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Prom dress!

(91 Posts)
jugofwildflowers Mon 03-Feb-14 21:53:07

My dd asked me a year ago to go shopping with her for a prom dress and wanted the whole experience to be a fab mother/dd bonding experience but because I baulked at the cost of a one off dress potentially costing £100s and suggesting we try charity shops first she hit the roof, 'sacked' me and said she'd rather go with her aunt instead.

Fast forward to today, she wrote me a 'text' apologising for 'sacking' me and now wishes to go with me and I mentioned a budget, she said no other of her friends' mums were like that! She said it should cost £200 including shoes, bag, dress and I said she'd need to go halves. She was outraged!

Please help, what is the etiquette about these things? We don't have a lot of cash, I have only just started work and we are going skiing at half term which is expensive. I am the sort of person who wears charity shop stuff anyway and have never had my hair cut at a hairdressers in my life, nor had my nails done etc etc.

She is very different, likes all the feminine stuff but it cost so much. She is helpful around the house for which she gets an allowance, she is popular, hardworking, a lovely person, does voluntary work too.

Am I being overly miserly just because I don't agree with this sort of imported materialistic thing and because I never asked my own mother for demands such as this? She says she lives in a different time and would re use the dress etc. I have 3 dds so whatever I start will be a precedent.

What are other mumsnetters doing? and what is reasonable?!

JoyceDivision Mon 03-Feb-14 21:57:27

I'd give her £50 and tell her she can do what she wants with that budget!!!!

wyldchyld Mon 03-Feb-14 22:02:14

My leavers ball gown cost £17 on eBay and £11.50 for alterations. YANBU, she is being demanding and unreasonable

iamonthepursuitofhappiness Mon 03-Feb-14 22:04:31

Any idea what sort of dress she wants? There is a sale on at Coast and Debenhams:

Any good?

And, no, I would not spent £100's on a dres sshe will probably only wear once!

Starballbunny Mon 03-Feb-14 22:04:35

DD has done me £90 for a dress and £25 for some shoes (these will go with other things, so not too bad).

Not sure if she'll want her hair done, not going with anyone at the moment so no threats of limo bills yet. I'm wondering if she can sweet talk a lift in a serious sports car of someone she knows.

notnowImreading Mon 03-Feb-14 22:06:18

The kids at my school spend a lot and most parents pay. It's an affluent area, though, and some families are well off. The girl who won 'best dressed' last year had an £18 dress from TK Maxx - staff voting didn't know this so it wasn't a pity vote. You can do lots for less but the average prom budget, according to year 11, is £380.

When I was at school we just had special mass and a couple of bowls of cheesy wotsits afterwards.

Starballbunny Mon 03-Feb-14 22:06:20

Hopefully it will get worn twice, she has friends who's six-form do a dance that they are allowed to invite friends to.

jacks365 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:07:17

Dd3's prom dress cost £10 from a charity shop fitting done by very capable sister she looked stunning. Dd2 cost £40 from tkmaxx and dd1 was very little from a local boutique not a traditional prom dress but she fell in love with it. None of the dresses worn since. Stick to your budget you can only afford what you can afford.

ChristmasYoni Mon 03-Feb-14 22:07:48

Gorgeous ones on eBay from china quite cheap. My sister got one for about 25 and ther quality was unbelievably good!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 03-Feb-14 22:08:24

You be a grown up and decide what your budget for it is.

She's had a year to save her allowance for the stuff you are not prepared to fund.

Fwiw, one of my girls quite happily used one of my ball gowns as she loved it so had £150 for beauty stuff and accessories. Another had £200 for everything.

Both got given transportation tickets framed school photo as a gift.

LondonInHighHeeledBoots Mon 03-Feb-14 22:10:07

If she gets an allowance why hasn't she been saving it for prom? IMO 200 is way too much money for a prom dress, and she'll never wear the dress again. By the time it comes round to stuff like that again she'll have gone off the dress.

About 50-100 would be my budget for the lot, indeed was my budget for mine, and my mum gave me a lift to my prom!

hillsy27 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:13:32

My year group were the first in our school to have a prom back in 2003 which we organised ourselves including hiring a very posh hotel. Due to this everyone including all of the mums were very excited- including hiring limos to take us there(although we walked back!) My parents bought my dress and accessories which came to �140 i paid for the limo. I have worn the dress twice since including my 18th and uni graduation ball.I would have worn it twice more If wasn't pregnant at the last 2 balls i went to.
It was common for parents to buy the dress but i would have been more than happy to buy my dress from the charity shop - i have bought outfits for weddings etc from charity shops.
I think set a budget eg �50 great dresses in sales etc and she can make the rest if the money up if its not enough.

Topaz25 Mon 03-Feb-14 22:13:43

Check eBay, sometimes you can find nice dresses secondhand as these sort of things are normally only worn once and then go down in value. Your daughter needs to compromise, offering to go halves was reasonable of you. It sounds like she is emotionally blackmailing you by saying it is a bonding experience and then threatening to go with someone else. Talk to her honestly about money and explain what you would have to cut back on to afford a £200 outfit, I bet she wouldn't want to miss out on the skiing trip! Separate emotion from expense, explain you do care and want to help her prepare for the prom but you will have to be creative thinking up ideas together because you don't have an unlimited budget.

pineapplecrush Mon 03-Feb-14 22:19:22

I'm in the same position. I attended a "prom fair" with my daughter yesterday and although some of the dresses were OK, a lot were big fat gypsy wedding-ish and hideous and hideously expensive to boot. There is a prom shop three of her friends have already got their dresses from and they have cost between £220-£550!!!!. Think we'll try looking at Coast etc for something far nicer and cheaper. One of the girls has forfeited a family holiday in exchange for her dress. In my daughter's friendship group it has been a major talking point since Christmas, it seems to be widely acknowledged that the dress won't be worn again either as most are going for long gowns.

MazzleDazzle Mon 03-Feb-14 22:22:11

I really feel for your DD! She deserves to be spoiled, but this needn't be in financial terms. Tell her your budget, tell her you really want to be part of her prom and try to work together so that you're both happy.

You can get stunning dresses from ebay! Either someone else's used one or a new one made to order from countries like China. I recently bought one similar to [[ this]]. You could alter it so it's the fit is perfect.

The important thing is that she feels special and preparing for the prom is a wonderful experience for you both.

MazzleDazzle Mon 03-Feb-14 22:22:48


jugofwildflowers Mon 03-Feb-14 22:25:36

Omg notnow, we also live in an affluent area! I already know it's going to be stressful.

I hate glossy women's mags and all the adverts geared towards appearance, hairfaffing and poncing. For what it's worth I never wear make up either so I am completely different from my dds, but believe it or not they frequently borrow my clothes and shoes and compliment me on my appearance!

I even wore a secondhand wedding dress for my wedding as I had better things to do with my money like put it on a downpayment for our house.

I hate this materialistic wagstyle culture in this country which is also why I never watch popular tv either unlike my dds who love it.

RiojaHaze Mon 03-Feb-14 22:26:43

What about this?

Harrin Mon 03-Feb-14 22:28:32

I never had a prom but my younger sister did and her dress cost £180. It was a full length one from Monsoon. They quite often have great dresses in the sale though for a fraction of that cost if that's the sort of place she's thinking of?

Fwiw she also had new bag, shoes, costume jewellery and hair accessories. I did her hair and a family friend did nails and makeup. It's worth checking if anyone you know can lend a hand or have a bag or something you could borrow. It all adds up fairly quickly!

Bunbaker Mon 03-Feb-14 22:28:37

If you are paying you get to dictate the budget. Loads of good ideas here already.

I can't believe you have never been to the hairdresser though. How do you get your hair cut?

pointythings Mon 03-Feb-14 22:28:58

DD1 is 13 so a ways off prom yet, but we won't be spending a lot and she knows it. Her school does 2 proms, one after GCSEs and one after 6th form - the 6th form one is the biggie, it's held at a posh country hotel instead of at the school so all things being financially equal we will spend a bit more on that one.

But dress wise - no, not spending more than £100 max, we will be asking our hairdresser to come to ours and do hair and makeup - she's a roving hairdresser who comes to your house, trained in makeup and nails, very affordable and brilliant - and that's it.

Same for DD2 when it all rolls round again.

androbbob Mon 03-Feb-14 22:29:33

Try and New Look and Ebay - we got DD one from Boohoo for £20 and it looked like it was worth five times as much. She also wore my new shoes! We paid £15 for an UpDo. All cost £35 plus £5 for the ticket - that was for a laving Primary Prom.

I had better get saving up for a Yr 11 one one then!

WorraLiberty Mon 03-Feb-14 22:30:15

She sent you a 'text' apologising? hmm

I'd 'sack' her to be honest and tell her to ask her aunt to pay grin

Have you looked into dress hire? Would that be cheaper I wonder?

I know you've said what 'you' like and what sort of person 'you' are but this is about your DD who is a completely separate person to you.

That said, I think her attitude stinks a bit sad

CouthyMow Mon 03-Feb-14 22:31:04

Ugh. Prom. Also have a DD that age. Who has had her heart set on a turquoise long skinny dress with gems on since she was 11yo. Very specific design ideas. Average prom costs here seem to be £500 for whole lot. I won't even have half that. Am scouring EBay now!

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Mon 03-Feb-14 22:32:29

eBay for the dress?

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