Promiscuous prom dresses banned from schools

Lee Co. High School says low necklines, thigh-high slits and cut-outs are not tolerated at their prom / Sarah Bleau

There are a number of trends this prom season, from ruffles to sequins.

High schools are noticing different trends though.

"The hemlines have gotten shorter, the slits have gotten much much higher, the necklines have gotten lower and all the cut-outs," says Lee County High School Asst. Principal Ginger Lawrence. "Several years ago we had several dresses come through the proms that were almost to the point of being offensive. Many of our male chaperones were uncomfortable with what the girls were wearing at the dance."

Many say dresses seen on Dancing with the Stars and the Hollywood red carpet have become popular trends for prom dresses, but schools say they're not appropriate for prom. Lee County High School solved that dilemma by establishing a committee of students and staff to develop prom dress guidelines.

"We've done this several years, the girls know the rules and they know we're going to enforce the rules," says Lawrence. Some rules, for example, include slits or skirts cannot be shorter than three inches above the knee and, when putting a hand between the neck and bust, necklines cannot be lower than the edge of their hand.

Dress stores, like Chica's on Dawson Road, say they are willing to help the girls out, from sewing slits to a more appropriate length to bringing up the backs of gowns to the bra-line.

"With sweetheart necklines sometimes it will scoop down a little too much. We'll just kind of build it up for them or sew it up if they have a deep halter or something," Alli Hatcher, Manager at Chica's. "We try to give them options before they walk out the door but some of them have brought them back that didn't get fully approved."

If a girl's dress isn't approved at Lee County High School, the consequence is simple: "They are not allowed to enter the prom," says Lawrence.

And don't think that the boys get away without a dress code.

"The boys also have to wear a tux or a suit. they're not allowed in in shorts or jeans or something casual like that. The girls worked hard to look pretty and we want the boys to look nice too," says Lawrence.

She asks that boys bringing dates from other schools to let the girls know the dress code at Lee County High School so they are not turned away.

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