Prom season is still a ways off but Boylan decided to get ahead of things and release guidelines for what's appropriate to wear to prom. 

Yahoo- While the rule for boys is just one line, requiring them to wear a "tuxedo, suit with a tie, or sport coat and slacks with a tie," the rest of the guidelines pertain to girl's dresses, complete with photos demonstrating acceptable and unacceptable styles

Here's the nuts and bolts of what Boylan says is acceptable for a prom dress:


  • The neckline of a dress, top, or gown must be cut in a modest way without showing cleavage. Spaghetti straps or strapless dresses are allowed, as long as they are not low cut.
  • The cut of a dress in the back and sides must not be cut below the naval (below your elbow)


  • A dress, skirt, or gown must be longer than mid-thigh.
  • Slits in a dress/skirt may be no higher than three inches from the knee


  • No navel is allow to show. (NOTE: They're very serious about no navels)
  • Two piece dresses are allowed if the space between top and skirt is less than two inches. The top must not show any cleavage of have cut outs.
  • The bodice (NOTE: I don't know what that is) of the dress must not have any fabric cutouts in the cleavage area. If elsewhere, it must be covered by netting and less than an inch opening. (NOTE: This whole rule is pretty confusing)
  • Dresses should not be excessively tight.
  • No cover-ups will be allowed over dresses that do not meet dress code.

The entire 21-page handbook can be found here.

Here's some of the examples they provided:


These rules seem to be pretty standard I think. I didn't see anything in there that looked especially restrictive. They got in trouble with the national crowd when they included this line in the guide:

Some girls may wear the same dress, but due to body types, one dress may be acceptable while the other is not.

This is where they are drawing some ire. Some people consider this to be body shaming because one girl would be allowed to wear a dress while another can't just because she might be taller, bustier, etc.

While I don't like the term body shaming I do kind of agree with the sentiment. It really doesn't seem fair if you break it down.

Unfortunately in this day and age you can't just tell kids/parents to use their best judgement and remind them that they're still juveniles and not runway models.

If I could give any of these kids a piece of advice it would be not to sweat really anything with prom. It seems like a big deal now but in 10 years you'll be lucky if you remember who your date was let alone what dress everyone was wearing.

Good luck to parents who have to go dress shopping this prom season. It's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

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