents are running around with all trials (make-up, hair) for the girls. Tell me why do you need to spend $300 on 18 year old nails, makeup and a hair do? These girls put on make every day, they can put it on for a prom night that lasts 5 hours.

TT

March 25th, 2010
10:24 am

Kathy – wearing sneakers for 6 month is a marketing myth, so you can pay and pay and pay.

stepmom2

March 25th, 2010
10:26 am

@ DB..LOL..I completely agree!!!

deidre_NC

March 25th, 2010
10:29 am

@theresa…hope yoru ankle feels better…its amazing how much a hurt ankle will hurt the rest of your body!! stay off of it!
@mjg….good for your daughter…

my daughter went to prom 2 times, bought one dress..borrowed the other…she and her friends would all pool their dresses and trade off…she didnt go to her senior prom, by then she was just over it all…plus she wanted a letter jacket for her basketball and volley ball that was close to $300 and decided she would rather have that than a ring plus she paid for half of it.

also…as far as i know the schools do not pay for proms…the kids have to buy tickets that pay for the whole shebang, plus if they do anything before or after or rent a limo or whatever the kids (or parents) pay for that too. i would never pay $300 for a prom dress….thats just me…i dont think my kids would have either-they didnt…i guess its all relative-if you have more money its probably not a problem. i just think its a lot of money for a dress to be worn one time…ditto wedding dresses. this is just my opinion, im not really into all that money being spent..it really means a lot to some i know, just not to me and my daughters have pretty much the same opinion i do. as another poster said—the girls need to contribute too. imo.

motherjanegoose

March 25th, 2010
10:29 am

@Jeff…do not get me started. Most of my daughter’s friends do not and have not had a part time job. One particular friend has her mom’s credit card and uses it for purchases from $2 to $100.

My daughter said they were talking about doing something together with all of her friends and discussing the cost. The credit card girl pipes in, ” money is not a problem for me….;

REALLY…well it may be when you have your card charged up to the ceiling, next year at college, and your Mama cuts you off!

This: “The mom was floored. She didn’t want to embarrass her daughter and wanted her to have a dress she wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear.” is the tip of the iceberg ad would not even be an issue at my house as I would have set the price limit BEFORE we left and if my daughter wanted to chip in the rest, that would be good!

I like the spa idea…maybe I will chat about it with her 4 closest friends and see if we can surprise her! Thanks! She loves a pedicure and we can then go to lunch! We gave her a surprise birthday on her 16th and that was a lot of fun!

Off to the airport now….

A

March 25th, 2010
10:34 am

Wow, this is really insane. Glad I have a son, although I haven’t a clue what tuxes will rent for in about 10 years!

HB

March 25th, 2010
10:37 am

“Proms have gotten more and more elaborate — what happened to the dance in the gym?”

From what I hear, DB, that’s considered tacky, but I’m with you. I went to two high schools. One held the prom in the gym every year and planning and decorating were a huge deal for juniors and anyone could participate. The gym was always draped in black and then decorated in some theme — one year was paint cans with brightly colored shimmery fabric “pouring” out. They were always so proud of the party they put on — so much fun!

My other school had the prom at a convention center right on the ocean on an island. Nice spot, but it’s not like there was a view at night. Student council members planned everything — put up a few balloons, hired a so-so band (supposedly a live band was better, but there’s not a lot of good bands to choose from down there, and we really would have preferred a DJ to old folks’ idea of good pop/rock), and were very proud of themselves for using bottles as candleholders on the tables. It was an ok night, but pretty dull, and it didn’t have the special feeling of the gym prom.

MyOpinion

March 25th, 2010
10:43 am

To all parents, notice the words “I spent” and “I paid.” My sister and I paid for our own junior/senior fees and proms. We both had jobs at summer camps and knew how long it would take to buy a dress that cost more than $100 (over 20 hours of working with 30 6yr-olds, or 5.75 an hour). So when looking at the dresses in terms of how long it took to make the money, anything over $75 (15 hours of working with 30 6yr-olds) was not in our budget.

deidre_NC

March 25th, 2010
10:44 am

amen @A.Nusman

Easy Access?...

March 25th, 2010
10:54 am

“Baby doll –six inches above the knee – They say it’s a girlish look. I can’t help think it gives a boy easy access” – access to what?

Roaming Gnome

March 25th, 2010
11:02 am

No her dress should not cost that much…

Jesse's Girl

March 25th, 2010
11:04 am

Negative Ghost Rider…..I will not be paying anywhere CLOSE to what my wedding dress cost. My oldest is in her school’s pageant…as a cheerleader she has to participate as this is their fundraiser for the year. Her dress was found on consignment. Its gorgeous..was worn once and originally cost over $300. My redheaded booty goot it for $75. With alterations, shoes, hair and make-up…we are still only out $200. It can be done on the cheap without looking cheap.

TT

March 25th, 2010
11:05 am

I think this mother has a few problems. That dress was obviuosly above what the family could comfortably spend, otherwise she would not be afraid of how her husband would react to the price.
Another mother who teaches her kids that self image is all about the money when in reality her daughter is the same person regardless of how much the dress costs.

Roaming Gnome

March 25th, 2010
11:06 am

A I have a son and we needed a ‘tux’ for Christmas.. Now they are running to rent 130!!

Jesse's Girl

March 25th, 2010
11:07 am

Per proms in the gym…I love the idea. Retro is so in now….electing a true prom commitee would be awesome. So many teens are thankfully on the green wagon….what could be more green that that? Decorate the gym…minimal fossil fuels get consumed. I think more schools should go this route.

jan

March 25th, 2010
11:08 am

I had 3 daughters and finally the baby caught on. When I would take the girls prom dress shopping there would be a limit set and we would stay within it. The youngest said, “I want dad to go with us because I need a man’s opinion”. Of course, he fell for it hook. line and sinker. She would start off with the one that you did not need a imagination to see what she had and would progress to ugly colors, and tacky styles, then the very last dress she would emerge from the dressing room was the one she really wanted. She would then proceed to say, “but daddy look at the price”, to which he would answer, “It’s okay baby, its the only one that looks great on you, We’ll get it.” The whole time I am sitting there and thinking, “Wow, she plays you better than she plays the piano.” Still not sure if it was a game for him too and he just enjoyed being included but whatever she never wore a prom dress under $200 and she went all 4 years. Her sisters thank goodness, never wanted him to go.
Yes, it is silly to pay so much for the dresses but since my husband passed away at the age of 52 with MRSA, glad she and I can share that memory.

JATL

March 25th, 2010
11:16 am

@lakerat -I don’t have a problem with several families/kids going in on a limo if drinking could possibly enter the equation OR if they’re going to be going somewhere after prom. I will probably offer this option to my boys when they’re that age as long as they’re splitting it with someone. If not, they’ll have to pick up part of the cost, stay sober or take a cab! Even the limos have gotten silly though -instead of a basic stretch Lincoln (I actually have a friend whose kid said that wasn’t “good enough” -I almost fainted), so many want stretch Subarbans or some other specialty limo. PLEASE! Like I said before -you’re a teenager -get over yourself!

JATL

March 25th, 2010
11:19 am

Theresa -I don’t go on the “a new pair every six months” unless you’re an avid runner who is clocking many miles a week, but you DO need some new shoes! You can usually tell when shoes are shot. My rule as an avid walker/runner is to get a new pair at least once a year. There have been times when I’m doing a boot camp or something that I get them more often because I’ve literally worn them out. I HIGHLY recommend Big Peach Running Company. They will video you on a treadmill to tell how or if you pronate, and you can take the shoes for a “test drive.” I will admit to doing this as well -if you like a pair there, you can often find them for less (Asics particularly) at DSW or Sports Authority -although this does go against my rule of supporting independent, smaller businesses!