Prom dress prices rising

April 13, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Peaches Boutique on the South Side is a destination point for prom dresses.

They carry thousands of evening gowns in a variety of styles, colors and sizes.

High school students and parents are looking for that perfect dress.

Seventeen-year-old Alexis Lopez just paid $400 for her dress and she still has other accessories to purchase and is willing to spend $1,000.

"It is a one in a lifetime experience," she said.

"Altogether it can run us a couple thousand dollars," her mother, Lorraine Mulvaney said. "It is an insane dress."

The store carries, slips, shoes, purses, jewelry and anything you need for prom night. Dressing rooms are filled with young women trying on gowns that cost several hundred dollars.

Allison Adams of Libertyville says she has found the perfect dress for over four-hundred dollars, but still needs to spend more.

"Maybe $750 with the shoes," she said. "You need good shoes to go with this dress."

"That is an awful lot," Adams' mother, Julie, said. "But I think this dress is stunning on her."

A recent survey says families will spend an average of $1,000 on prom, up from $800 last year. In some parts of the country they are spending more than $2,000.

"Mommies and dads do what they have to do for their daughters to go to prom," said Barbara Surdej of Peaches Boutique. "$500-600 is the average cost for a dress."

"I did not even look at the price, said South Shore High School student Ambria Hull.

"These are tough economic times but it is only once in a lifetime," Hull's mother, Cynthia, said.

Peaches owner said many purchase a second dress for the after prom party.

The boys and girls club at 3400 S. Emerald Ave. will be giving away prom dresses, some new and others used, every Saturday this month. Zengeler Cleaners makes prom dreams come true through the Glass Slipper Project. They will be giving used prom dresses on every Saturday this month at McCorkle School located at 4421 S. State St.

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