PROM nights are big business these days with parents spending hundreds of pounds ensuring their little princesses and princes have the ultimate teen night out.
The dress must be a one-off, the shoes sky-high, make-up flawless and false tan streak-free. And the guests must be delivered in that all-important accessory – the limo. Dad’s saloon just won’t cut the mustard when it comes to the Big P.
Lynne Hall from Hetton opened a one-stop prom shop in Gilesgate, Durham, last September after experiencing prom panic with her own daughter.
Her store, Belle Eveningwear, is packed to the rafters with more than 300 gorgeous gowns in every colour imaginable.
Some are straight and slinky, others the ultimate Barbie frock, all frothy net and sequins galore – eat your heart out, Katie Price!
“There’s a huge market for prom wear these days – it is the ultimate event for teenagers and parents are under pressure to spend,” says Lynne.
Her own fail-safe checks mean that no dress will appear at the same prom twice. If one is sold for a prom, then another girl won’t be able to buy one.
With the prom season of May to June fast approaching and more than 100 scheduled across the North East, there’s a mad scramble to bag the best dress.
So, what’s hot? “We have some real princess styles this year, with huge skirts and diamante detail on them. Some girls want those fairytale princess styles while others will be the other extreme – like my own daughter – who went for simple classic black,” says Lynne.
“Other popular looks are draped styles with a Grecian influence – there are some girls who want to go for a real drop-dead glamour look.”
Mums and dads, be ready with the wallet. Dresses are likely to cost anything from £100 to the £400 mark for the princess fix, with Lynne reckoning on an average of £300 for the dress. “Probably about £400 for the full package – the makeup, false tan and limo – but the dads don’t usually know!,” laughs Lynne.
So, there goes this year’s holiday spends ….but she’ll tell you – she’s worth it!