Fun Prom Facts

The prom tradition can be traced back as far as formal, coed banquets held at universities for graduating classes in the 19th century.

High schools adopted prom in the early 1900s

Prom decadence surged after World War II.

Prom is considered the second most significant event in a teen's life, after getting a driver's license.

6 weeks

The average parent will drive more than 400 miles for prom shopping and preparation in the six weeks leading up to the event.


Average prom spending starts at $1,078 per family.


The average prom dress price tag is $213.

10 Prom Dresses

The average high school girl will try on 10 prom dresses before finding the perfect fit.

62% memorabilia

62% of prom attendees will save memorabilia from that special night.

Halle Berry the Prom queens

A-list celebrities Rosie O'Donnell, Halle Berry, and Cindy Crawford were prom queens in high school.


There are more than 20 prom-themed movies that memorialize this event.

Prom Dress Styles Over the Years

No matter how you slice it, prom prep comes down to finding the perfect prom dress. High school girls everywhere start searching for their dream gown weeks, and sometimes months, before the event.


Though prom has been around for centuries, it wasn't until the economic boom following World War II that the prom dress became the pièce de résistance. Before that time, prom attire was conservative and casual.


In the 1950s, splurging on a luxurious prom gown became the norm.


By the time the 1980s rolled around, prom fashion was in full swing. The 80's welcomed high-dollar, designer prom dresses on what many girls considered to be the most important night of their lives. As evidenced in prom-friendly movies like Pretty in Pink, prom was all about seeing and being seen—once you found the perfect dress to wear.

But of course, this all comes at a cost…

what’s the average prom price tag?

Average prom spending in Spring 2013: $1,139 In a survey of 1,025 parents of prom-age students, parents were likely to see the prom as a "rite of passage" that merited the exorbitant price tag.

Expenses for Girls

The Dress ($100-$400)

The price can vary drastically from person to person, depending on their budget and preferences. Most dresses cost between $100-$400, but many parents rationalize costs above $500 by hoping their teens will wear their dresses more than once.

Accessories: Shoes, Jewelry, Handbag/Clutch

Purchasing various accessories to complement the dress can add hundreds of dollars to the final total

Hair/Makeup/Nails ($30-$275)

(depends on personal preferences and choices)

Spray Tans ($25-$70)
Boutonniere for Him ($10-$30)

Expenses for Guys

Prom Tickets ($20-$250)

per person depending on the location (school gymnasium vs. fancy ballroom)

Tux Rental ($60-$200)
Corsage for Her ($20-$50)
Formal Photos ($30-$125)
Dinner and Transportation

(could also be split by both parties, depending on the arrangement) – These combined can add hundreds of dollars to the prom bill

The Prom: An Expensive Date

Big Prom Spenders In The Northeast $1,079 west $722 midwest $1,528 northeast $1,203 south
prom spending on the rise $807 $1,079 $1,139 2011 2012 2013
Lower income* single parents
spend even more!
$700 $1,563 *Households making under $50,000 a year
who covers more of prom
costs, parents or teens?
59% parents 41% teens

2014 Style Trends

Ladies on the lookout for the latest prom styles can follow celebrity-inspired trends in 2014, like:

Lace accents
Beautiful back designs

– cutouts, illusion and details!


(hair and fabrics)

Bold Hues

– such as mint, coral and Pantone’s color of the year: radiant orchid

Short dresses

with long sheer overlays

Thigh-high slits

Some of the hottest guy's styles for prom 2014 include:

black-and-white tux

gray-on-black suit

Relaxed gray suit
and black V-neck

Hipster plaid suit without a tie

Trendy black suit
with neon accents

For guys looking to accessorize in ways that make them stand out—think funky ties, patterned socks, a fedora, or even Converse shoes.

Though average prom costs are estimated at well over $1000, you can still get the look for less if you're serious about cutting costs.

Keep prom costs low
with these helpful tips:

Shop for discount designer duds online or at vintage boutiques

Borrow a dress or tux from an older sibling or friend

Buy low-cost accessories on eBay

Use YouTube tutorials for hair and makeup

Split limo costs with a group of friends or
assign a driver

Plan a backyard cookout instead of eating out

Ask a friend to take photos of you at the dance with a camera or phone,
instead of spending on formal photos

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