The nation’s mums are sharpening their competitive claws – as Prom season looms for high school pupils around the country, it has been revealed. The extravagant end of school bashes began to filter across to the UK after featuring in huge US film and telly shows such as Mean Girls and High School Musical.
And the results of a study show a large percentage of mums will do whatever it takes to ensure their child draws envious looks from other Prom-goers on the big night.
Nearly two thirds of the 1,000 mums of school leavers who were polled said they would be ‘pulling out all the stops’ and had already begun planning outfits and accessories.
And around one in seven went as far as to say ‘money is no object’ when it comes to dresses, suits, cars and beauty treatments.
Incredibly the results also revealed the average Prom spend is now £366.
The poll by Manchester Arndale shopping centre, whose stylist is offering hints and tips on Proms, also found around four out of ten mums admit they have become ‘too competitive’.
Debs Hatfield, Manchester Arndale’s personal stylist, said:
“In the last ten years Proms have really grown in popularity in the UK and both parents and students alike take them really seriously.
“Leaving secondary school is a massive milestone and a Prom is a chance to really show off your individual style, try new trends and make a real fashion impact with your friends.
“It’s no wonder then that young adults and their mother take it seriously and make a real effort.
“This is the first opportunity many school pupils have had to really dress up in formal wear.”
The study also found the typical mother starts discussing their daughter’s outfit nearly five months prior to the event itself, and 24% said it was chance to show-off what good taste she had.
Not surprisingly, one in four said they were more excited than their children about the upcoming school event.
It also seems some mums have the final say – one in five insist they would only pay for their dress or suit if they liked it themselves.
In turn, four in ten said its best their husband doesn’t know how much they intend to spend on their offspring’s Prom party.
But the perfect Prom-look doesn’t come without stress, as those with daughters admit they have argued over her prom dress, with nearly half of all parents polled saying that they influenced their son or daughter over what outfit to choose.
The main bone of contention was the dress being too revealing, followed by the colour.
Though 15% rowed over the price of the dress and whether it was suitable for a school prom or not – and as a solution, a quarter said they would even consider having a personal stylist to help them pick the perfect outfit for their kid’s prom.
Nearly one third of proud mums said without a doubt their son or daughter will be the prettiest or most handsome one in attendance.
A less confident 47% said their offspring will be among the best looking at the prom.
But 25% said it’s a mother’s duty to ensure her daughter looks the best at the school prom, and it comes as no surprise then that 42% of mums want their son or daughter to get ready in their own house so they can help them get ready.
Debs Hatfield added:
“There is no doubt that Proms now take a lot of planning in the fashion stakes and our retailers in Manchester Arndale have told us that they have seen parents on shopping trips with their sons and daughters looking for the perfect Prom outfit since the January sales hit.
“Styles that have proven popular are full length fitted dresses in on-trend pastel shades, as well as this season’s shorter styles which can be worn again.
“The centre offers a free personal stylist service to help Prom-goers to find that perfect style for them and some hot tips we have already recommended this year are to par down your jewellery if you have a detailed dress, don’t go OTT on the tan and dare to try a quirky on-trend statement like metallic of a bold print.
“But most importantly, like infamous wedding days, don’t panic, just enjoy the day with your friends and have an amazing time.”
COST OF A SCHOOL PROM