Prom is a time for celebration, and a senior’s reminder of the freedom coming soon. This year, Prom has been moved up two weeks, occurring prior to Spring Break, and creating a world of frenzy. Junior and senior girls have been forced to shove their anxiety out of the way and hit the shops for a dress that will outdo all others, without outdoing their wallets (or their parents’).
The average cost students pay for a Prom dress is between $100-$200, but it is still important to set a budget. If parents are paying, make sure to set a budget before accidentally blowing their paychecks.
The best way to avoid going over a budget is simply not to look at dresses beyond the limit. Also, do not go to stores that are known for ridiculous overpricing, such as Uniquities or Genealogy in Cameron Village or Fantasia in North Hills.
Most of the boutiques like those in Cameron Village or North Hills won’t have Prom sales yet either, so don’t get too excited with hopes of a steal. Still, many times Prom dresses from the previous year will go on sale for a fraction of the original price. Alex Stewart, senior, bought 2010 gown, originally $400, for less than $100 at Sak’s Off Fifth.
Instead of buying new jewelry, shoes, etc., use what you already have at home or even borrowing from friends. Fret not, no one will remember those gold hoops you wore last year.
Experienced student shoppers have found a few great shops that have been repeatedly reliable for nice, affordable dresses. Among the most popular are Nordstrom, David’s Bridal, Belk’s, and Caché.
What’s nice about shopping at department stores such as Belk’s or Nordstrom is the variety and abundance of sizes. This can also be a down side, though, because dresses at these stores will be less unique– many girls are shopping the same racks. So, it is up to the shopper to decide.
Some students have even found gowns at second-hand shops. Sara Myers, 2010 LRHS graduate, said last year that she found a gorgeous Caché dress at Goodwill for her sophomore prom.
Here’s the deal about second-hand and consignment shops: Most of the people who send their unwanted clothing there spent a fortune on it first and only wore it once. Also, you can find very unique pieces there, you just have to be willing to look for it.
New fashion can be your friend. Prom trends are changing (slowly) from long and razzle dazzle to short and coquettish. The lack of so much material could potentially lessen the cost of a dress a little.
Best advice: knock out shopping now. The longer it’s put off, the harder it will be to find a dress and the more stressful. By following the tips above, any Prom shopping extravaganza can be made easy and all the more fun.