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Matric dance dress: Should you hire, buy or make it? Part II

We take a look at the pros and cons of all three options

The dress. The shoes. The flowers. The car. Yes, it’s that time of year again – all across the country matriculants are preparing for their matric dances. Peer pressure and modern-day hype have raised expectations about these affairs – especially for the girls. Many parents will be torn between wanting to spoil their daughters and resisting the extravagance of handing over thousands of rands for a dress that will probably only be worn once.


In Part I of this article, we looked at practical budgeting tips for parents. Here, we’ll look at the different options when it comes to the dress itself, which you could hire, buy or have custom-made for you daughter.


Below are the pros and cons of all three options:



Buying is less of a hassle than designing a dress and having it made (or making it yourself), and you won’t have to worry about something you’ve hired getting damaged. Most matric dance dresses are never worn again though, and off-the-rail dresses can be pricey. To avoid having a pretty dress hanging in the cupboard for years, consider the style; if it isn’t too over the top, you could potentially alter it into a less formal cocktail dress after the dance.



This is as simple as buying a dress, but it is usually much more cost effective. However, consider the fact that it needs to be returned in perfect condition (no stains or tears) or you’ll have to pay for the damage. And remember you won’t be able to make alterations, so you’ll have to look until you find the perfect fit.


Custom made

Lots of girls love this option, as it gives them the chance to see their dream dress get created – especially for them! A dressmaker will take your daughter’s designs and her measurements and sew a dress perfectly tailored to her body. This option can be expensive though, depending on the detailing and fabric of the dress, but it’s worth it if your daughter is struggling to find exactly what she wants in the shops.


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