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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Cost of Tradition

ATTENTION: If you were looking for the Prom Dress survey: High School Prom Dress Survey

(Surely, Round Rock/Austin apparel networks could help parents and high school students in the form of a cost trimming on a prom dress, right?) WM

This article is taken from The Monitor. Click the post title to go to their site. WM

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The Cost of Tradition -- Expense, trappings of prom increasing May 18,2006 Paige Lauren Deiner Monitor Staff Writer
Cost of prom dress and shoes: $360
Cost of tuxedo and shoes: $125
Cost of limo per couple: $115
Cost of dinner for two: $50
The perfect prom night: priceless
Valley area prom goers are dishing out large sums of money to ensure that their prom is an event to remember. But spending upwards of a $1,000 on prom is becoming the norm throughout the United States. The average prom couple spent $1,170 in 2005 said Richard Calo, who studies prom trends and operates a site called http://www.thepromsite.com/. In 1965 the same couple would have spent $120.
Easton Schrock, McAllen Memorial High School junior class president, says that for some people, prom is a good reason to max out credit cards, but others feel that prom is a little over rated.
“Mostly it is for seniors. It’s their last big high school event,” she said. “Senior prom is supposed to be a huge deal. I think it’s a little over-hyped. It’s just a dance to me. I really like decorating it and it’s a lot of fun to be with your friends. But people make it seem like it’s so huge and it’s really not.”
Schrock said that the McAllen Memorial High School Prom Committee plans to spend between $2,500 and $3,000 on decorating and renting the space for prom, which has a Las Vegas theme.
“Most people are spending around $400 (on prom),” said Schrock. But she said she didn’t know anyone who had their dress yet. And many people are trying to figure out who is going with whom, she said
Calo attributes the rising cost of prom to the extra elements added to prom, such as after-prom parties, hotel rooms, etc. Also, over the years, prom has become a much more extravagant event with limousines, very expensive dresses, and accessories. Now, tanning and waxing have entered the picture.
“On the whole, prom has become more expensive because teens are including more than just the prom dance in what they consider prom expenses,” said Calo. “While the prom dance is still thought of as the core of the prom experience, after-prom events and weekends are now factored in as an essential part of prom.”
George Lopez, a senior at McAllen Rowe High School, said that he is going to spend between $400 and $500 on prom, plus whatever he spends on dinner for prom night. He said that he thinks guys spend a lot more money on prom than girls do, but he said in the end it’s worth it.
“In a way, it’s tradition,” he said. “But it’s also celebrating the fact that you’re getting out of high school. It’s the big night before you graduate.”
But not every couple can or wants to spend $1,000 on prom. Jacob Duran, a student at McAllen Memorial High School, said “prom is a once in a lifetime thing and you don’t want to skip it.” But he said prom is “pretty expensive.” He said he knows people who are spending $300 to $400 on dresses alone, but he said that is not what he and his girlfriend are planning on doing. Duran said he plans on borrowing a suit or tux for the prom and his girlfriend is looking for an inexpensive but pretty dress.
“We’re not going all out (for prom),” he said. He said he plans on spending between a $100 and a $125 on prom. Included in that cost, he plans on getting a corsage for his girlfriend and photos.
Some couples though do go all out. Blanca Salazar, the owner of Norhil Bridal, said that many girls begin looking for their prom dresses in January. She said it is very important to them that they don’t appear at the prom wearing the same dress as someone else.
Schrock said she plans on spending about $250 on her dress, but she wants to make sure she is the only one wearing it on prom night.
“It’s important to me, because I’m planning to go into the fashion field. My style is a little different from other people. I wouldn’t have a fun time if my dress was the same as someone else’s. I like to be my own person and since fashion is something I like a lot I feel like my dress should express who I am,” she said.———Paige Lauren Deiner covers features and entertainment for The Monitor. You can reach her at (956) 683-4425.

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