Prom Night Pressures Mean Some Parents Shell Out Big Bucks

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Setting Limits

Gina Kelly, the fashion director at Seventeen Magazine, said it's all about setting limits.

"If you set a budget from the beginning, I think that will alleviate some of the fights," she said. "The average cost of a dress is $400 ... but I think you can definitely get a dress for under $100."

Lisa Noce admitted that she blew her initial $700 budget for her daughter, Caroline.

Asked what kind of message such spending could send to young girls, Noce said: "I think, if you can look your best, and you want to buy something, and it's relative to what you earn or what you can spend, I think it's OK as long as you're not tacky or you don't brag."

She also acknowledged that some people might think her daughter was spoiled.

"Not spoiled," she said. "Not spoiled, because 'spoiled,' to me, has a negative connotation. So I would not say that she's spoiled. And I don't think with this dress or without this dress she's any more or less of a wonderful young lady.

"So not spoiled," she added. "Lucky, maybe. Night. Lucky for the night."

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