1. NO REPEATS. Dresses my daughters select for formal dances may come into their lives with a bang, but they go out with a whimper. So these unsuspecting dresses should be forewarned: Just because you will help these girls earn all kinds of accolades, like “You look TOTALLY AMAZING!” and “You’re INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS,” doesn’t mean you won’t spend months at the bottom of their closets in a wrinkled heap. And when my eldest tossed a past prom dress into the bin we set aside for goodwill donations, she was dumbfounded when her cost-conscious father tried to rescue the poor thing. “Dad, what are you doing?” she asked. “Don’t you get that a big-occasion dress can’t be ever be repeated?!” (Trust me: she did not provide that information when I balked at the price tag.)

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