From left, Rebecca Murray (17), Kimberley Bates (17) and
Kate Turner (16) before the big night. Photo by Linda
For most Taieri College senior pupils, the school ball is
one of the highlights of the year, if not their entire
So it should come as no surprise they spent big bucks to look
the part last Saturday night - especially the girls.
Some spent up to $300 on dresses, plus $90-$180 on shoes,
$60-$164 on hair and make-up, on top of the $85 for the
College head girl Kimberley Bates (17) said she rented her
gown for $200 because it cost $400 retail and she was
unlikely to wear it again.
''I'm that type of person - I never wear something twice.''
She also spent $164 on hair and make-up for the occasion,
saying it was worth every cent.
''I'm only going to do this twice in my life, where I go to a
formal with all my friends.
''I don't know when I'm next going to be dressing up for a
formal occasion like this, except for my wedding.
''You spend so much of your life wearing school uniform -
this is a chance for me to shine.''
Social committee member Rebecca Murray (17) agreed. She spent
about $300 on her gown.
''This is what we all look forward to, getting dressed up,''
''It's an opportunity to be grown up and look like a proper
Social prefect Lynsey MacAskill (17) said she spent less on
her dress because she had a budget - and she really wanted a
particular pair of shoes which cost $180.
For that reason, she only paid $60 for make-up and asked her
sister to do her hair.
The budget had to balance at the end of the day, she said.
Kimberley said many of her friends at school had their
dresses made for them for the formal, possibly in a bid to
But many had found it was not cheaper than buying them,
because the cost of material and having it made by a
dressmaker was high.
Bart Lind (17) made use of a ''pretty nice'' $150 suit he had
made for him in Vietnam, and splashed out on a $25 haircut
especially for the occasion.
The four were among 250 Taieri College pupils who attended
their school formal at the Dunedin Town Hall on Saturday
Lynsey said the $85 ticket was good value for money.
Unlike many school balls, ticket-holders were taken on buses
from school to the venue, where they had a meal before
dancing the night away to a live band.
And at the end of the night, they were all transported back
to school on the bus.
It gave many parents an opportunity to see all the pupils
dressed up when they came to drop off and pick up their
Many of the pupils headed to the Wingatui Hall after the ball
for a cartoon character costume after-party.
The cost of hiring costumes added to the overall expense of
the night, with the cost of outfits ranging from $30-$100.
What the girls spent
Hair and make-up: $60-$164
What the boys spent