Prom wars – revenge of the stitch: Manchester mums spend almost £500 on prom gear for teens, claims survey

It is now the time of year when demanding sons and daughters want to turn heads at prom – and Manchester mums are willing to spend almost £500 to ensure their child is the belle of the ball.

The prom wars are raging between competitive mums and 70% of Manchester mothers confessed that they would do anything to ensure that their child draws envious looks from other promsters with the average spend coming to £428.

A survey of 1,000 UK mums with teens of school-leaving age kids revealed that more than three quarters of mums in Manchester will be flashing the cash on their child’s prom outfit – with 20% declaring that money is no object..

The investigation, carried out by the Manchester Arndale, found that a typical Mancunian mother starts planning what their daughter will be wearing almost five months prior to the prom.

This cost includes payment for dresses, beauty treatments and even transport, a figure that sees Manchester spending topping the national average by £73.

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Mums with daughters reported arguing with them over their prom dresses, with over half of all parents polled saying that they influenced their son or daughter over which outfit to choose.

The biggest dispute was the dress being too revealing, followed by a disagreement over the choice of colour.

A further 16% rowed over the price of the dress and whether or not it was appropriate for a school prom.

Manchester Arndale’s personal stylist Debs Hatfield 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, it’s the first opportunity many school pupils have had to really dress up in formal wear.”

Four-in-ten proud mums in the city stated that their son or daughter would undoubtedly be the prettiest or most handsome attendee.

A somewhat less confident 38% said their child would be ‘amongst the best-looking’ at their prom.

A further three-in-ten claimed it is a mother’s duty to ensure her daughter looks the most beautiful at the school prom and it comes as no surprise that half of mums in Manchester want to help their son or daughter get ready. .

A quarter of mothers even insisted that they would only pay for their dress or suit if they liked it themselves, while 10% said it is best their husband doesn’t know how much they intend to spend on their child’s prom experience.

Close to 40% stated that they would even consider employing a personal stylist to aid them in selecting the perfect outfit for the occasion.

COUNTING THE COST: Manchester mums’ spending breakdown

Debs 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’ve seen parents on shopping trips with their sons and daughters looking for the perfect outfit since the January sales hit.

“Styles that have proven popular for our Mancunian prom-goers 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.

“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 frilled socks with stiletto sandals.

“But most importantly, like infamous wedding days, don’t panic, just enjoy the day with your friends and have an amazing time!” 

Image courtesy of Maurizio Laudisa with thanks

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