Prom prices push seniors into panic


Artwork by Madison Meyer

Scanning through the barrage of glittery and bright colored Prom dresses, senior Julia Wilbert shrieks with joy at the thought of going to her fourth Prom with a new dress. For many families, the price of Prom and the time dedicated to finding the perfect selection is unbearable.

“Last year I couldn’t get a Prom dress because my grandma was in the hospital and I couldn’t afford it. So this year being able to choose my Prom dress was so important to me,” Wilbert said.

Boys understand that Prom is a huge deal for their female counterparts. “Years later they are going to show pictures to their daughters, they don’t want to have a bad dress,” senior Isaiah Speller-Martin said.

“Girls stress a lot about their dresses, but they always seem to be proud of their dresses. I personally love my tux, I am really into wearing them on special occasions, I spent $190 on my rental,” senior Jonathan Kolson said.

Junior Molly Exter agrees. “Prom is important because it’s a once in a lifetime thing, but some girls go a little overboard,” Exter said.

Prom is considered a right of passage for high school seniors, but not everybody wants to go over-the-top for the big night.

“The whole process is overrated. I don’t really care that much if people are wearing the same dress,” senior Paige Tyler said. “It’s not about the dress, it’s about the night.” Tyler said that she spent around $200 for the night.

Tyler isn’t alone, as Prom can come with a pretty hefty price tag. According to a Patriot survey, a majority of this year’s senior girls said their dresses alone  cost anywhere from $100-$500, and it took them 1-5 hours to find it. Although dress stores are becoming more competitive with their prices to keep up with more convenient online counterpart, 32.26 percent of girls bought their dresses online.

Long, form-fitting dresses with cutouts either on the sides or on the back have been the recent favorite style, but 26 percent of girls went for a princess ball gown and 3.85 percent opted for a short dress. No matter what the preference of each girl, the whole package to look “perfect” isn’t cheap.

Besides the dress, 56.67 percent of girls who get their nails done spend $20-$50, 46.67 percent also spend that amount on a new pair of heels and makeup, and 20 percent add that same price to their bill for a tan. 40 percent of the senior girls then plan to spend between $20 and $100 for their hair.

Males spend about half of that amount, only having to rent a tux and shoes ranging from $100-$300. So much thought is put into that one special night, but it’s worth every magical moment. 90.91 percent of students expressed that their strongest feeling towards Prom was “excitement.”

A corsage/boutonniere? $20. A ticket to Prom? $50. The memories created there? Priceless.


Lauren Fabiszak is an A&E Editor for The Patriot and