Lifestyle / Fashion And Beauty

Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
23 Nov 2021
5:15 pm

Matric dance dresses: Is it better to buy or hire?

Sandisiwe Mbhele

We look at the pros and cons of buying a matric dance dress versus hiring one.

Picture: iStock

Recognised as one of the ways to celebrate your final year in high school, a matric dance doesn’t come without a price.

With any special occasion, whether it be attending a wedding, being a bridesmaid or even your graduation gown, there is conflict on whether to buy or hire a dress for the occasion.

Your decision should be based on whether you will wear it again and how much money you could potentially save if you choose to hire a dress instead. The other argument is that buying a dress could be a lasting investment and form of nostalgia attached to the special moment.

Here is what you need to know about hiring versus buying a matric dance dress.

Pros and cons of buying a dress:

Pros:

Matric dances don’t come cheap, families can easily spend thousands of rands for one evening. The biggest pro of buying a dress is that you get to choose one that can fit your body perfectly, FINE Homes Living reports. The dress can also be altered if it doesn’t fit well, whereas if you are hiring a dress, you rarely have this option.

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If you have the budget and closet space, go ahead. The other benefit is that some new dresses for special occasions are not replicated in places such as boutiques or fashion designer stores.

When buying a new dress, you have more options to choose from and the option to have a customised dress made from scratch.

Nothing beats the feeling of having an original dress.

Cons:

The question many would ask: “Will I ever wear it again? Could this money have gone to my child’s studies?”

Oftentimes, people will wear their matric dance dress once in their life and never again.

Parents could also question if they overspent on one occasion because of the added costs of the shoes, hair, makeup and jewellery to complete the look.

Dresses can range from R3,000 to over R14,000.

However, if the child believes or plans to wear the dress multiple times in many ways for other occasions, then buying in the long term isn’t a bad option.

Pros and cons of hiring a dress:

Pros:

If you are comfortable wearing a dress that has been worn before, this option shouldn’t be difficult, particularly if you are concerned about money.

Hiring dresses can be a fraction of the cost compared to buying. The variety and quality have improved over the years. BU Boutique charges from R990 to R2,200 to hire “high quality” matric dance dresses. The website has options to view on their website and there is a refundable cash deposit for every hire.

Most dresses for hire can be collected two days before the event and must be returned a day or two days after.

Cons:

Hiring a dress can limit your options because the stores can only cater for so many. It can also be difficult to find the right fit, a dress you love or one that fits your style.

Hired dresses often can not be altered, if you can, this will come at an additional cost. Fittings are possible but it may take time to find the right fit.

Also, if you end up loving the dress, buying it may not be an option.