The new year rolls around. While you are posting about your New Year resolutions, your female peers have already started checking prom dress websites for an event four months away.
This is only the first step that many females take in the long and grueling process of preparing for prom.
As someone who loves planning ahead, I am certainly not innocent of this.
I start by searching my favorite websites such as Prom Girl and Lulus to get inspiration for looks and discover upcoming prom trends. This step usually gives me a better idea of the look I will plan on going for.
Some girls decide to order their dress online, while others prefer to scout local boutiques for the best gowns. Typically, girls will either go with a group of friends or with their mom. An outsider looking in might assume this to be a rather enjoyable experience. However, nothing is further from the truth.
At dress boutiques with subpar customer service, you will be the one holding your heavy and long dresses as they drag on the ground, making your arm exhausted. Within the first five minutes, you have already broken a sweat.
Now comes the part where you have entered the fitting room and can finally hang up your dresses. More often than not, the dress will have either a frustrating and complicated back that requires both patience and precision, two qualities that people seem to forgo when in cramped and stuffy fitting rooms; or a stuck zipper that creates an imprint on your fingers when trying to use it. If you are lucky and your dress does not cause you these troubles, great. However, you then ask yourself if the dress will support you throughout the night and if the sequins will give you a rash while you tear it up on the dance floor. More often than not, these factors will be deal-breakers for you, so you move onto the next dress.
But, on your shopping excursion, say you find “the” dress that makes you feel empowered, feminine, and beautiful. You do a twirl in the mirror and send a picture to your friends in the group chat, but you are reminded of one important aspect of the dress that you have failed to consider: the price.
You find the tag and your stomach plummets to your knees as it reads “$600” or some exorbitant price exponentially higher than what you and your parents agreed on.
This leaves you with a few options: beg and plead your parents for the dress, split the cost with your parents, pay for it yourself, or find a cheaper alternative.
Although such a decision often results in disappointment, when it comes down to it, you will find a prom dress that gets the job done.
But the dress is only half of it. As the event nears, you are thinking of a hairstyle and going to the mall to select the perfect accessories and pair of shoes. And before you forget, you need to schedule your hair and nail appointment while you consider what level of darkness to get for your spray tan. Some girls even take the liberty of getting their makeup done or paying someone to do a professional wax.
This four-month-long process is stressful, chaotic, messy, emotional, and grueling. But these steps, tedious as they may seem, lead you up to what might be the best night of your teenage life and a memory that you will look back on forever.