We've all been there-- the lights are dimmed, streamers are hung, and kids are dressed up, swirling around-- or, depending on your generation-- bumping and grinding to music that is hailed as the precious and popular Top 40. High school dances are a chance for kids to let loose and have fun. However, if you're blessed to be a girl or the esteemed mother of a girl, the aspect of dressing up-- of finding the absolute perfect dress-- can raise a havoc of controversy, high prices, raised eyebrows and, often times, extremely short hemlines. Is looking like a million bucks becoming too literal?   

    It can be extremely hard to find a dress that both the girl and the mother can decide on. For homecoming, Snowfest and Prom (a whole different, extravagant dress-deciding process in itself!), there were many trips to the mall in search for the absolute perfect dress. Part of being independent and definitely opinionated in the world of fashion means you will get into arguments with your mother and father about "the perfect dress—“ trust me, I’ve been there.    

    "But mom, the high-low back is totally in this year!"   

    "But dad, I can't get that dress! Everyone will have it!"   

    "I look like a deflated cupcake in this monstrosity."    

    "Silver, are you serious? Have you taken into consideration the fact that I'll be dancing? I'll be sweating. Dancing + sweating = pit stains. Super gross!"   

    "Well, I guess if that's the only option I'll have to take it."   

    While it's hard to decide on a style that both parties will agree upon, the factor of cost is a whole different obstacle to tackle. You can find the perfect dress at the worst price. You can find the worst dress at the best price. It's important to remember that the dress will most likely be used for one dance and one dance only, and while it's important to find one you feel good and comfortable and gorgeous in, it's also important to remain classy and stylish at a relatively low cost. There are millions of relatively-low priced dress options that are super cute at megastores such as J.C. Penny's, Macy's, Deb's and, if you're a bargain-hunter, thrift stores.    

    It's vital for girls to feel beautiful and confident in whichever dress they ultimately decide on. However, I challenge girls and parents alike to keep in mind the importance of remaining classy while feeling great about the final dress decision. You don’t have to show off everything God and yo’ mamma gave you in order to feel gorgeous. It’s important to have self-respect and self-confidence as factors in the decision-making process. These suggestions, ideas and tips may just lead to a less-argumentative and more-enjoyable trip to the mall the next time the latest and greatest party, dance or event arises that requires “the absolute perfect dress in the world.” You’re never fully dressed without a smile.