The prom dress claim to fame


Abbey Humbert

Many junior and senior girls are added to a Facebook group chat titled “Prom Dress Claim” to show everybody their dress and state if others can have the same dress. Once people put a picture of their prom dress in the Facebook group, the dress has been “claimed” unless someone explicitly says that somebody else can have the same dress.

On the first day of prom, my closet said to me: let’s search and buy a dress — go see! On the second day of prom, the store said, the joke is on you, somebody already has that dress — boo hoo. On the third day of prom, I found another dress, but it was already claimed; ok, that’s enough, my frustration can no longer be restrained.

It has become a custom at LHS for the female members of the senior class to create a group on Facebook nearing prom time, known as the “prom dress claim.” As of right now, there are 256 female members of the junior and senior class who are added into this group for 2018.

To keep it short, sweet and simple, let me lay down the unspoken basic understanding of how this prom dress claim group works. Once a girl finds a dress, a picture is taken of it and posted onto the group. Now, if you don’t mind anyone else wearing the same dress, you have to explicitly say something along the lines of, “I don’t mind if anyone else wears the same dress.” If there is nothing even remotely mentioned, it is an unspoken rule that the owner of that dress has “claimed” it, and NOBODY else may wear it to prom.

I honestly don’t think I’ll ever understand the point of claiming a dress. Guys, as far as I know, don’t have “tux claim.” There’s nobody going around saying, “sup bros, my tux is black, nobody else can have one that looks similar.” That’s just not a thing!

Girls get their dresses from a wide variety of places, but there are a few high-end boutiques in the area which people shop at, such as Gipper and Peaches. Both of these have a dress registry where after someone buys a dress, nobody else from that school is allowed to buy the same dress. Great, even the shops are helping people claim their claim?

“Basically, customer[s] do not want anyone else in the same dress at their prom,” commented a customer service representative at Peaches over email. “We have been doing this for the last 20 years actually, [and] it’s been a great benefit to shopping at Peaches.”

Are you kidding me? If I went to one of these boutiques, found a dress that actually suits me in terms of both stylistically and affordability and I was told, “Sorry, no can do,” I’d feel a little roasty toasty inside and leave not giving them my business at all, even if it was for another dress. How are they not losing business when someone finds out a dress they really like is already taken?

Personally, I’d love to see a bunch of people wearing the same dress as me: it would make one sick group picture! There are so many people at prom, more than one person could comfortably rock the same dress; everyone would look gorgeous in their own special ways!

I understand that it could be awkward if somebody else in the same prom group as you is wearing the same dress. However, that can be avoided by privately sharing with your individual groups what everyone is wearing.

One morning a few weeks ago, I had an idea to conquer what I find a slightly ridiculous tradition, and it all begins by starting a GoFundMe page and collecting money (donations are appreciated!). I’m hoping to raise roughly $51,200 all together, an average of $200 a dress for the 256 senior girls in the dress claim group.

Once the funds have been acquired, I’ll make it a personal goal to buy the same dress as every single person in the group and wear them all at once at prom. Then, when I’m walking around the venue and start talking someone, I’ll just search through my floof of dresses to find the layer on which I’m wearing theirs, flip the others up, and be like, “yooooo we’re matching!” Either there will be a positive reaction or a catfight, but I’m totally up for getting a black eye or two if it means I get to throw down the silly tradition.

As much as I have some strong wishy-washy feelings about “claiming” a dress, I do love the idea of having a Facebook group where everyone shares their dresses when they find the right one. It’s really heartwarming seeing everyone look happy and commenting on their friends’ post with glowing reviews and praise.

But to sum it up, if someone wants to be truly unique, the only way to do that is to make their own dress. Yes, I mean with a needle and fabric. Then nobody else can have it because YOU made it! If more than one person likes a specific dress, so be it! That doesn’t mean one will steal the spotlight from the other; it just means that everyone can be happy with the dress of their choosing and feel confident with their choice on one special night of the year.