National Edition

Why Prom doesn't have to come with a big price tag

Compiled by Nathan Sorensen

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 29 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

High school students pose for a prom picture in Atlanta, spring of 2013. The cost of going to the prom has soared out of reach for many teens recently. One dress retailer estimates the average cost of prom night this year will hit $1,900 per couple — $500 more than the average total amount spent per couple in 2013, according to PR Newswire. To combat the cost, some communities have taken steps to ensure no one misses out on the tradition because they can't pay hundreds of dollars for the necessities, like a dress.

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The cost of going to the prom has soared out of reach for many teens, but some communities have taken steps to ensure no one misses out on the tradition because they can't pay hundreds of dollars for a dress.

Dress retailer Golden Asp forecasts the average cost of prom night this year will hit $1,900 per couple — $500 more than the average total amount spent per couple in 2013, according to PR Newswire.

Although a prom dress isn't the only cost for prom, it is the most costly, and several of the communities around the country have come up with ways to help families find an affordable outfit for the big night.

At West Chicago Community High School in Illinois, USAgain is sponsoring a "Prom Goes Green" event in which girls can come by and pick out a dress from among thousands of gently used, or once-worn dresses to wear to their prom, the Chicago Tribune reported. The goal of the event is to not only save thousands of girls from having to buy new dresses priced at hundreds of dollars, but to also save the dresses from filling up landfills, according to the report.

And in an article by Long Island Newsday, 1,000 dresses will be given away this prom season in Brookhaven Town, N.Y. The dresses are part of an annual tradition, now in its 15th year, where local shops and businesses donate dresses in an effort to help needy families give their daughters an opportunity to go to prom.

And in mid-March, a prom dress auction was held in Seward, Alaska, at the local high school, according to the Seward Phoenix Log. Twenty-one dresses were donated, modeled and then auctioned off at intentionally low and affordable prices — anywhere from $3 to $25.

One seam-savvy mom in Stamford, Conn., will be gathering prom dresses in her home in what she is calling the "Cinderella Project" and allowing girls to come over to her home and have them fitted, according to It's Relevant, Stamford Edition. "I want every girl to feel special," she said. "No one should not go to the prom because they can't have a dress."

Email: nsorensen@deserenews.com

Twitter: sorensenate

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