Outrageously Expensive Proms Aren't What They Used to Be

It's prom season, which means it's time for the New York Post to roll out its trend story about how New York City proms are more outrageously expensive than ever. However! Our scientific meta-trend analysis shows isn't quite the case.

Today's Post trend piece about pricey proms, "Wild 'gown' Payments" is an exact repeat of 2007's story, "Prom$ Can Be 'Grand' Nights'. Written at the height of the economic boom, the earlier story can be usefully compared to this most recent one to see the effect the economic downturn has had on insanely expensive proms.

We analyzed data from the 2007 and 2011 articles in four key Prom Expense Sectors (PESs) and found a noticeable decline in outrageousness from the 2007-2011 prom seasons:

Dresses:

2007: "One seller at Barneys said she recently peddled a $2,700 ivory, ballerina-style dress to a Manhattan private-school senior."
2011: "Alessandra Asperti... will spend roughly $1,500 on her big night."

Most outrageous: 2007

Transportation:

2007: "One rich Manhattan prep-school teen recently rented a Range Rover limo for $8,400 for the prom."
2011: "The traditional white limo is a thing of the past... Now, it's a $9,000-a-night double-decker Hummer equipped with stripper poles."

Most outrageous: 2011

Plastic Surgery:

2007: "Dr. Lewis Feder said two teens came to his Fifth Avenue office for some pre-prom primping that included Botox between the eyes.... he has also given three other girls—two from Westchester and one from Manhattan—Restylane injections for artfully fattened lips that cost about $600 each."
2011: None.

Most Outrageous: 2007

After Party:
2007: "Rich Manhattan teens tend to have private post-prom parties at Hamptons homes that are catered, have security and DJs and last for the weekend."
2011: "Christina Ornes, a senior at St. Mary's in Manhasset, LI, will be heading to a Hamptons mansion after her prom with 25 other students."

Most Outrageous: Tie.

As you can see, since 2007 outrageously expensive proms have become significantly less outrageous in all Prom Expense Sectors except for Transportation. Extrapolating from this data, we predict that by 2065, all girls will be wearing burlap sacks and arrive to the prom on broken-down Razor scooters. The after party will be held at a local Denny's.

[Image via shutterstock]