The Highland Echo

Planning for prom on a budget

Jessi Barker, Out and About Editor

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With prom season approaching fast, students are rapidly trying to put together their extravagant outfits for the big event. Those who either cannot afford the name brand material or have gotten a last minute invite may be in tough situation when trying to plan their evenings. Luckily, there are many alternatives to save lots of money this upcoming prom season.
For the ladies attending prom, finding a cheap dress is not an easy task, but searching in the right places is the first step. There is no need to shop at name brand stores to find the perfect dress. Stores like Macy’s and JcPenney have many high quality inexpensive dresses which include wide ranges of styles and sizes from which to choose. Instead of spending $350-500 on a dress, these department store prices range from around $80-180, which will save prom-goers a ton! These stores also sell less expensive, but still beautiful, prom shoes and jewelry to match their unique dresses, completing the full prom look! Another affordable way to find a prom dress is presented right here on February 17th, from 9am-4pm in the West Milford High School’s lower library. The ‘Cinderella Project’ is an event run by the Interact Club which aids students looking for less expensive dress options. Gently used prom dresses have been donated for this event and are sold well below cost. In past years, dress prices have ranged from $20-120, and all proceeds go to a fund which helps students in poor financial situations have the ability to go to prom by paying for a portion of their prom ticket!
Many girls will also be looking to get their nails painted for the occasion, and their toenails, too, if they’re wearing open-toed shoes. Instead of spending over $40 dollars to get a manicure and/or a pedicure, there are tons of cheap high quality nail polishes for sale at Walgreens, Rite Aid, TJ Maxx, and many other local stores. Prices for a single bottle of nail polish range from $3-11, depending on the brand. One can either paint her own nails, or have a friend do her nails for her if one has trouble doing her own nails! Make a girls’ night out of it!
For the boys attending prom, or the girls who aren’t fond of dresses, they may have a problem coming up with the cash to buy a suit. Luckily, many online stores offer the opportunities for boys to rent a suit for a short window of time and then return it after the event. Websites such as and give renters the option to customize their suits which are shipped to their homes in seven days. If one is not so enthusiastic about renting an outfit and would rather own it themselves, department stores such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, and JcPenney provide affordable suit options from which to choose as well Don’t forget the matching tie!
Prom-goers often arrive to the event in a limo, which can be very costly. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars for a limo for the drive from a house to the event, see if a parent or friend with a license is willing to drive you and some friends to your special night! It’s a much cheaper and easier option, but don’t forget to give your driver a few dollars for gas money!
There is no need to stress about finances for this upcoming prom season, as there are many ways to avoid the over-expensive attire while still looking amazing for prom. It is important to compare prices and options before sticking to standard prom preparations. While organizing outfits and rides, make sure to have fun while shopping, and once you get to prom, dance the night away!

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Planning for prom on a budget