6 Dances and Hundreds of Dollars Later

BV couple compares, contrasts getting ready for dances


Homecoming is a staple of the high school experience. The pageantry and preparation that go into the annual event are extensive and, frankly, costly, both concerning time and money.

Though Homecoming is seemingly such a universal ordeal, the irrefutable fact is that it is a vastly different experience for boys and girls.

“I always buy a new dress because sizes change in some nature,” senior Elizabeth Sutton said.

A dress can be a significant investment, especially considering many students never reuse them after the dance they were specifically purchased for. When asked about her average expenditure for a Homecoming dress, Sutton said, “about $300 per dress,” while, at $600, her prom dress marked her most expensive purchase.

After attending seven school dances including the approaching homecoming, this bring’s Sutton’s total to more than $2,000 for dresses alone.

Clothes do not account for the only significant homecoming expenses.

“I do acrylic [nails], and they’re usually about $60,” Sutton said.

She also recounts spending $20 on accessories and around $50 for a spray tan.

In contrast, Sutton’s date for the past seven dances senior Ethan Mayers said, “a suit can be $100 or more just to buy, but they can last all four years.”

With the addition of yearly alterations and a tie which, according to Mayers, “is usually about $40,” he still spends much less each year.  However, Mayers also accepts more of the experiential purchases.

“Unless it’s Sweetheart, I pay for all tickets,” Mayers said. He also pays for a nice dinner.

Sutton and Mayers also provided commentary on their pre-dance routines.

“I’ll usually wash my hair the night before, and then I’ll like to wake and put some dry shampoo in it to make it really puffy,” Sutton said. “Then I’ll curl it and let it sit for two hours. Then I’ll do my makeup and then probably go get some food. Then I’ll do the final touches and I’m out the door.”

In comparison to her multi-day process, Mayers has a simpler routine.

“It takes 30 minutes to an hour,” Mayers said. “I’ll shower, do my hair, shave, get my suit on, and go.”

Although it is significantly more of a commitment for most girls than boys, Homecoming does require money, time, and planning form everyone involved.

Nevertheless, the fact that it has remained so popular over the years implies that, for many students, the event itself outweighs the inconveniences.

“Homecoming is 100 percent worth it just to get to spend time with someone you like to spend time with,” Mayers said.