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The stress of getting prom dress approval

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With finding the perfect prom dress comes the stressful process of it being approved.

Buying a prom dress is a very expensive proposition, and for some whose boyfriend is in another grade or goes to a different school, a girl might have to get more than one dress. Prom dress prices range from under $200 to designer gowns at bridal shops that cost close to $1,000.  

“Prom dress shopping is really stressful because there are some dresses that I want to try on but I know the school wouldn’t approve them,” Archbishop Ryan junior Lindsi Smith said. “It makes me really upset. I wish I could just wear the dress I love and not have to worry about what the school has to say.”

Dress up Time in Mayfair does not keep dresses on hold but it does have a layaway program in which customers can pay in installments. This helps with budgeting by allowing customers to pay a little at a time. However, even if a student puts the dress on layaway and submits a picture for approval, there is a chance that the dress could be denied. If this happens, the payments already made would be lost. That is still cheaper than losing hundreds of dollars if the dress was purchased outright.  Once a girl leaves the store with the dress, it is not returnable.

Other shops where many girls purchase their prom dresses also have non-returnable policies. They include David’s Bridal, XOXO and Group USA.  Group USA also has a layaway program for up to one month. These stores said they would not make exceptions to their no return policy for customers whose dresses were not approved by the school. However, they would allow an exchange for something of equal or lesser value.

These policies leave girls scrambling to get photos of themselves in the store dressing rooms. Some stores have strict no photo policies. At Jan’s Boutique in Cherry Hill, N.J., a customer is not allowed to take pictures unless the dress has been purchased.

Once a girl finds her dream dress, she submits it for approval as soon as possible while realizing that even delaying the purchase by a day or two could mean that dress is gone. The alternative of buying a dress for hundreds of dollars that might not be approved and then being stuck with an expensive, unwearable dress is a difficult decision that some have to make.

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The stress of getting prom dress approval