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Should High Schools Crack Down on Prom Dresses?

An example from Danbury High School in Danbury, Connecticut. (Photo:

In the last few weeks, a strange new trend has emerged in high schools across the country. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that young women have been wearing particularly risqué dresses to prom and because of that, school administrations across the country have started cracking down with serious dress codes, using PowerPoint presentations to make it clear what’s appropriate—and, more significantly, what isn’t. 

According to the PowerPoints we’ve seen, some of the general themes are that hemlines can’t go higher than three inches above the knee, backless gowns can’t dip below your navel, no cut-outs of any kind, and absolutely no plunging necklines. (I can tell you right now that there are at least 10 girls from my own prom who would’ve been turned away at the door.)

These new guidelines have sparked serious debate here in the Birchbox office, with staffers falling on two sides: 1) hey, teenagers aren’t exactly kids anymore and they are old enough to decide what they’re going to wear as long as it’s not completely ridiculous. 2) Junior and senior year of high school seems too young to be rocking backless gowns and extra-deep V-necklines—save it for when you’re older!

What do you think? Are these PowerPoints and guidelines necessary?


Last month, we gave you our tips on prom makeup. Click here to see our suggestions!

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