The Prom Dress Dilemma

Why is wearing the same dress such a monumental offense among women?

The Prom Dress Dilemma

Brooklyn Brackett, Staff Writer

Springtime means prom season to many high school students, and this is the year you finally get to search for your dress. After wandering the halls of department stores and boutiques for hours, overwhelmed by tulle, glitter, sequins, and price tags, you finally find the dress. It flows perfectly. It’s your favorite color. You have to have this dress. Hundreds of dollars and hours of shopping later, you’re home admiring your purchase. As you’re planning your hair appointment, picking out shoes, and telling your date what color to wear, your phone starts to buzz nonstop in your pocket.


Someone has the same dress as you…


I’m sure you’ve heard your mother say that “copying is the finest form of flattery”, but something always feels wrong when someone steals your spotlight. This kind of drama has surrounded prom for years, but the hunt for “The Dress” seems to be the most vicious. Starting as early as January, girls spend their days shopping and travelling from from store to store to find

the perfect one for them. Prices skyrocket as prom approaches, styles disappear within days, and dresses fly off the shelves. Shopping can be stressful than you may think, and GHS junior Teghan Coyle knows this feeling all too well.

“It was chaotic” Coyle recalls, as she tells me about her shopping experience, “It was packed… and [my mom] was trying to keep me calm. I was so stressed out”.  With high expectations set, shopping for anything can be stressful. Not to mention the added panic when dresses are such an important choice and in such high demand. Teghan Coyle says she “tried on a couple [dresses] and was already frustrated” when she couldn’t find what she wanted. However, two hours and four dresses later, she found The One. “I loved the dress. I knew I wanted it” she said. However, what Teghan didn’t expect was for one of her best friends to buy the same dress.

From when we were children, the desire to wear a beautiful ball gown has grown in the back of our minds. “You see it in movies and online and on social media”, and anticipate your prom night for years beforehand. “Disney princesses play into it… because prom is the one time where you can wear a princess dress.” says Coyle, “Its supposed to be one of those fairytale moments”… but no two princesses have the same dress, do they?

“The initial shock” of her dilemma definitely swept Teghan off her feet, “once you find the one that fits you perfectly and you feel good in it… its rough when someone else gets the same one”. However, the girls handled the issue civilly. The cat fight you may have expected never occured. But why should we expect it at all? The stigma of this situation ruining prom is not a reality. This setback can be handled effectively, and is not the end of the world! As a matter of fact, it shouldn’t be an issue at all.

“Because prom is such a big tradition, everyone wants it to be perfect”, but this isn’t

always the case. If you expect the experience to end up like a scene from “Pretty Woman”, you will likely be disappointed. The obstacles you overcome, and hurdles you will face, all add to the fanciful experience of your first prom. You don’t necessarily need the perfect dress or the perfect date to have a perfect night. The most important part is to have fun in preparation, rather than stress for months in advance. Years down the line, you’ll remember how you felt that night; from the millions of  photos your mom made you take, to dancing until you can’t feel your feet. So have fun! Don’t worry about every trivial detail; just live your own fairytale, and “be a princess for a night.”