Prom-flation: How buying a prom dress in Ontario is unimaginable for some famillies

With inflation making basic necessities a struggle for many, acquiring luxury items like wedding dresses even seems like an option for families struggling to make ends meet. It may not be.

In the first few years after schools reopened after the pandemic, Prom Glitz, a local nonprofit that provides free dresses to families who can’t afford 8th grade graduation or prom gowns, has seen 132 We saw more than 412 girls from people’s schools, an increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Carol Allen, President of Prom Grits, said:

“It was an inspiring time as she shared with us the story of a family worried that they won’t be able to send their child to prom because they don’t have the money to buy a wedding dress.”

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Allen said she is constantly being contacted by families affected by the pandemic and inflation.

Looking at the impact of inflation, Simcoe Muskoka’s United Way reports a “dramatic increase” in the number of people accessing the service.

“Most offensive is the number of people seeking help that we have no record of having had to ask for help before. Bryan Shelley said:

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People with lower incomes have less savings, spend most of their income on housing, and have little room for expensive expenses such as wedding dresses.

“I think it’s something that people don’t think about at night. Like people are trying to think about which meals to skip as a family, whether the kids are going to prom or going to the field.” Whether or not… travel isn’t even in the realm where decisions are being made,” he said.

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Allen said last year he saw girls from as far afield as Toronto and Gray Blues come looking for dresses.

A display at Prom Grits Valley.

Courtesy of Prom Grits

Prom Glitz has been active in the Barrie area since around 2005, donating new or rarely used prom and 8th grade graduation dresses to help students who can’t afford their own dresses.

Over the past few years, local boutiques selling wedding dresses have received many donations, Allen said, but have either closed or cleared outdated inventory.

“Each situation is different, but in general I don’t think they can afford them because I have two daughters. , we know how much it means to them to have their first experience being able to dress up and celebrate school with their friends,” said Jarka Slodikowska, owner of Helen’s bridal.

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Helen’s Bridal has been donating dresses to Prom Glitz for several years.

Average prices rose by $200 to $300, she said, as inflation led to higher costs of the materials needed to make the dresses, and manufacturers had to make up for losses caused by the pandemic.

“Before COVID, probably the most expensive dress we had was around $500, now it’s probably $800 and could actually be even $900.

In a big city like Toronto, a dress can cost as much as $1,200 in some cases, says Slowikoswska.

She said that in most cases, students and their parents split the cost of the dress.

Those in need can attend the organization’s boutique day at the Kozlov Center in Barrie. The dress is free, but we are accepting cash donations to help the program continue.

Prom Gritsbury Boutique.

Bu prom grits served

Boutique day for those looking for dresses Prom Grits websitethe first event will take place on Friday, April 14th from 4pm to 6pm.

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If you would like to donate a new or infrequently worn dress, please contact for more information or visit the Prom Glitz website.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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