Many of Johnson County’s young ladies are getting ready for prom by finding the just-right dress and matching their date’s tux to a perfect hue.
But to what one deems “the dress,” school administrators may give a disappointing rejection. Before dropping hundreds of dollars on the gown of your dreams, think twice about what’s appropriate for a high school dance, or you may end up dancing the night away in a T-shirt.
It’s typically a good idea to stay away from midriff-baring, cut-up-to-there and plunging back or neckline dresses. In other words, stay away from what stars are wearing on the red carpet, local school administrators warn.
Alvarado High School’s prom was Saturday. Students were asked not to wear dresses that showed their midriffs, excessive skin or dresses that sat higher than 4 inches above the knee.
An Alvarado ISD spokesperson said tattoos could not be visible and no piercings, other than regular, school-appropriate ones, were allowed to be worn.
Chris Magee, AHS principal, said all but one student was in compliance with the dress code. She was turned away, but returned later in the evening with a more appropriate dress.
“We said, ‘Unfortunately, we think you look very nice but you’re not in AHS prom dress code,’” Magee said, “‘We let you know back in September, October what the dress code was going to be.’”
However, dress code doesn’t apply to Joshua High School students who will be attending their prom on April 28 at the Granbury Convention Center.
“That’s the only night of the year we don’t have a dress code,” JHS Principal Mick Cochran said. “Our students have always been very modest, and I am going to continue to trust them. If myself and the other adults felt like something was way over the top, we would probably ask [the student] to make an adjustment.
Cochan said that, going into his 11th prom at JHS, there has never been a significant issue with the attire students chose to wear.
“Our kids have always made me proud and used good judgement,” he said. “We’ve even had complete duct-tape dresses. I believe that young lady was valedictorian that did that.”
Cochran said the JHS dress code is fairly strict, so canning the dress code on prom night is the students’ “reward” for adhering to the rules.
However, students might want to forego Lady Gaga-esque dresses made of food.
Cleburne ISD’s prom is May 19, which should give students more than enough time to find a dress, tux or suit that falls within the Cleburne ISD prom dress code.
The junior/senior prom, which is put on by fundraising efforts of the junior class, has a typical dress code.
“Stomachs and sides need to be covered,” reads the first rule of prom dress attire.
The dress code, which has slowly evolved with the change in styles, is reviewed each year by a committee of faulty and advisors, said Lisa Magers, CISD spokesperson.
“No drastically low necklines or excessive cleavage,” reads another rule. “Back of dress must cover the waistline, dipping no further.”
That means the back of a dress can not sit lower than the student’s natural waistline.
Male students are also included in the written dress code, which reads that tennis shoes, shorts and sweatpants are all forbidden from the dance floor. Dark black pressed jeans are allowed, only if paired with a tuxedo jacket.
And for guys who thought it clever to wear the infamous “tuxedo T-shirt,” that’s also a faux pas. Students may bring hats and canes, but only for photographs.
“I would say the dress code has pretty much stayed the same except for in recent years, we’ve allowed the boys to wear earrings,” Magers said.
“Piercings can be anywhere in the ears,” Principal Jennifer Baadsgaard said. “Just not in the face.”
Baadsgaard said with her first CHS prom experience last year, students want to enjoy their evening, not worry about baring it all. But, she said, administrators will make those who reveal too much cover up.
“It depends on the extremity of it,” she said. “It’s a big night and they don’t want to do anything that will detract from their experience. Remember that this is a special event that should not be detracted from because of your clothing.”
For questions or more extensive dress code rules, call CHS at 817-202-1200 or JHS at 817-202-2500.