How Serious Is Prom Dress Code?

Going to the mall and dress shops every weekend to look for the perfect prom dress, finally finding one and getting it fitted to look as best as possible, so that the night is perfect. Every high school girl goes through this experience, they want to look beautiful for their senior prom, so they spend time and money to find the right dress.

Prom is a right of passage for almost every high school student in the country. The experience is being altered by schools that have decided to control the dresses that girls wear on prom night. Some have decided that the dresses are too short or have too low of a back or show too much cleavage. However different schools take different standpoints on what they deem acceptable and what they deem inappropriate.

Daniela Santos, junior advisor and prom planner, understands the difficulty of acquiring a dress that exists within the dress code.  

“I don’t think it’s necessary for a prom dress code because of what I’ve seen in the last six years,” said Santos. “People know that it’s classy.”

Woodland does not see the need to strictly monitor its students’ dress choices due to the fact that their choices are appropriate, for the most part. Santos doesn’t think it is necessary because of what she has seen the last 6 years of her teaching, but she does think people need a little reminder or what to wear.

When asked if she would take any precautions with dresses, Santos that there is a meeting where rules are discusses and it remind student that they want to be comfortable and be able to dance freely.

Dorothee Fabre, senior attending the prom, slightly disagrees. “I don’t think that most people need one, but some do, but a code should be placed beforehand.”

Grabbing attention all across the state of Connecticut was the incident in Shelton in 2015. The headmaster and members of Shelton School District announced that there would be a dress code at the prom. However, they made that announcement a week prior to the prom. The dress code consisted of a restriction toward backless, short, slitted, and low cut dresses. The major problem comes from the fact that almost all girls bought their dresses. They already spent the hundreds of dollars and had the dresses fitted, getting rid of the ability to return them. Santos believes that it’s unfair for girls who go months in advance to buy their dress.

“It was reckless and controlling of the school to decide what’s inappropriate of students to wear so late.”  says Fabree

A long existing problem exists where dress codes tend to target girls and not boys. The Woodland dress code has rules banning tops with thin straps, shorts that are more than 4 inches above the knee, skirts that are more than 4 inches above the knee, exposed midriff, and bras showing. However, boys have little to no regulations.

Fabree states, “Girls are viewed in a sexual manner and almost every part of their bodies are sexualized. Girls can’t even show their shoulder.”

Ms. Santos states that, “Boys clothing is more appropriate and girls have more leeway with clothing that is looked at more. When clothing is inappropriate it’s fixed.”

Prom night is approaching fast and might feel better for some rather than others due to their dress freedoms.

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