The young ladies that I know that go to formals here, do so at a reasonable price. I also think that you could find a very nice formal prom dress for $25 if you bought it on clearance the year before. There also recently was a huge Prom consignment sale here. Think "Just Between Friends", only for Prom dresses. I know when I went to High School there was a lot of sharing dresses.
I do know lots of people that could not afford $300 on a prom dress. I also do not think buying a used dress means that you are getting one out of the rag bin.
I would not buy a dress for my daughter a year in advance. Girls bodies can change a lot in a year and the last thing that I would want would be to create a "dieting" situation if she had changed shape and/or gained weight in the year. No way.
At my prom, I asked a good male friend to go with me, my dress was about $100, a big group of us went out to dinner together first, then to an after party after at a friends house.
Honestly, my friend and I had a better time than a lot of other people there. We werent worried about what the other person was doing, where they were etc. It was nice to have 'couples' pictures of the evening, but not really be part of a couple :)
I think I would be willing to spend a couple of hundred for my daughters prom, but not $1000. That just seems way too steep!
Oh, and no prom queen/king.
Womens Juniors Medium Formal Long Blue Sparkly Dress Prom Size 8 Glitter | eBay
A quick ebay search found hundreds if not thousands of prom dresses for less than $25.
Its definitely possible to get something close to that range.
B.Wear? Lace Strapless Party Dress - jcpenney
One-Shoulder Jewel Trim Dress - jcpenney
Speechless Junior's Special Occasion Dress - Clothing - Juniors - Dresses
My Michelle Beaded Pleated Strapless Dress - Juniors
Oh my! That is a little different from what you would see at a prom around here but an interesting look! Whatever floats your boat!
As stated, it's really about what a given family wants to do. I'm sure that if our kids want, we will probably do what most other families in their school/ circle of friends do. We will probably ask them to help contribute in some way if it is elaborate/ excessive.
I have to agree that those dresses wouldn't really work around here as prom dresses, and I don't think $25 would buy a girl a dress she'd be happy to wear to a prom. And if you don't know someone who sews, then yes, you're going to have to spend some money on a dress. Nobody wants to go and feel like they're out of fashion or wearing something they don't feel good in.
But it totally depends on where you live!
My son had a performance in the choir and they required black dress pants, black dress shoes, a white shirt, and a tie. Well, we own none of those things for him. I didn't want to spend the money on it, not that the costs are that high, but it seemed like a waste for a one-off event. My husband talked me into it, saying that Nathaniel shouldn't have to bear the burden of my resentment about it. We bought him the outfit and he will have one more opportunity to wear the pants & shoes before he outgrows them as we are going to a wedding in a few weeks. (He asked for more dapper shirt and I said fine.)
So it's just a balance of priorities. I didn't want him to stand out just because I didn't want to spend the money.
I think if you were to look across the country, you would find far more people who it would cause a financial burden to buy an expensive dress than you would find people that it would be no big deal. There are many, many people, hard working good people that work in blue collar jobs that just couldn't spend that kind of money on one dress when there are thousands of used dresses out there.