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Prom spending: Prom dress, two(!) pairs of shoes, and more push past $1,000

Prom spending: In an easing economy, teens – or the parents stuck with the bill – are expected to spend more than $1,000 on average to get down in style.

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Rockford High School students dance at The Pinnacle Center during their prom in Hudsonville, Mich. Prom spending is expected to rise in 2013 to an average $1,139. File, May 12.

Emily Zoladz, The Grand Rapids Press/AP

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The prom is making a big comeback.

The recession forced parents and teens to cut back on spending for the annual high school dance, but wallets are finally opening again.

"Dresses are more elaborate," says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at market research firm NPD Group. "They are now buying two pairs of shoes, one to go to prom and one to dance in."

 

"This crop of kids cares about prom," says Cohen.

And so do the parents, who see the dance as a rite of passage. The pressure to help give teenagers a memorable night is high. "You don't want your kid to be the only kid who doesn't have what the other kids have," says Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University.

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