The Prom Must Go on Despite the Recession

In case you hadn’t heard, we’re in a recession, the economy stinks, more and more companies are on the brink of bankruptcy, and layoffs are the word of the day. You might be surprised to know that teens are very aware of what is going on, much moreso than people might realize. It influences their college choices, their ability to get part-time jobs, and even one of the most coveted events in high school – the prom dress

For some, the prom can be as costly as a small wedding or an extravagent sweet 16 party, with dresses, beauty appointments, limos, dinners, tickets and after-parties. A Seventeen magazine survey found that the average prom cost is $800. This year, teens are saavy, and rather than deplete their piggy banks or forego the end-of-year bash, they are coming up with some cost-effective solutions to save the prom and create some dazzling memories.

The student council at Central High School in San Angelo, Texas created The Princess Projecte. They’re asking the community to donate dresses and gowns that are taking up space in closets, so that everyone has a chance to look gorgeous on prom night. “This is a project that will make some girls’ (prom) night truly special,” founding student Kayla Brown said. “Lots of people have these dresses sitting in their closets, when they could go to a much better cause.”

In South Bend, Indiana, a local dry cleaner hosts the annual Princess for a Night event, in which more than a thousand dresses are donated. Girls from more than 50 area high school are given a first-come, first-served chance to score a beautiful dress for free.

At Riverside-Brookfield High School in Chicago, students are meeting and riding the bus to their downtown prom location. And students recently went to the Paul Mitchell The School fashion show and silent auction to find dream dresses. One student found a hot pink, tulle-filled gown for just $55.

The students at East Coweta High School in Georgia decided to have a prom dress swap. Dresses are kept in the school guidance office, and girls are welcome to take a dress of their choice for free. One catch – the guidance counselor wants to see it on you first to make sure it fits appropriately and isn’t immodest.

Have your fellow classmates or community devised an inventive way to still put on a memorable prom, but pinch pennies because of the economy? Let us know!

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