What Do You Tell a Guy Who Is Shopping For a Prom Dress?

Inquiring minds want to know. Especially mine. Seriously, what do you tell a guy who is shopping for a prom dress?

First, let me mention that my teenage daughter has chosen to live with me the last couple years, as opposed to my ex-wife. Probably because the only thing I never did for my daughter is breastfeed her. I cook, I clean (except for her room, nobody does that), I do her laundry, and I take care of her cat. I make her lunch every week day and put it in her cute little pink lunch box I bought for her. It’s just plain all pink. Wal-Mart didn’t have any of those Barbie lunch boxes when I went shopping. I asked her who else has a lunch box and she replied nobody but her. I keep gluing her picture on it for identification purposes, but she keeps ripping it off. I warm up her car in the morning and clean off the snow. And on and on. Yes, she is a spoiled brat, like most women, but like I told her, “Your job is to make high honors, play sports, and stay out of trouble.” She does, so I do the rest.

I have been through two prom wars, and yet another one is rapidly approaching. I can tell she is already getting ready for the grand event because she wants less in her lunch and she goes tanning a couple times a week. No doubt the subject of a dress will enter the discussion very soon. A date for the prom has always appeared to be the least of her concerns. Oh, and it’s not just one prom per year. She has gone to three each of the last two years and was asked to more but declined.


Now, last year her mother was living in another state far away so I was totally in charge. My daughter told me what to do, and I did it. No doubt her mother gave input, but it was long-distance. This year her mother is living nearby. Their tentative plan will likely be that they will get the dress and I will get the bill. I know how these devious feminine minds work.

My best suggestion in the past has been let’s go to the thrift stores and pick out a dress. I mean, you can get a used one really cheap. I buy all my clothes at the thrift stores, so I am quite the bargain shopper. But my daughter will have none of that. Also, in an attempt to bring some levity to the situation, I asked, “Why don’t you try on a pink shower curtain?” She snarled at me like she does when I wake her up in the morning. I just can’t understand why an expensive IPhone 4 doesn’t wake up a person. Oh yeah, we had to get her another one of those recently because the first one got damaged. That nightmare is another story, but I won’t tell it, because I’ll be swearing at Bill Gates and company.


Last year, the first dress she brought home she took back to the boutique the next day. I asked if she had any trouble returning it. She indicated no, that she told the saleswoman, “My dad liked it” and the lady nodded in complete understanding. So the white one in the picture is the one she ended up with. I paid $450 for the dress and then $50 for the alterations. There hardly appears to me to be enough material to possibly cost $450. I won’t include the $50 for alterations, because that made it even less material. She wore the dress to the first two proms and then borrowed a dress from a friend for the third one. So she has worn the dress exactly twice, which to me adds up to $250 per wearing. Can you imagine how many cases of beer I could buy for that?

Listen to this. Last year her date for the first prom shows up at the door, but she’s not there yet. She’s at her girlfriends still getting ready. So he sits down at the kitchen table and we have a meaningful conversation for a half hour. One where I asked the questions and he answered them. That’s him there in the tux. You can’t see me at the other end of the table, but you can see the big stack of papers I was asking questions from. Incidentally, in case you wondered, I can’t afford luxuries like vases due to extraordinary expenses for things like prom dresses and IPhones so I just put the flowers in my beer mugs. I have plenty of those. As you can tell, her kitty liked him, so I felt reassured the evening would go according to my plan. I guess they had a swell time, but soon thereafter he had a new girlfriend.


The white dress now hangs in the closet right next to the blue one, from the year before, in the other picture. It only cost $400 plus $50 for alterations. Actually, it cost another $50 for cleaning after the first prom that year. That there was another crisis. At first we couldn’t find a place that could or would clean it in time for the next prom. I’m describing this calmly, but let me tell you, this was not a calm situation. She had slopped grease on it from dinner before the prom. So if she wore it with grease on it to the first prom, why couldn’t she wear it with grease on it to the second prom?


The last picture is a dress of hers I really like. In fact, I bought it for her. “Why not wear that?” I offered hopefully. “Just to be different.” She is somewhat of a nonconformist at times. Not this time. I got the silent treatment for a couple hours.

And then there’s the talk, but I’ll save that for another hub. The talk I give her every time she goes out on a date. Telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath.

So hit me up with some suggestions, people, for this year’s prom. What I am trying to avoid is another out of money experience. Thank you Lord this is the last year for a prom dress. I just pray that next year does not bring talk of a wedding dress.

Epilogue

These are pictures from the May 5, 2012 prom featuring the limousine that cost $850 for 3 hours and the latest prom dress. She will be going to another prom on May 12, this time riding in a horse-drawn carriage. I hope to get pictures of the horse and hope it doesn't cost as much.

The $850 limo
The $850 limo
Inside the $850 limo
Inside the $850 limo
Outside the $850 limo
Outside the $850 limo
The party after the prom
The party after the prom


Here's the horse that took my daughter to the May 12, 2012 prom. For $250, I would have expected Mr. Ed, but the horse didn't say anything to me.

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Comments 42 comments

BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

If I don't get good suggestions soon, I'm going to tell my daughter she can't go to the prom.

Then I am going to write a hub entitled "The Day All Hell Broke Loose."


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 4 years ago from Massachusetts

I saw your post in the forums and came to your profile. My suggestion is to tell your daughter that she can find a nice prom dress for under $200, and that includes shopping at bridal shops and/or decent department stores at malls. (My daughter's wedding is late summer, so I've not only been through the multi-prom thing, but I've been out there looking at dress prices.) I'm not talking about cheesy looking gowns. (Believe me, my daughter's not one for anything cheesy.)

The suggestion I have is to get out and around, and go looking online to see what the price of a decent gown tends to run (on anything other than the very high-priced places), and see what's out there for under $200 (and I've added $50 to the more commonly found $150 or so price at bridal shops and in decent stores. (I live in Massachusetts, so it's not as if I live somewhere where the prices are still back in the 1970s. My daughter's wedding dress is by Vera Wang, so it's not as if we're people who "have no taste" either - which is my advanced reply to what your daughter might tell you if you mention that I said she could find a gown for under $200.)


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Thanks for the advice, Lisa HW!

Yes, I will do that.

I probably still have at least a month and maybe close to two before a final decision is made on this.

Last year my daughter went down to Florida for Easter break in late April to visit her mother and shop for a dress. Her mother had told her there were good deals down there. But my daughter came back without a dress. The first prom was May 6 so at that point my daughter had a little over a week to find a dress. Things became rather frantic to say the least.

She won't be going to Florida this year since her mother has moved back to this area. I suggested that her mother pay for the dress this year since I paid for the dress the last 2 years. Nobody but me liked that idea.


Joe the broke bloke 4 years ago

Hey man I know where your coming from here.This is my 1st prom my dtr is a jr in HS.She was looking through this prom book from Henri's prom superstore the other nite.No prices on the dresses.So I checked out the prices at their online site today.Holy smoke.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I agree with Lisa. There is no reason you have to dish out more than $200.00 for a great prom dress. You just need to start researching it now so you find the right one at the right price. I had a blast reading your witty write up about your teenage daughter. She's lucky to have such a great dad. I don't get why mom can't go halfsies with you on these prom dresses. Put your foot down dad! Glad you wrote your second hub and can't wait for more. By the way, your daughter's dresses are beautiful and so is her teenage figure. I sure miss those day. LOL


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Minnetonka Twin, me thinks I'd think I'd have better luck going halfsies with Joe Broke there than my ex.

And Joe, I got 2 prom dresses sitting in the closet if you want to play let's make a deal.


Suzanne Marie 4 years ago

Try eBay. Lots of good deals there. You got to keep checking for new stuff. I just bought some cool sweatshirts last night. Saw some prom dresses. Funny article!


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Thanks for the suggestion, Suzanne Marie. But my problem may have been solved. Last night I found a transvestite hooker who is going shopping with me.


Sarahhh666 profile image

Sarahhh666 4 years ago from near Philly

I have a prom dress from a few years back. The only problem is that it is a little ripped. You can have it cheap.


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Well young lady, I won't ask how your prom dress got ripped, but I hope whoever did it paid for it. Are they expensive, or what? I guess I already said that in the hub.

I don't know how I'd sell the idea of a ripped prom dress to my daughter. Although she recently bought a Penguins sweatshirt and cut off the sleeves and cut the neckline to a big V. It looks worse than the stuff I buy for myself at the Salvation Army.


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

You are hilarious! I say spring for the expensive one and hand her a list of chores that includes her bedroom - the one in the last photo? BTW, nice vase!


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Thank you for the suggestion, krsharp05. She already has a list of chores she has had for quite some time, but somehow nothing gets crossed off. She is, however, quite religious about going tanning.

I have a lot more vases like that. I collect beer mugs. Full ones, if possible.


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

Ha ha ha...well, who pays for the tanning? You could do a beer/tanning trade and then have her take one of the other dresses and have it re-altered to look totally different??? which would cost a lot less. Just throwing out ideas.


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Actually krsharp05, she does pay for her own tanning. I don't consider tanning a basic necessity. A prom dress probably is.

Speaking of which, a prom dress I mean, can you get more material added to those things?


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

BGJack,

Sure you can add material like lace and jewels....actually you can add material and change colors entirely.

By the way, I love that you trained your cat to use the head. Bloody brilliant.


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Yes indeed, krsharp05, the cat takes to training real well, unlike my daughter, and doesn't use much toilet paper either, also unlike my daughter. Toilet paper has been known to cause me high anxiety, but that's a long story.

Okay, I hit up my daughter with the concept of changing colors and adding material to her old very expensive prom dresses. She said she wants to keep them. I asked why and she replied that she wants to keep them for her daughters so they won't need to buy prom dresses. I just shut up at that point, being thankful that there won't be any daughters too soon. I know that because I noticed one of those wrappers for feminine products in the trash can in the bathroom.


krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

LOL...I have amphibians. They don't train well.

At least you tried with the prom dresses. If I come up with any other ideas, I'll definitely let you know.

Do you have any dress shops that sell dresses that have only been worn once? As opposed to being "thrift shop" dresses?

Keep trying!


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

krsharp05, are you sure your pets are amphibians? Just wondering because I was reading some article the other day about some guy who traveled through Missouri 14 months ago selling alligators about the size of a pencil. The picture with the article says, "Now they've grown and they're not cute anymore."

More bad news on the prom front. My daughter borrowed my credit card yesterday to put down a $250 deposit on a limo. Now, I understand why a girl wants to look good. But does she have to ride good too?


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Update:

Well, the prom is tomorrow. The first one anyway. She's going to another one a week later.

So she got a dress for a little over $200. Better than $500, so I'm half happy. Her mother put the charge on her credit card, with the idea of course I would ultimately pay for it.

Yesterday I was cutting the grass when my daughter came home from school. It's like 85 degrees and really humid (less than 2 weeks ago there was snow on the ground) and I'm sweating bullets. So I told my daughter you finish cutting the grass and do it 5 more times, I'll pay for the prom dress. So she finished cutting the grass. It takes about 4 hours including weedwacking properly. I'll make her do it when it's sweltering.

I haven't seen the dress yet. I'll see it tomorrow, on her. Can't imagine it's going to look much different than the ones she wore last year and the year before.

If I get some good pics I'll post them in the hub. I'm anxious to get a pic of this limo that's costing $850 for 3 hours use.

Yeah, I'll probably get a pic of her date too like I did last year. Not the same guy. Me and the new guy will be having an "interview" prior to the prom.


Sarahhh666 profile image

Sarahhh666 4 years ago from near Philly

Hey, so where's the pics of the limo & new dress?


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Okay, new pics from this year's (first) prom are included via Epilogue. Another prom this Saturday. I hope to get a nice pic of the horse that is taking her to the prom. Seriously.


TripleAMom profile image

TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

This is hilarious. Multiple proms? Wow! My son's thing is basketball shoes. Don't have prom to deal with at this point. The shoes can be pretty expensive and he needs two pair, one for games and one as "street shoes" he plays JV and Varsity ball. We have to set a limit because we can't a ton (we have 3 kids). He doesn't necessarily like the limit but knows he can choose within a limit or I can buy them for him without his input or he can earn the money himself and buy whatever he wants. The limit we give him has been the best option so far :) It's not TOO low but doesn't break the bank either. Thanks for the laugh.


mj2991 profile image

mj2991 4 years ago from Pehawar

limo please


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Hey TripleAMom, Happy Mother’s Day! I see you asked a question about Mother’s Day. I’ll post my story over there if I can. I’m banned from posting in the forums because of beating up on atheists, but I should be able to answer questions, I think.

Oh yeah, basketball shoes. I got stories about that too. My daughter’s team made it to the state playoffs this season and eventually lost to the state runner-up.

Anyway, every year the team got new shoes that cost around $100. The intent being that everyone will have matching shoes. Of course Dad pays for the shoes. So when she was a sophomore they got these red shoes. When she was a junior they got white shoes. But she didn’t like the white shoes so she wore the red ones from the year before. This year they got black shoes. She didn’t like those either so she wore the red ones again from her sophomore year. So she was the only player who wore shoes that didn’t match the other players. Go figure.

Hey mj2991, what, would you like a ride in the limo? I can probably arrange that. I got some pictures of the $250 horse that took her to the prom last night, and I'll post those soon.


TripleAMom profile image

TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

Yup, team shoes, that's what I'm talking about. Ours (or my son's should I say) are very close to $100 then he has to have other exercise shoes. He's a freshman at 6'3" and still growing. Beating up on atheists, huh? Don't beat too hard :)


Iamsam profile image

Iamsam 4 years ago

Very interesting. We don't have proms in our country.

Thanks for sharing the information


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

TripleAMom, keep feeding that freshman and hope he keeps growing. I kept praying that my daughter would keep growing but she stopped at 5'8" or so, so she is going to play soccer in college instead of basketball.

The guy my daughter went to the first prom with when she was in 10th grade is 6'5" and played in college on scholarship this past season. You got to be thinking about those scholarships, what with the incredible cost of a college education these days, and all these student loans.

Iamsam, no proms in your country? That's terrible! I could arrange for you to ride in the limo if you like.


anivardiashvili profile image

anivardiashvili 4 years ago from Georgia

Try eBay. Lots of good deals there. You got to keep checking for new stuff. I just bought some cool sweatshirts last night. Saw some prom dresses. Funny article!


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Hey anivardiashvili, you copy and pasted a reply by Suzanne Marie made 2 months ago. What's up with that?

I just posted the pic of the $250 horse that took my daughter to the last prom. I wonder who had the pooper scooper. I hope nobody and you step in it, anivardiashvili.


innerspin profile image

innerspin 4 years ago from uk

Top marks to whoever invented proms - must be a real moneyspinner for dress shops. I'm thankful to have two sons,also that proms didn't come to the UK until after I left school. Enjoyed your post, your daughter's a lucky girl. No wonder she chose to live with you.


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Well, thank you very much, innerspin.

Actually, my daughter's high school graduation is tonight. She just left for the mall to buy a new dress to wear UNDERNEATH her gown. Couldn't find anything to wear in her closet or in the piles of clothes on her bed and elsewhere in her room.


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Hey thanks, naimishika.

If you liked this one I just did another one a couple days ago entitled "Why I'll Miss High School (Top 10 Reasons)" about my daughter that you might find entertaining.


cityalice profile image

cityalice 4 years ago

That's a nice horse carriage. How romantic. That seems like a very unique idea.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 4 years ago from US

You have a beautiful daughter :-) Since this is done with, can't give you any more advice, you did well though!


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Well, thank you, prettydarkhorse.

The prom dresses in question are now in the possession of one of her girlfriends who borrowed them for some beauty pageant or some such thing. I assume they will returned one day and go back to the closet.

I noticed yesterday my daughter has some fancy new black dress she wore to some formal event. I saw it on her Facebook page, and she didn't provide me with any info about it, yet. She's away at college but she'll be home for a week for Thanksgiving at which time I will interrogate her. I have to be careful about mentioning stuff I see on her Facebook page, because she always snaps, "Dad you been creeping on me again!" Whatever that means, exactly.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 4 years ago from US

Try to befriend her on Facebook and don't be obvious that you are spying, :-)!

Thanksgiving will be so nice for you and your daughter, just tell her that she is beautiful with that black dress and like what I said, I think they don't like to be spied upon, LOL


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

I'm not spying! Try to befriend her? Do you think she would deny my friend request? Lol. She likes money too much.

She posts some funny pics on Facebook. Maybe I'll go get the pic of the black dress and put it in this hub, and you'll see what I mean.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 4 years ago from US

Yes try to befriend her, if her profile is public, then you don't need to do it :-) All girls like money, I think, they can buy a lot of shoes and bags with it!!

Where is the pic of the black dress? :-)


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

My aren't we impatient. I'll post the black dress pic soon.

Hey, right now I'm working on the new hub for the Ratbirds game. I got priorities, ya know?

Besides that, I've been working on cleaning my daughter's room since she'll be home soon. I never cleaned her room when she was here (neither did she), but I think it would be nice if she comes home to a nice clean room.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 4 years ago from US

I am not excited to hear anything about them Ravens right now, don't rush :-)

I think that you have been a good dad and that alone will make her come home! ;-)


BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area Author

Oh, she told me she's coming home. When she comes home what she usually does is mostly sleep. Besides that, she'll be running to and fro hanging out with her girlfriends who are also home from college and that she hasn't seen for a couple months.

Hey, here's some more funny pics of her, and also the girlfriends she'll be hanging out with, in my hub "Why I'll Miss High School (Top 10 Reasons)" and here's the link:

http://hubpages.com/education/Why-Ill-Miss-High-Sc...


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 4 years ago from US

ok cool!:-)

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