The Price Tag on Prom

Sydney Gaff

One tradition nearly every high schooler looks forward to is prom, the event that gives all participating teenagers an excuse to get dressed up and feel special for a night. However, being a part of this night comes with a big price tag. For teenage girls, the purchase of shoes, a dress, hair, nails, and makeup, prom has increased in price every year and continues to do so. For boys, the tux, and typically the dinner and dance tickets.

According to The Guardian, as of 2015 a Visa survey shows that the average family in the United States planned on spending about $919. Now this amount can vary depending on the teen and their family, but on average, that is a great deal of money to spend for one night on a teenager. Tons of things go into getting ready, especially for the females that attend.

For starters is the coveted dress, the dress is possibly one of the most important aspects of the night. Girls tend to search high and low for their dress and some spare no expense. Prom dresses can be found at a decent price, but also range up in the thousands and end up costing more than a modestly priced wedding dress. A dress might make a girl’s night, but it does not mean it has to break the bank.

As for the guys’ attire, while it is normally cheaper than their female counterparts, can also cost quite a bit for one night. The average tux rental for a guy can be from $100 to $150. In comparison to a dress this is cheaper, but a girl owns and can eventually sell it where for guys this is has no possible return from it because as a rental they can’t keep it.

Often young women also step their beauty routine up for prom: bolder makeup and bigger hair. Of course all of this also comes at a price as well. It is becoming more and more popular to go out and get makeup done at a store or even by a makeup artist, and having makeup professionally done at places such as Mac, Sephora, and Ulta all have a base price of $50. Plus nails, hair, and the occasional fake tanner increases costs, so they can add up to be more than the dress.

For most guys a full beauty routine isn’t always required; however, guys do have to worry about other costs such as dinner and sometimes tickets which can quickly add up.

Prom is something students will continue to look forward to in high school, and everyone should enjoy getting dressed up and having an opportunity the be with their friends and have fun. However, how long will the good times last as costs get more and more out of control and prom becomes impractical for some students?

Photo Courtesy of Salvation Army USA West