prom on a budget – it can be done
does it really cost this much to go to prom nowadays or have we just given into all the materialistic hype thrown in our faces on a daily basis via reality television?
Is it just me or is the thought of purchasing a small used car, paying off a credit card bill or starting an IRA with the same amount some parents and their kids are spending on prom a bit ridiculous? I mean, it’s prom right? An evening of fancy dresses, big hair, tuxedos and manicured nails, no? We’re not talking weddings or some major achievement attributed to one’s academic or career-enhancing residual benefit. It’s one night in a high school senior’s life. I’m sayin’.
While I’m all for looking amazing for prom and cutting no corners in fabulosity. There’s still a level of practicality that should play a part, but in this day & age of reality shows where hundreds of thousands is spent on sweet 16 parties and weddings are paid for with second mortgages, it’s no surprise that everyday teens want as much over-the-top indulgence as they can get, no matter the cost.
So, here are some suggestions for tackling the tricky prom budget without leaving your teen feeling like Andie Walsh. If you don’t know who Andie Walsh is, you’re gonna have to brush up on your 80’s lovelorn teen angst films before continuing to read my blog. No really, do that.
Nails: Mani/Pedi – $25
✔Parents can save money here by either researching how to give a good manicure at home OR treat your daughter to a good basic manicure for cheap. Fake acrylic nails are sooo out! Save some dough and have your daughter start taking care of her nails weeks before prom by making sure she moisturizes her cuticles every night, using a good homemade scrub of baking soda & sugar daily and pushing back her cuticles with an orange stick. This will help prep her nails for a good basic mani and bright polish color to compliment her dress. She should do the same for her toes (scrub with foot file in the shower) & keep feet moisturized. Then find a good Groupon deal for a nice mani/pedi combo on the cheap at a nice, clean nail salon.
Makeup: YouTube – $25 – $50
✔Okay seriously? With all the awesome makeup tutorials & product recommendations out there , why pay a professional to do your daughter’s makeup? If her skin is in good condition, she shouldn’t need a ton of makeup anyway. Prom pics should follow the same rule as wedding pics, you should look like you but better. If your daughter doesn’t normally wear a ton of makeup, now is not the time to smear a dozen different products on her face in an attempt to look older, sexy, more mature, etc. A little primer for staying power, some tinted moisturizer or sheer foundation/bronzer to smooth and even-out her complexion, a lil blush for color and lipstick/lipgloss with a great eye-popping eyeshadow or subtle smokey eye is all she needs. Find a tutorial featuring the look she wants and head out to your local drugstore to buy some makeup. If her skin needs improvement, start now with a solid skincare regimen. Check out my skincare suggestions for teens here & here. For good makeup tutorials, check out these YouTube beauty gurus, these girls know their stuff:
✔Find the dress first & then the shoes. Shop discount stores: Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Ross, Kohl’s, etc. and look for sales! Register for stores online to be sure you’re notified on all upcoming sales and special offers. Macy’s always has a good clearance rack going on along with Carson Pirie Scott, same goes for JCPenney. Some malls have those little boutique shops with a variety of dressy heels available for a reasonable cost. Your standard prom/bridal boutique will always upcharge you because they know why you’re there so you have to think outside the box to get the best deal.
(and here’s where WordPress decides to go all stoopid on me & messes up my spacing layout no matter what I do! ugh!!)
✔Don’t make that face young lady! It CAN be done. I’ve noticed an influx of prom pics popping up on Facebook lately and I can count on one hand the number of stand-outs amongst the crowd. One young lady stood out and she was wearing a very pretty simple satin bronze a-line dress with a modest shawl to match. She was radiant with her hair in soft curls and her skin slightly bronzed. Quite a few of the other girls looked as if they were standing before a panel of judges about to deliver a quivering-lipped statement on how they’d end world hunger during their reign. I’m sayin’. Style isn’t necessarily the most expensive in the bunch.
Peep these options – all under 100 bucks:
Little Mistress Lizzie One Shoulder Prom Dress
$72 (£45) – bankfashion.co.uk
This gorgeous prom style women’s dress is by Little Mistress and features stunning sequinned waist detailing, a ruched sweetheart asymmetric neckline, with single ribbon shoulder strap, plus dropped waist pleating. This stunning dress is made complete with a webbed ballerina style under skirt for a flirty finish.
Pink Prom Dress
$32 (£20) – janenorman.co.uk
You’ll fall deeply in love with this pink prom dress the moment you see it. This romantic dress features a swirl ribbon pattern to it’s front top, empire line band with tie fastening sash to the back and a fine mesh over layer to the skirt finished with a flirty ruffled hem.
Same dress in creme and black.
Taylor-Red Prom Dresses
$100 – windsorstore.com
When a certain someone tried to steal America’s sweetheart’s spotlight she came out to rock in this red tulle confection. As seen in Seventeen Prom! By Masquerade Strapless dress with Sweetheart neckline.
Pyra-Hot Pink Prom Dresses
$100 – windsorstore.com
By Roberta, strapless Sweetheart neckline. Criss cross pleated bust. Boned bodice. Tiered skirt. Glitter mesh.
Xscape Strapless Twist-Bodice Dress
$97 – lordandtaylor.com
A light-catching shimmer and sheer stretch fabric define the contemporary look of this knee-length strapless dress from Xscape by Joanna Chen. Strapless with back-zip closure. Pleated bodice with supportive bra lining. Bubble hem.
Nocturna-Black Prom Dresses
$100 – windsorstore.com
By Masquerade Strapless dress. Sweetheart neckline. Pleated bust. Boned bodice. Hot pink side flower. Tulle skirt.
Bailey-Ivory Prom Dresses
$80 – windsorstore.com
By City Triangles Stretch halter. Sweetheart neckline. Sheer chiffon overlay. Silver sequin empire waist.
Yelda-Purple Prom Dresses
$85 – windsorstore.com
By Teeze Me. Single shoulder strap. Gemstone detail on strap and waist. Asymmetrical pleats.
Lipsy Vip Embellished Babydoll Skater Dress
$105 – asos.com
Babydoll dress by Lipsy. Featuring a strapless sweetheart neckline with pleated detailing at the bust, crystal embellishment, a zip closure and a flared babydoll skirt in a chiffon-like finish with a fluted hemline.
Lipsy Fishtail Dress
$30 (£19) – bankfashion.co.uk
From Lipsy is this stunning dress coming in this bandeau style with side gathers showcasing beaded embellishment.
Lipsy Gem Bow Halter Dress
$35 – asos.com
Crafted in a lightweight, semi sheer, chiffon fabric, with gemstone effect embellishment. Featuring, a babydoll style, a halterneck tie, triangle cut to bodice, a high waistline, with a softly flared skirt, and an asymmetric hem.
Purple gathered side dress
$44 – dorothyperkins.com
Purple strapless dress with gathered side, embellished waist and zip fastening.
Rust babydoll mini dress
$27 – dorothyperkins.com
Rust strapless babydoll dress. Structured dip top with ruched panels and hidden support. Layered chiffon skirt from empire line.
Black full sequin dress
$35 – dorothyperkins.com
Black one shoulder dress with full sequin detail and chiffon over the shoulder straps.
Navy layered drape dress
$27 – dorothyperkins.com
Navy strappy dress with layered satin pleats and ruffle detail around skirt.
Capture the true essence of elegance when you slip into this elegant long blue prom dress for formal affairs. From formal soirees to prom, this elegant one shoulder evening gown will take you there in style. This trendy one shoulder dress for prom by XOXO features flattering pleating that gives you a long lean look and beaded accents on the empire waist that adds a touch of sparkle to any event.
This long formal gown is chic and elegant. A strapless evening gown in luxurious taffeta is hard to find, but PromGirl offers this amazing long strapless at a price you can afford.
Floor length strapless dress with shimmery bodice and sweetheart neckline.
Long royal blue dress with one shoulder strap.
So there you have it, some alternative options for saving on prom costs. Accessories can always be found at store like Claire’s, Forever 21, Carson’s and even Target. Another resource to check out: renttherunway.com. Here, you can actually rent everything you need from the dress to the purse and since it’s a rental, you can go all out & choose from the creme de la creme of designers. Register and check it out. Can’t hurt to inquire, right?