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:
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.”
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?