Woman Creates Outfit Loaning Service For Families Who Can't Afford A Prom Outfit
Prom culture has reached fever pitch in 2019.
Borrowed from our mates over in the States and reaching new extremes thanks to Gen Z, it seems we can't go a day without hearing about some sort of OTT prom entrance, Swarovski-covered dress or date fail that goes viral.
In all honestly the pomp and pageantry around the tradition is getting too much to bare and of course it all comes at a price - not one that everyone can afford.
What you don't see plastered on Instagram are the kid's who don't attend prom because they simply can't afford an outfit.
One woman who is trying to tackle this problem is Andrea Anderson, who collects prom dresses and suits and anonymously loans them to families who can't afford the big day.
Andrea, 45, an events planner from Sunderland, first had the idea for her service when she was dressing the the room for her own daughter's prom and got speaking to the school headteacher. The head revealed that every year she has to dress a child for prom - that year it was a boy.
"I asked what she meant and she explained that quite a few kids don't get the opportunity to go to prom due to financial stress," the mum-of-three told PRETTY 52.
"I decided to start collecting dresses and suits as I knew a lot of girls and boys would just have them sitting getting dusty in a wardrobe."
Andrea, also known as The Prom Loan Lady, planned to start helping one school in the area at a time, but her collection of dresses and suits grew so much (including a donation of 20 suits from a friend's tailors) that she decided to cover the whole of the town.
Andrea began asking for donations on Facebook and soon was inundated with dresses and suits, so much so that she was forced to move her little operation from her office to a dedicated room in her home, which she decorated especially.
"I feel there's a lot of pressure on young people to look fantastic at prom," she tells us. "It's a big deal to them and if I can make it possible for everyone to go then I'm happy with that. I also get hair and makeup vouchers donated sometimes and I also collect shoes, bags and jewellery for those that really can't afford any of it."
What. A. Saint.
Andrea says, as a parent, she felt the pressure for her own 17-year-old daughter Megan's prom not long ago.
"I felt for my daughter's prom that there is pressure to have everything right, the hair, the nails, tan, dress, shoes... it's very overwhelming when you can afford it all," she explains, adding: "I can't imagine the pressure parents feel when they can't just spend a large amount for one night."
With the British Council estimating that at least 85 per cent of schools in the UK have embraced proms, there will no doubt be a demand for services like these.
What an amazing idea - there needs to be more Andreas in this world!
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash