Prom spending: Prom dress, two(!) pairs of shoes, and more push past $1,000
Prom spending: In an easing economy, teens – or the parents stuck with the bill – are expected to spend more than $1,000 on average to get down in style.
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David's Bridal, which sells prom dresses, says the average spent on prom dresses this year at its 300 stores is $170. The most popular color is pink blush, thanks to "Hunger Games" actress Jennifer Lawrence, says Brian Beitler, an executive vice president. Lawrence wore a similar color to the Academy Awards.Skip to next paragraph
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"Kids are fantasizing about their own stardom in a way," says Yarrow. "This is sort of their red carpet moment."
Baby blue tuxedos are a popular choice on HalloweenCostumes.com. The website says that it had to make more of its $220 tuxedos after they sold out three months ago. The retailer, which also sells its tuxedos in small boutiques, attributes the bump in sales to celebrities who have been wearing colored tuxedos to awards shows. Sales of the website's hunting camouflage tuxedos are up 20 percent from a year ago. They're in demand because the cast of popular duck hunting reality show "Duck Dynasty" wear similar ones, says Mark Bietz, vice president of marketing at HalloweenCostumes.com.
Wendy Kerschner, of Adamstown, Penn., told her 16-year-old son that she wasn't paying for any of his prom expenses. She wanted to teach him a lesson about spending money. "I am in the minority," says Kerschner, who does marketing for in-home senior care company Comfort Keepers.
Her son, Casey Kerschner, paid $129 to rent a gray tuxedo with money he made cleaning stalls at a horse barn. The prom ticket cost the high school junior $50. He spent $20 on two tickets for the after-prom party. He didn't take a limousine earlier this month. Most people in his school didn't. Instead, he paid $10 to get his Volkswagen Jetta cleaned.
"It's fun," says Casey Kerschner about the prom, "but in my opinion, it's not worth $220."
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He's not sure if he will go to the prom again next year. A local tuxedo shop offers high school boys a free rental if they wear a tuxedo all day and hand out fliers and coupons. He might try to do that next year.
"The way I see it," he says, "I worked a little over two weeks shoveling stalls at a horse barn to spend five hours at a dance."