Cost of Prom Between Males and Females


Shannon Flaherty and Kendra Brown, Journalist

Prom season is upon us. Girls are picking out dresses, and boys are picking out their tuxes. Shopping is in full swing. One large question still stands: what is the difference between boys and girls when it comes to preparing for prom?

Prom preparation for most girls is a year long event. For the months leading up to the big event, girls are in full prom mode. Dress shopping starts in January, and they are very expensive. Hours are spent picking out dresses, accessories, hairstyles, booking appointments, and everything else under the sun to prepare for the big day. When asked about how much she spent on a prom dress, Lucy Armistead says “I started dress shopping in early January, and I spent around $450 on my dress.” This is a common theme, as the national average spent on a prom dress is around $400. There are also prom dress Instagram pages and Facebook groups to make sure nobody has the same dress. Girls take prom very seriously. 

As for the guys, most of them just rent their tuxes the month before prom, and that’s as far as their preparation goes. There is no months in advance prep for a special dress, and no hair or makeup appointments. All their preparation entails is renting a tux, showing up and looking their best. When asked, Matt McGowan said that, “I don’t plan on thinking about renting my tux until April. I’ll probably spend about $150.” This seems to be a common theme among the male preparation of prom, with the average cost to rent a tuxedo being $135. This is less than half the price of a prom dress, due to the tux being rented. Most girls buy their dresses. This is one of the reasons why prom is much more expensive for girls. 

Another large difference in the prom world for males and females is the time spent getting ready on the actual day. Most girls get their hair done by a professional, and they also get their makeup done as well. This process can take up to three hours. “I think in total I spent around two and a half hours getting ready for prom last year. I was in that salon forever,” said Lucy Armistead. These appointments can also be very pricey. The average cost to get their hair done is around $100. The average cost for makeup is $80. This brings the running total of the cost of prom for girls to around $580. This doesn’t include accessories, pictures, and other potential expenses. On the contrary, guys usually shower, comb their hair, put on their tux, and go. Matt McGowan said, “I spent like thirty minutes getting ready for prom last year.” So, there is clearly a large contrast between the two genders in time spent getting ready. Guys don’t usually have hair appointments or any other type of appointments on the big day. That brings the running total for the money guys usually spend to around $150, or potentially a little bit more. The difference in money spent is very apparent. 

Across the board, there seems to be a big difference in the time and effort put in by boys, in comparison to girls. However, each person has their own style and look they want to go for. At the end of the day, everyone should wear what makes them feel their best. We hope to see you all at prom, on May 25!