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Fresher’s Ball fashionistas spend hundreds in preparation for their big night

8th October 2012 Print

Teenage girls are spending hundreds of pounds preparing for their university Fresher’s Ball, according to research by Debenhams.

As they embark on budget student life, many young women are splashing out over £500 on evening dresses, beauty treatments and accessories to ensure they look their best on one of the most important nights of a fresher’s social life.

Debenhams reported that they see a similar rise in occasion and prom dress sales, and demand for beauty treatments, from May through to June each year, as teenage girls also spend hundreds on the perfect outfit for their school leaver’s prom.

When questioned, 82% of girls headed to university admitted that the most important part of their Fresher’s Ball preparation was the dress; with some saying they’d spend up to £300 on this alone, and would trawl the internet for hours in search of the perfect dress, before visiting shops to purchase.

The survey found that 41% of mothers would be willing to pay for their daughter’s dress for her Fresher’s Ball, with many admitting they saw this as one of the last mother-daughter shopping trips before their little girl flies the nest to embark on student life away from home.

The figure was even higher when fathers were questioned, with over half (53%) saying they’d stump up the cost for their daughter’s dream Fresher’s Ball gown.

Michelle Dowdall, Spokesperson for Debenhams commented: "The Fresher’s Ball is such a huge deal for girls starting a new and exciting adult life away from their parents. It’s a time where they will be meeting new friends and want to ensure they look their best.

"As with any high-profile social event, there is also an element of competition at play, so it’s vital to these girls that they have the perfect dress, with teens and their parents willing to pay big money to shine among their new classmates.

"Sales would suggest that teen girls spare no expense when it comes to leaving school and attending their Prom, as they battle for the coveted Prom Queen title. This trend obviously sticks, as girls once again don’t hesitate to splash the cash in preparing for their Fresher’s Ball."

Debenhams has seen an average increase of 56% in enquiries and bookings for professional make-up and beauty treatments in university town stores throughout the end of September, as fresher’s balls across the country loom close.

Spray tans, manicures, make-up and hair-up appointments are top of the list for girls, as they ensure they look and feel their best on the big night.

Teenage girls reported that they look to their celebrity idols for hair and make-up inspiration, and don’t hold back when it comes to picking up the bill. Preparation starts around three weeks before the big night with highlights, hair trials and beauty treatments being booked.

Michelle Dowdall continues, "Teenagers are investing time and money in making great first impressions, as they splurge student loans on perfecting their look for the first big event in university life.

"The weeks of preparation for just one night are obviously worth it for these teens. It’s their final blow-out before they start to count pennies as students for at least three years!"

Average cost of preparations are:

Treatment/Product - Average Cost (£)
Dress £200
Spray tan £30
Shoes £45
Manicure & Pedicure £65
Accessories £40
Make – up £25
Upstyle £25
Eye brow shaping £25
Highlights £100

Total average cost: £555