Prom season is here and for most girls, plans for the big event normally center around what to wear and the search for the perfect dress; but not all formal fashion is prom approved.
Several schools in the area have specific guidelines regarding what students can and cannot wear to the event.
At Melissa High School, a prom dress code handed out to students and shown online mandates that female students must get their prom dress preapproved.
“All ladies dresses should be preapproved by Coach Dotson (room 306) before prom,” the handout said.
Kenneth Wooten, the Melissa High School principal, said most students snap a photo of the dress and show it to Dotson.
“What we do is our ladies visit with typically our sponsor for the prom, which is Ms. Dotson who is also a coach here,” he said. “Basically it’s a conversation about what the dress looks like.”
Wooten has been principal at the high school for a little over a year and said the guidelines have been in place for many years.
“Typically I think probably what happens is they may take a picture of it and send it,” he said.
The guidelines also state that students can wear two piece dresses but the midriff, or stomach area cannot have more than three inches showing. Slits and dress hemlines can be no shorter than five inches above the knee and slippers and flip flops are not permitted.
For men at Melissa High School, it’s a little easier. There’s no rule stating they need to get their tuxedo preapproved. The guidelines say men should wear tuxedos, suits or dress pants. No blue jeans, open-toed shoes, bandannas or baseball hats are allowed. Dress shoes and boots are preferred.
“You know we try to align our student dress code with our community and our school district values, and the challenge sometimes is to align that with the current fashions and trends, and it typically occurs with the dresses,” Wooten said.
At this year’s Met Gala, the most-discussed dresses usually had slits, see-through cutouts and revealed some cleavage.
“With the style changing with the mid-drift showing, we have kind of adapted to that,” Denison High School Prom Sponsor Sabrina Redwine said. “But we don’t allow complete cutouts.”
Students at Denison High School don’t have to get their dress preapproved like Melissa, but students are still expected to adhere to a reserved dress code.
“If it were too extreme they would be turned away at the door and asked to either go home and find something else that is more appropriate,” Redwine said. “But honestly, it’s never arisen.”
Redwine said any student who feels their dress could be on the edge is encouraged to contact her or the assistant vice principal.
Prosper High School takes a similar stance. Communications Director Christal Hankey said over email that female students are expected to use good judgment when picking out their dresses.
“If ladies have any question regarding their dress they can go to Assistant Principal Ms. Winter or Mrs. Grant and get their approval prior to the event,” she said.
Prom has already passed at Anna High School and district spokesperson Melane Woodbury released this statement regarding prom:
“Student attire at prom is at the campus administrator’s discretion and is monitored upon entering prom and throughout the evening. The AHS prom was held this past Saturday at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club and no students had to be approached regarding inappropriate attire. Employees at SRCC commented to AHS Principal Thance Springer that they have never hosted such a polite group of kids.”
Van Alstyne High School held it’s prom on May 6 and Assistant Principal Debbie Fine said there were no dress code issues at the event.