Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Formal dresses...what's a girl to wear?

This past weekend my beautiful 17 year old niece came to visit. While she was here we went shopping for a homecoming dress. May I ask, What is going on with the dresses designed to wear at formal dances for high-schoolers? Do people really let their daughters out in these microscopic pieces of fabric with plunging necklines? And the ones that do actually have some fabric look as though you just stepped out of a Disney princess movie or like something that my 83 yr old Grandmother would wear (No offense Granny, you're actually quite hip!). Where is the fashion merged with decency?

(This particular dress is found in the JRs section for prom. $218 Serendipity Prom A 16 yr old with that neckline??? I don't think so.)

Each time my nieces buy a dress for a formal occasion, they end up having to have it altered to adhere to any type of modesty standards. We're not talking about crazy, out of touch, pioneer modesty or anything. Their mothers just prefer not to send them on dates with hormone driven teenage boys in little more than a loin cloth.

Being a clothing retailer, I decided to look online at a wh
olesale fashion mall for a dress for my niece. After searching through 300+ dresses, there was not one that met her needs. How is this possible?

There are a few online retailers that have emerged to try and fill this void in the clothing industry. And while I applaud their efforts, they seem to have missed the mark in some areas. First of all, many of them are extremely expensive ($200-$500), and frankly I'm not willing or able to make such a purchase for something that will be worn once. Now I am somewhat educated in the area of manufacturing, so I realize that unless something is mass produced it is expensive to manufacture. On the flip side, I cannot purchase something unless it is reasonably priced. Secondly, while there are some girls that like to wear princess dresses after the age of 12, many teenagers are looking for something more modern. I did come across a few that were either stylish or well priced, but had an extremely hard time finding a dress that was fashionable and affordable.
(This "Nettle" dress is cute, but comes with a high price tag of $250. LatterDayBride)

Now I know that I may get a lot of flack from those of you that say your daughters loved their highpriced princess dresses, and it was "worth the money". I encourage you to lend me your comments and thoughts. But from where I stand, the industry could use a makeover.

So good luck to all my nieces this year and in the years to come. And may God help me when it's my turn to find a prom dress for my daughter, 13 years from now.

(For those of you who may not know about these modest online retailers: here are a few. Judge them for yourself. You may find something that fits your needs. LatterdayBride, Beautifully Modes
t, Jen Clothing, Totally Modest, Great Lengths, Modest Prom)


Elaine said...

I agree... some dresses are too sexy for teenagers to wear...or for anyone to wear for that matter.. And I have realized that modest clothing have been more pricey...especially dressier clothing. That's why we have to bring modesty into the fashion industry's attention! ;)

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. It is always easier to say than do... Makes me want to prove that wrong :)


Mel said...

i am a 27 year old woman, and i still can't find modest attire for dressy occasions which i can afford. most of the time i wind up having to layer and not look as sleek and sophisticated as i would like.
i wish you luck and success in changing the industry!