Author Topic: Prom Dress madness  (Read 12032 times)

Hey It's Me

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Prom Dress madness
« on: September 26, 2015, 02:05:43 PM »
One of my FB "friends'" sister just posted a pic of her in her prom dress...



Is it just me, or are prom dresses getting crazier every year? This monstrosity looks closer to a red carpet dress that a movie star might wear to her premier, and definitely does not look cheap. I have a friend who said her parents spent over $2000 on her dress when she was in high school. TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS? I didn't even know how to respond to that...
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 02:07:54 PM by moe__rants »

Dicey

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2015, 02:20:40 PM »
Not to mention the cost of the hairdo, plus assumed mani/pedi and make-up. Oh, then there are the shoes and foundation garments, oh puh-leeeze. On top of that, I doubt her comfort level improved as the night wore on...
I'm going to go all wildly optimistic here and say I hope she at least earned the money to pay for the lollapalooza herself.
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former player

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 03:46:44 PM »
I can't see how she could dance much in that dress.  What's the point in going to a dance if you can't dance?
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crispy

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2015, 04:25:51 PM »
That dress is wayyyy to mature for a high school girl.

LiveLean

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2015, 05:30:35 PM »
That dress is wayyyy to mature for a high school girl.

Actually, here in Florida this would be considered a highly conservative dress. Teenage girls here wear only micro spaghetti strap dresses that end no more than a foot below the waistline.

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tardis

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015, 06:43:42 PM »
Woah.  Beautiful dress, but I agree a bit much for prom and a 17/18 y/o.

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2015, 07:00:05 PM »
Any chance she made the dress?

tardis

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2015, 07:25:00 PM »
My educated guess is no.  The hand beading would take days on its own.  A dress like this has at least 3 layers (fashion fabric, corsetry, lining), would require a trail "toile" garment, and be anywhere between $300-$1000 or so of material (depending on quality) if you bought at retail prices.  And let's not forget that a skilled seamstress would need several years of experience.  Not that there aren't young prodigies out there, but the chances are exceedingly slim.

justajane

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2015, 07:59:12 PM »
My mantra, repeated 20 times a day at least: "Thank God we have boys. Thank God we have boys."

Haha. Ain't that the truth! I'm a mother of three boys.

I agree with others. The dress is beautiful but entirely too sophisticated and expensive for a high school student.

crispy

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2015, 08:22:36 PM »
That dress is wayyyy to mature for a high school girl.

Actually, here in Florida this would be considered a highly conservative dress. Teenage girls here wear only micro spaghetti strap dresses that end no more than a foot below the waistline.

My mantra, repeated 20 times a day at least: "Thank God we have boys. Thank God we have boys."

Ha!  I have two little girls, and I am dreading the teen years.

Hey It's Me

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2015, 08:48:27 PM »
Her friends all had dresses at least as crazy. I guess the dress business is booming here. Imagine if the parents took all the money they blew away each year and invested it into their kids' futures? A) They'd be in much better financial shape as young adults and B) they'd be so much less disappointed in their paychecks after graduating with liberal arts degrees.

justajane

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2015, 06:24:51 AM »
Prom dress rentals really make sense, but I wonder if there is a stigma attached to it in some circles?

In hindsight, I'm not sure why I didn't consider renting a wedding dress. I "only" paid $300 for it, but now it's taking up all this space in my closet. I could donate it and give it away, but at this point it's probably yellowed and likely out of style.

FLA

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2015, 08:18:33 AM »
Prom dress rentals really make sense, but I wonder if there is a stigma attached to it in some circles?

how would anyone know?  I think our last place for dress rentals is gone. 

30 yrs ago, I went to 3 proms and I wore the same dress.  I survived the shame! I cannot believe what my friends pony up for their daughters. That level of excess is not what we value

MgoSam

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2015, 01:38:23 PM »
Prom dress rentals really make sense, but I wonder if there is a stigma attached to it in some circles?

how would anyone know?  I think our last place for dress rentals is gone. 

30 yrs ago, I went to 3 proms and I wore the same dress.  I survived the shame! I cannot believe what my friends pony up for their daughters. That level of excess is not what we value

There are dress rental options. I have a friend that occasionally rents a dress for the opera or other things, can't remember the name of the company but it's online based.

Apples

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2015, 02:04:12 PM »
Rent dresses from Rent the Runway.  I am in my mid 20's, and I had friends do this for several events in college, weddings nowadays, and a military ball.  I've also known people to rent dresses if they suddenly have a lot of weddings/events to attend in one year and really only want to own 2 dresses, but don't want to be seen repeatedly in the same dress rent dresses for several of the occasions. 

But I was not very fashiony, and my prom dresses cost $400.  Both years.  It was the one time I didn't get a dress from J. C. Penny for an event, and to my 17 year old self it was worth every penny.  (I didn't pay for it, but I would have-I had a summer job working full time and very few expenses.) And mine was way more Cinderella, less stripper like some people's were.  It's nuts.

Rural

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2015, 03:27:20 PM »
 I got one from a thrift store, and the other has been made 50 years earlier by my grandmother for an aunt's prom dress. Guess my roots are showing…

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2015, 04:41:52 PM »
That's not typical of the dresses I see these days:

Prom dresses here tend to be:
- Strapless or spaghetti strap
- Beaded or sequined on the top
- Slinky /fitted below the waist, sometimes with a slit up to the knee
- On the other hand, the princess skirt that flares out at the waist with layers of tulle is far from dead
- Too old/too sophisticated, in my opinion, for the high school students who wear them
- Any color except black -- the little black dress thing is dead here
- As the mother of girls, these dresses tend to run $200-400 new, but the second hand market is HUGE and no one knows who bought new vs. used.  Yes, a few girls will spend $1000+, but they are definitely in the minority; however, they like to brag about it, whereas the girl who bought hers for $50 on a clearance rack ... tends to keep her mouth shut.
- About half the girls get hair, nails, tanning, etc. -- but about half do all this on their own ... and wear a pair of old shoes too.  Believe me, plenty of girls do prom "on the cheap". 

Homecoming or semi-formal dresses tend to be:
- Strapless or spaghetti strap
- VERY, VERY short skirts -- more often flirty layers rather than fitted
- Might feature beading or sequins on the top, but it's light
- These dresses are age-appropriate, but I personally think they need to cover more skin. 
- As the mother of girls, I know these dresses run $60-150.  I've bought them from clearance racks for as low as $15. 
- A whole lot of kids say they enjoy semi-formal more than prom because the expectations are lower.  Groups of girls go together, there's no pressure to have that perfect restaurant meal beforehand, pictures are casual.  Lower expectations often means more fun. 

Jacana

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2015, 04:43:36 PM »
Maybe it depends on where you live, but where I grew up, prom night was this crazy when I graduated 14 years ago and the ridiculousness was nothing new then. The dresses were over the top and you needed a different one for each prom attended, the hair/nails/makeup had to be just right, the limo was required, the venue had to be in Manhattan, there was an after party at a club or comedy club or some other place depending on what crowd you went with, etc. I think even my frugal down to earth set of friends ended up paying around $1000-1500 per person for prom and graduation costs, and I would not be surprised to find others paid well over $2000.

In fact, it was so expensive 14 years ago that my parents (quintessential natural mustachians) offered me a deal. They would help me pay to go to prom and graduation, or they would send me to Australia for 5 weeks (with free tickets from travel rewards) to visit my exchange sister. Uh, no brainer, I went to Oz, and it actually cost less! Ridiculous.

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2015, 12:21:57 PM »
Prom dress rentals really make sense, but I wonder if there is a stigma attached to it in some circles?

A friend of mine absolutely refused to wear a rental or a second hand dress. I think she thought somehow everyone would know it was used. So they would assume she's renting it because she's poor. And she would be so embarrassed. She also had to have new shoes dyed to match the dress because that was the style at the time. All the other girls were doing it. Her mother searched my friend's closet and found some shoes that actually matched the dress and were prettier than the dyed shoes. So my friend threw a tantrum screaming and crying for hours until her mother went and bought the dyed shoes. She's not going to wear shoes she already owns of course. How could anyone expect her to put up with nonsense like that. She also cried and screamed at the suggestion of a family friend (who was also a hair stylist) doing her hair. People can tell free hairdos from expensive ones apparently. Every single suggestion of saving money was met with more tears and screams.

I associate expensive prom dresses with crying teenagers now. You have no idea how much screaming and crying had to be done to earn that dress.

"Everybody else's parents are spending more money than you on their daughters! Why do you hate me!? Wah!"

Money Mouse

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2015, 12:53:21 PM »
Back in the dark ages (otherwise known as 1994) my prom dress was $100ish (it was either $100 or $120, but I know it wasn't more than that, my mother was having a fit over the cost as it was!). I did my own hair, make-up, and nails. If I remember right, mom paid for the dress and I paid for the shoes and purse, which I dyed to match. The shoes were $20 and I don't remember how much the purse was, but probably $20 or less. Let's round up and say $50 for shoes/purse. I also bought a boutonniere for my date, don't remember that cost but I doubt it was much.

Date paid for my prom ticket and we caught a ride with a mutual friend and her date in her mid '80's grand am - or I think it was a grand am, can't remember now (it was red and totally unimpressive).  We didn't do any of the "after prom" party stuff, I think we just went back to my house and watched some movies on VHS.

So I spent less than $200, of which I covered roughly half myself.  According to an inflation calculator, that's less than $325 in 2015 dollars. So a pretty reasonable amount. Some of my classmates spent a bit more on their dresses and a few small groups went in on the cost of a limo, but I don't remember anyone being insanely over the top.

I have a DD, age 3.5 so I have some time, but thinking about it now, I'll probably tell her I'll kick in something like $500 towards everything and she can do what she wants, if she wants more than what $500 will cover she'll need to pick up the rest. That's more than enough to cover a decent formal/shoes/purse (plus accounting for some inflation over the next 14 years), if she wants super fancy or "name brand" designer she can figure out how to pay for it on her own.
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MgoSam

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2015, 12:59:23 PM »
I didn't go to prom, not because I was a rebel but I didn't have a date. A group of my friends were willing to let me come with them, but I thought hard and decided that it simply wasn't worth purchasing a tux and other things. Very glad that I didn't splurge on this.

I also forgot to order a yearbook and so just stapled a bunch of computer paper together and called it "YEARBOOK."

runningthroughFIRE

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2015, 01:09:43 PM »
Prom dress rentals really make sense, but I wonder if there is a stigma attached to it in some circles?

A friend of mine absolutely refused to wear a rental or a second hand dress. I think she thought somehow everyone would know it was used. So they would assume she's renting it because she's poor. And she would be so embarrassed. She also had to have new shoes dyed to match the dress because that was the style at the time. All the other girls were doing it. Her mother searched my friend's closet and found some shoes that actually matched the dress and were prettier than the dyed shoes. So my friend threw a tantrum screaming and crying for hours until her mother went and bought the dyed shoes. She's not going to wear shoes she already owns of course. How could anyone expect her to put up with nonsense like that. She also cried and screamed at the suggestion of a family friend (who was also a hair stylist) doing her hair. People can tell free hairdos from expensive ones apparently. Every single suggestion of saving money was met with more tears and screams.

I associate expensive prom dresses with crying teenagers now. You have no idea how much screaming and crying had to be done to earn that dress.

"Everybody else's parents are spending more money than you on their daughters! Why do you hate me!? Wah!"
My girlfriend in HS was like this to a lesser degree.  She wanted her prom night to be "perfect".  I bought her prom bid (the ticket to the venue, for those who don't know), and she bought the dress and did makeup, hair, etc. on her dime/with her friends.  Money was very tight for her, but she balked at my suggestion of renting or borrowing a dress from a friend who was her size.  I actually went dress shopping with her and I was able to convince her that she'd look just as lovely in a used/clearance dress, but there's definitely a stima associated with renting.  I wore black dress pants and a black suit jacket I wore for interviews.

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2015, 01:31:17 PM »
Good grief! $2K?

We don't even go back to HS reunions b/c of the former "in crowd" from my class organizes the events and the price tag is a hundred or more per person for the evening. Never been back.

Nah - didn't like those folks much then, don't much want to see them now. I've moved on from HS. My military and college  years were far more fun.

Don't do FB either so I don't keep up with them that way. My wife does FB and many of her class peers have turned into ahhhh - "interesting people" who apparently spend too much time watching 24-hr cable news. Some ugly opinions voiced very openly.

When I went to prom in H.S. I rented my tux, and my date (not my wife now) borrowed/rented a dress. She looked wonderful head to toe. The happy face she wore that night made everything else pretty inconsequential.

Years later when I married my wife she bought a $250 dress and made the most of it. Beautiful x1000. Me = rented tux again.

Don't want to spend big money on clothes we won't wear but once. Its what you do in those clothes that makes the memories.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 01:34:36 PM by Joe Average »

rufflina

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2015, 02:49:29 PM »
I didn't go to any of my proms, even though I was always in a relationship. Just didn't see appealing to me. I did enjoy attending semi-formal events in high school which seemed much less involved. I have no regrets, but now I'm spending quite a bit on my wedding ($12K not including rings)...Oh well, I suppose it's still less than average :)

prudence

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2015, 07:14:09 AM »
When my daughter went to prom 2 years ago, we found a beautiful, age appropriate dress on clearance for $80. She did her own hair and makeup. She looked gorgeousl, had a great time and no one knew if he dress was $50 or $1000. You can definitely do prom for way less than many parents spend.

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2015, 08:33:51 AM »
I went to prom in 2000.  A group of girls from my school flew to Italy to buy dresses. In addition to airfare and hotel, the dresses cost several thousand dollars each. Two girls had bespoke couture dresses made in Italy, which is beyond several thousand.

My dress cost $60 at JC Penny. 

irishbear99

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2015, 08:51:22 AM »
Prom dress rentals really make sense, but I wonder if there is a stigma attached to it in some circles?

A friend of mine absolutely refused to wear a rental or a second hand dress. I think she thought somehow everyone would know it was used. So they would assume she's renting it because she's poor. And she would be so embarrassed. She also had to have new shoes dyed to match the dress because that was the style at the time. All the other girls were doing it. Her mother searched my friend's closet and found some shoes that actually matched the dress and were prettier than the dyed shoes. So my friend threw a tantrum screaming and crying for hours until her mother went and bought the dyed shoes. She's not going to wear shoes she already owns of course. How could anyone expect her to put up with nonsense like that. She also cried and screamed at the suggestion of a family friend (who was also a hair stylist) doing her hair. People can tell free hairdos from expensive ones apparently. Every single suggestion of saving money was met with more tears and screams.

I associate expensive prom dresses with crying teenagers now. You have no idea how much screaming and crying had to be done to earn that dress.

"Everybody else's parents are spending more money than you on their daughters! Why do you hate me!? Wah!"

How does one get to be a teenager still thinking that throwing a temper tantrum is an appropriate response to, well, anything? Actually, how does one get past the age of four or so thinking that?

FatCat

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2015, 09:29:15 AM »
Prom dress rentals really make sense, but I wonder if there is a stigma attached to it in some circles?

A friend of mine absolutely refused to wear a rental or a second hand dress. I think she thought somehow everyone would know it was used. So they would assume she's renting it because she's poor. And she would be so embarrassed. She also had to have new shoes dyed to match the dress because that was the style at the time. All the other girls were doing it. Her mother searched my friend's closet and found some shoes that actually matched the dress and were prettier than the dyed shoes. So my friend threw a tantrum screaming and crying for hours until her mother went and bought the dyed shoes. She's not going to wear shoes she already owns of course. How could anyone expect her to put up with nonsense like that. She also cried and screamed at the suggestion of a family friend (who was also a hair stylist) doing her hair. People can tell free hairdos from expensive ones apparently. Every single suggestion of saving money was met with more tears and screams.

I associate expensive prom dresses with crying teenagers now. You have no idea how much screaming and crying had to be done to earn that dress.

"Everybody else's parents are spending more money than you on their daughters! Why do you hate me!? Wah!"

How does one get to be a teenager still thinking that throwing a temper tantrum is an appropriate response to, well, anything? Actually, how does one get past the age of four or so thinking that?

Because the behavior is rewarded? If crying and screaming gets people to give you stuff, then I guess it will continue until it stops working. I'm not sure she would have gotten what she wanted if she explained rationally that she requires doing everything the expensive way for just one night. Her parents wanted to give her what she wanted but at a much lower cost. I think she knew her parents ideas were more reasonable. But she still wanted what she wanted. The idea of doing prom in a cheap way was offensive to her. A big part of her enjoyment was knowing how much money was spent on her because she's "worth it."

Megma

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2015, 09:44:55 AM »
Bingo FatCat, she cried and got what she wanted. So the next time she wants something she will cry again because the behavior is being rewarded.


I went to prom twice in 2002 and 2003. The first year I spent $30 on my dress on massive sale from a department store and $35 on an up-do hairstyle. So my hair cost more than my dress. I don't think I got my nails done? I might have bough $20 shoes. My female friends and I made dinner for the men folk at my friends house (her parents were the coolest, my mom was super awkward with any dating stuff).

The second year (senior year, more inclined to go all out) I spent ~170 on my dress and like 20 on an up-do (cheaper salon!), I did get a manicure for another 20 and maybe shoes, let's say a max of $300. My date paid for us to go out to dinner somewhere, it's a small town so even the most expensive place is not that expensive!

I would anticipate a bespoke Italian dress to cost roughly the same (maybe more!) as semester's tuition at a public college, even at 17 I think I would have known which one is a better investment in my future...

pachnik

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2015, 10:04:12 AM »
Well, I graduated from HS in 1982.  We had a dinner/dance thing which I guess is the same as a prom in the States?  I am not really sure.  Anyway, I picked the fabric and my grandma made the dress.   This was back in the dark ages.

Dicey

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2015, 12:11:41 PM »
So I'm typing this with a sheepish grin on my face. I just reserved a dress from Rent the Runway for the first time.

We choose to attend two formal charity events a year, with the same folks attending both. Until last year, I was able to borrow or recycle things I already owned and then the well ran dry. Last time I needed to buy a dress, it cost $50 on a super clearance. This year, I just didn't want to shop. I'm also getting tired of having dresses I love, but have no other place to wear them. So I decided to try RtR. I spent $88 for a dress in two sizes and a backup, which includes tax, insurance and shipping. I did not spend time driving or shopping, so I'd guess it's about a wash. The main reason I don't like to spend a ton on clothes for these events is that I'd rather give the money to the charity.

I'm a little nervous about the fit of the dress and the possibility of seeing its twin there, but that can happen with a purchased dress too, so I'll take my chances. I'll report back after the event to let y'all know how it went. So far, the RtR experience has been painless.

As for DH, I found a tuxedo at a White Elephant sale for $35 and a silk vest for $7. Spent $40 on alterations. Studs and a shirt ran about $80 and he had good dress shoes and a black bow tie. For about $160, he's set for at least the next ten years. Sheesh, men are lucky when it comes to formal wear.

Re: the crying teenager - If I had pulled that shit on my mother, I never would have seen the inside of the venue on prom night. No doubt this girl and her parents have been doing this dance for a long time. Too bad her folks didn't have the strength to nip it in the bud when she was younger.
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MsPeacock

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2015, 12:25:41 PM »
I went to prom twice. In 10th grade because my boyfriend was a senior and then when I was in 12th grade I went w/a friend of mine. Wore the same dress both times (1985 and 1987), purchased at the mall for maybe $80. I'm not sure what $80 translates to in 2015 dollars - but probably a few hundred. The first time I went I got my hair and make-up done (because I have no idea, then or now, how to do either particularly well). Boyfriend took me out for a fancy dinner and then we went to prom. I have no recollection how much the tickets cost. He was able to borrow his Dad's car (Cadillac) for the evening. Second time around was super cheap - no hair being done, no make-up being done, wore the same dress, wore the same shoes, went w/ friend so we just ate our dinners ahead of time and went to the party.

I really do not understand spending $2000 or so on a dress or event (prom, wedding or otherwise). I have had my hair "done" officially twice in my life - once for prom and once for an extremely fancy black-tie wedding where I was a guest of someone in the wedding party. My wedding dress was less than $200 and had no alterations. Thankfully I have boys so I don't think they will be asking for $2000 dresses (most likely).

The dresses I see in the mall now seem very risqué and slinky compared to what was the norm 30 years ago. Lots of bare skin and cleavage.

mm1970

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2015, 12:45:39 PM »
My mantra, repeated 20 times a day at least: "Thank God we have boys. Thank God we have boys."

Haha. Ain't that the truth! I'm a mother of three boys.

I agree with others. The dress is beautiful but entirely too sophisticated and expensive for a high school student.
+1

Two boys here.

My niece went to prom this year - this dress is typical for 16/17/18 year old girls nowadays.

My friend from a long time ago has a HS daughter, and she posted a pic of the dress she was going to get.  It was limited edition/ designer/ I couldn't even find it online - I think it was close to $2000. For a fucking dress for homecoming.

Back in the dark ages (the 80's) I'm pretty sure I wore hand me down bridesmaids dresses for both my proms.  Or maybe I made one senior year?  So old, so little memory.

One of my former coworker's daughter takes the cake - in a good way. For her senior prom: She got a dress off E-bay for $25.  She altered it by taking off the sleeves, etc.  She cooked dinner for her boyfriend. They drove there in her parent's or his parent's car.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 12:49:54 PM by mm1970 »

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2015, 01:45:46 PM »

I would anticipate a bespoke Italian dress to cost roughly the same (maybe more!) as semester's tuition at a public college, even at 17 I think I would have known which one is a better investment in my future...

Well, from what I can tell on facebook, the girls who accompanied on the trip are up to their eyeballs in debt in their early 30s; but those two are from an incredibly wealthy family, so it was totally a non-issue. For me, it's the USE of the money for something so ridiculous though. Although one of the two now makes her living as the head of a pretty impressive charitable foundation.

LiveLean

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2015, 01:59:54 PM »
My go-to response when I hear our kids telling us, "Well, so-and-so's parents are letting them/buying them" is this:

"It's not my fault your friend's parents are idiots."

At one point my wife said to me, "You know, that's going to get back to their parents."

I just smiled.

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BDWW

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2015, 04:21:22 PM »
I spent ~1200 on my dress... and I'm a guy.

8 yard Balmoral Kilt in family tartan, prince charlie jacket, socks, brogues, sporran, sgian dubh.

I only wear it once a year or so, but its high quality and will be an heirloom.


meg_shannon

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2015, 02:49:41 AM »
Rent the Runway is great. Two years ago my husband and I attended a black tie wedding in NYC for a high school friend of his. I almost didn't go because the dress would cost so much, but then a friend of a friend told about the rental site. For about 100$ I rented a formal gown, earrings, necklace, and handbag. I had none of those things as I'm not a fancy person. I also don't wear much makeup, but went to Sephora and got little trial sizes. The clerk was very helpful and steered me towards cheaper options and also just gave me some of their free samples.

It was still a very expensive evening, train tickets to NYC, tux rental, dress rental, makeup, wedding gift, and hotel for one night.

I'll probably encourage my daughter to rent a dress for her prom too. Of course she's only five and we may not be in the States then so...

Jakejake

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2015, 04:44:17 AM »
In hindsight, I'm not sure why I didn't consider renting a wedding dress. I "only" paid $300 for it, but now it's taking up all this space in my closet. I could donate it and give it away, but at this point it's probably yellowed and likely out of style.
I paid about the same for mine. After the wedding, I cut it all apart and turned it into our christmas tree skirt.

Pigeon

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2015, 07:08:46 AM »
My teen has been to three proms, and we haven't spent a fortune on it. 

Last year, we got a dress on ebay.  It was new, but only cost $79 and was drop dead gorgeous.  She had tons of compliments and was stopped by one of the people who worked at the venue who told her that was the prettiest dress she'd ever seen.  We did have to pay $40 for alterations.  I might have been able to do it myself, but I was nervous about ruining it and didn't have much time.

The year before, we got a dress for $100 at David's Bridal.  We also had to pay for alterations and that was a little more because it was a multi-layer dress and had to be taken in on top (strapless).  I could not have done those alterations as the top had to be completely taken apart.

The third dress was $69 on clearance at JCP and did not require alterations.

She wore the same shoes for all and I did her hair.  I don't understand why this needs to cost thousands of dollars other than people are nuts.

I think the dress in the OP is actually kind of ugly. 

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2015, 07:34:45 AM »
Unbeknownst to each other a friend and I wore the same wedding dress, in the same size, a month apart.
I wish we had known we'd picked out the same one. We could have shared! I'm only a bit shorter than her so I could have made it work.

I did donate my wedding dress, but if I were paying for it instead of my parents, I would have gone with the $99 David's dress that was perfectly fine.  My Dad did not want to settle for "perfectly fine" and picked the (much nicer, IMO) dress.  Still from David's, but a lot more expensive.

MrsPete

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2015, 02:07:50 PM »
As a high school teacher, I can tell you these "drop 2K on prom types" are real ... but they're not typical.  They get lots of attention, especially because they talk about shopping at ____ and spending ____ amount.  It's high school -- stuff like that gets around. 

What doesn't get around are the stories about the girls who borrow dresses from their out-of-town cousins, couples who eat at Olive Garden, and kids who drive their father's car to prom.  Since those aren't noteworthy stories, it seems like the 2K crowd is "normal". 

Lanthiriel

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2015, 06:21:30 PM »
This thread cracks me up. My mom paid $200 for my freshman prom dress, and I was waaaaaay overdressed. I probably went to half a dozen dances in high school, and I never again paid more than $40 for a dress from either Ross or JC Penney. I only had my hair professionally done twice. Probably my entire high school "dance" career cost $500. My mom then donated the 5 or so dresses I'd accumulated (some of them made multiple appearances) and donated them to a girl who was trying to get started in the pageant circuit for scholarship money.

Dicey

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2015, 06:49:54 PM »
My go-to response when I hear our kids telling us, "Well, so-and-so's parents are letting them/buying them" is this:

"It's not my fault your friend's parents are idiots."

At one point my wife said to me, "You know, that's going to get back to their parents."

I just smiled.
I smiled too. Good one.
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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2015, 06:45:08 AM »
freshman prom dress

Wow... to me this is the main problem with your post. What the heck is "freshman prom?"

I went to many many dance in high school. Prom was the only one I bought a dress for, the rest came from mine or my friend's closets.  Thankfully, homecoming was not a thing at my school (those dresses get just as ridiculous)- I only went to homecoming dance once; because my chemistry teacher offered bonus points on a test for attending the dance. I wore a church dress.

Pigeon

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2015, 06:55:44 AM »
While our school has a junior prom and a senior prom, it's not uncommon for underclassmen to be invited by a junior or senior to go to one of their proms.

midweststache

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2015, 06:55:58 AM »
Bought two formal dresses in high school (10 years ago... Jebus...) One for my prom, on for my BF's prom (which was the following year at the same school).

1. Was a bridesmaid dress in a lovely light green, strapless, drop waist, knee-length -- pretty tasteful, considering the styles then. I wore it to formals in college (sorority girl here). About $150. I loved that dress, and still would if I could fit in it (it's long since been relegated to a formal dress charity for low-income girls in my hometown).
2. A stupid ugly gold floor length dress that I thought made me look old Hollywood and, in retrospect, made me look dumb. $80.

I did my hair and make-up both times, used shoes I had around (my "nice church shoes"), and had dinner either at someone's house with friends (the first year it was my house, and my mom was the BOMB about making the food excellent and still made the dinner feel "upscale" - we got to use her old china!)

All other dresses were borrowed from friends. FTW. Must be indicative of my value in formal clothes; my wedding dress was not white, still in my closet because I teach in it, and cost all of $150, including tailoring.

A good friend of mine at that time (who had done pageants) spent a fortune on her dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, jewelry, etc. Whatever--at the time, I just thought "that's who she is and what she values" and she never made me feel bad for not doing the same thing. Probably my earlier instantiation of "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2015, 07:32:08 AM »
Wowzer. I went to two proms at school and numerous formal events at university. I had a £10 ballpark budget per dress, £20 if I really loved it. Bought them all used from eBay, mostly Monsoon brand ( because I knew my size after the first one). Two bags (black and gold) and two pairs of shoes (black-and-white and gold). Always wore pearls that I got as a present, always did my own makeup. I wore each dress two or three times and then re-sold or donated it (depending on if I could be bothered). I probably spent £200 on formalwear across four years. Still have two of the dresses!

Lanthiriel

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2015, 11:06:47 PM »
freshman prom dress

Wow... to me this is the main problem with your post. What the heck is "freshman prom?"

I went to many many dance in high school. Prom was the only one I bought a dress for, the rest came from mine or my friend's closets.  Thankfully, homecoming was not a thing at my school (those dresses get just as ridiculous)- I only went to homecoming dance once; because my chemistry teacher offered bonus points on a test for attending the dance. I wore a church dress.

My school was 7-9, then 10-12 so apparently freshman got a fancy dance when they "graduated" to high school. This is admittedly insane. I'm the oldest and it was bizarrely important to my mother that I got to EVERY dance I had the opportunity to attend, which was about 3/year for 4 years. This is the same woman who bought me a letterman jacket despite the fact that I only lettered in academics and, wait for it, bowling.

partgypsy

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2015, 10:37:57 AM »
I think it is true, that the majority of people make do, borrow, get something relatively inexpensive. But it's the ones splashing out that get the attention, whether it is bad or good. I know when my sister went to prom she didn't spent a lot of money on her dress, and cut her hair herself (it was short). However the expectation was the date would take you to a nice dinner, and get you a wrist corsage. Between that and possibly having to rent a suit, I always assumed the men had to pay more.

My younger daughter recently asked me why we didn't have a framed picture of me in my wedding dress (was looking at her grandparent's wedding picture).

I found the photo album and showed her pictures from our "wedding" (we eloped, I was wearing a white sundress), which unfortunately were taken with a disposable camera so many of the photos were distorted. I didn't go to my prom (didn't have a date, thought it would be lame to go with friends). I skipped my graduate school ceremonies. When I went to weddings I would typically wear something I already had. In retrospect I kind of wish I had at least a couple nicer pics of myself. 


MgoSam

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Re: Prom Dress madness
« Reply #49 on: October 05, 2015, 03:17:44 PM »
Are people thinking about prom already?