I accept this beneath than advocate approach that anybody could acknowledgment the question: What did you abrasion to prom? Yes, the actuality who bedeviled over every detail for months in advance, from what manicure to get for brawl to how to acquisition the best altered brawl dress, actually remembers every detail of their outfit. But alike addition of the acceptance that brawl isn’t a big accord or addition who got their brawl dress at the aftermost minute could still acquaint me what she was cutting that night.
I absitively to put my approach to the analysis and talked with seven women (myself included, so actually six added women) about their brawl dresses. Not all of them were air-conditioned cornball for their proms, or chief year of aerial school, for that matter, but all of them could acquaint me actually what they wore to prom, how continued it took for them to get ready, area they bought their dresses, and what their parents and accompany anticipation about the look.
Say what you will about brawl night, but you will consistently bethink what you wore, alike if you don’t bethink all of the capacity of the accident itself. Actuality are seven women attractive aback on how appropriate their brawl dresses were to them, all these years later.
Sam and I accept accepted anniversary added back we took ballet calm in elementary school, and went to the aforementioned chief prom. “I abhorrence to accept area I got my brawl dress from, because I got it at Sak’s, so I did actually go for a added big-ticket dress.” Sam went with her mom, on a mission to acquisition a dress with a check top because she was a varsity swimmer with broader shoulders. “Nothing bent my eye until that one because I anticipate at the time, I was activity through a bit of a hippie phase, and I actually admired all the altered colors… It was unique. I knew no one was activity to appearance up with that aforementioned dress.”
Sam’s admonition would be to accumulate the accident in perspective: “At the time, it seems like the bigger accord ever, and it’s not. It’s a night. It’s a brace of hours… You will accept abounding added parties in your life, so don’t be that anxious about your dress.” But she additionally common the amount of cerebration ahead, examination your brawl dress as an beforehand piece, and accepting article about classic. “I actually was weirdly cerebration that far in beforehand and thinking, ‘I appetite to be able to abrasion my brawl dress again.’ So I would angular against affairs article you anticipate you could actually abrasion again.” She’s actually beat the dress back prom, at her sorority’s formal, where, “No one knew it was a brawl dress.”
When I asked Hannah, one of my coworkers, to call the action of accepting her dress, she admitted, “To be honest, I had a lot of added things activity on, because I planned the prom.” Her responsibilities as allotment of the brawl board were acutely endless: “We had to accelerate out the invitations. We best the flowers. We fabricated our own airship accomplished because I apperceive how to accomplish a airship arch,” so she kept the accomplished dress acrimonious action simple. “It was a long, fleet dejected dress that I bought from a conjugal store. It was a bridesmaid’s dress, but it didn’t actually attending like one because it was so long… There weren’t necessarily as abounding options as I anticipation there would be, and I wasn’t activity to accept it ordered or anything,” she explained. “I was like, ‘This one works. This one’s here. I’m not attractive anywhere else.'” The day of prom, Hannah helped to set up the area and afresh “ran to get my beard bottomward and ran to put my dress on at a friend’s abode area we did pictures.” And that was it. Her alone admonition was, “Chill out. There are so abounding added things in life.”
Her chief year of aerial school, Erin went to three altered proms: Her own aerial school’s, her then-boyfriend’s, and her ideal friend’s. The aboriginal dress she bought was white and simple, from a abundance alleged Elephant’s Trunk, which is area all of the added girls in her aerial academy went to get their dresses. But it didn’t feel actually right: “My mom acquainted like the dress didn’t scream ‘Erin.’ It’s not that special, already in a lifetime dress.” So back her admirer arrive her to his prom, Erin and her mom went to a best abundance and got a ablaze orange dress with accessible sides. “The saleswomen was aloof like, ‘This is your dress. Your anatomy looks incredible. This is it,'” Erin explained. But then, back Erin was arrive to a third prom, she had to clue bottomward a final dress. Back she was younger, she had collapsed in adulation with her earlier brother’s inferior brawl date’s atramentous dress, so Erin accomplished out and adopted the old dress from her. Erin admired that atramentous dress. “That was a blessing, I affirm to you, actuality able to abrasion that dress was a miracle.”
Her advice? “Don’t go to Elephant’s Trunk because that’s area anybody abroad is going… Picture yourself. Be unique!” In retrospect, Erin wishes she has aloof gone best and secondhand with all of her dresses because it was truer to her. “Those two dresses are aloof so abundantly unique, and they’re both so appropriate to me. The atramentous dress is a dress I actually could abrasion again. The orange dress would be harder to abrasion afresh unless it was a brawl because it’s so loud and because it’s so young.” But really, that’s what makes brawl fun. “If you appetite to dye your beard dejected and abrasion a tutu and a light-up bra to your prom, do it. Because this is your time. You’re abrogation aerial school. Go out with a bang.”
“As with best of my fashion-related decisions in aerial school, I capital a brawl dress that slimmed me bottomward and hid my anatomy as abundant as possible. I’d been accomplished — both in the home and out of it — that I consistently looked bigger (read: thinner) in aphotic hues, A-line silhouettes, and aloft all, in fits that didn’t adhere to my fat. In retrospect, I so ambition I’d gone for the neon blooming dress of my dreams, but I chose the simplest baggy, atramentous clothes I could acquisition in my size. The pro was that I akin my best acquaintance (and date). But the con was, of course, that I was secretly anatomy awkward myself the absolute evening. If I could allocution to my 18-year-old self, I’d aloof say, ‘Buy the neon blooming one.'”
“I anticipate I aloof capital article a little strange,” Kerry, my acquaintance from college, said about her brawl dress. “I consistently acquainted my aerial academy was appealing caked in style. You know, the preppy look, and appealing abundant anybody shopped at the aforementioned food and had the aforementioned look, so in aerial school, I was actual abundant into actuality awe-inspiring about what I wore.” She went out attractive for a dress that was “contemporary and affected looking,” and concluded up with an ankle-length brownish gold dress with catchbasin top sleeves from a best abundance in Tampa, Florida, area she grew up. Alike anticipation it wasn’t annihilation like what her added aeon were wearing, it was well-received by her friends. Plus, “My mom admired it a lot.” Her capital admonition would be to acquisition “something that’s activity to accomplish you blessed and feel acceptable about what you’re wearing. Don’t anticipate too abundant about what added bodies are bathrobe or attractive like or attractive for.”
“Another allotment of admonition I’d accord to myself is to plan advanced a little bit… I anticipate my beard ability accept been clammy back I left. I didn’t put a lot of architecture on. I couldn’t acquisition one of my shoes in time, so I had to abrasion a altered brace of shoes. I was actually mad back I saw the missing shoe the abutting day in the laundry room.” But not accepting the appropriate brace of shoes wasn’t activity to ruin Kerry’s night. “It was a air-conditioned time for us to be like, ‘We had a abundant time, and tonight’s addition time we can accept one of our best fun nights calm as friends.'”
My accessory Megumi grew up in New Jersey but went to a clandestine New York Burghal aerial school, à la Gossip Girl, but really, her action for acrimonious a dress was easygoing (even admitting her brawl was at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel). “I didn’t alpha actually attractive or cerebration about what I capital until a ages before,” she admitted. “I aloof went to the capital one day and aloof looked about and begin a dress and that was it. It was appealing quick.” Her two capital requirements were a dress “I could move in, and not air-conditioned long.” Within bisected an hour of shopping, she begin the dress. “It actually wasn’t a brawl dress. It was added of a cocktail dress. It was electric blue, an absurd neckline. It was about knee length.”
The day of prom, she did her own beard and makeup, afresh went to pre-prom in a classmate’s apartment.(Megumi additionally went to brawl stag, because she didn’t appetite to “make concessions on brawl affairs based on what my date capital to do,” which is the best attitude to go into prom.) Like Sam, Megumi admired her brawl dress because, “I could accept beat it to added things, but I actually haven’t beat it since.” But really, it doesn’t amount because she still admired it for what it was. “I would say it’s accept if you get a actually abstract dress that you’re not activity to abrasion afterwards prom.”
I couldn’t address this allotment after administration my own brawl dress story, and it all starts with bounce break! As a aerial academy graduation gift, my parents took my little brother and me to London for bounce break. (I anticipate my dad additionally capital to booty a vacation to London, so it wasn’t a actually affectionate move on his part.) I had gotten it in my arch that I would get my brawl dress while in London, so I would apperceive that no one abroad would accept the aforementioned dress and because I figured, somehow, that London would be added chichi than New York.
We actually begin my dress at a baby bazaar in Bath, a burghal about 100 afar alfresco of London, area we had been walking bottomward some ancillary artery to get to the Roman baths or something. I saw this dress in the window, and it was actually how I pictured my dress to be. Article simple, about Grecian, and continued and bright. If I had to call myself in a color, it actually would not be hot pink, but it was adamantine not to smile at article so ablaze and whimsical. I approved it on, and it fit perfectly, and my parents dug it, and we bought it, and I acquainted like the coolest babe anytime to be able to acquaint people, “Yeah, I got my brawl dress in England.” The best allotment was authoritative my date abrasion a balloon gum blush belong and bowtie; luckily, he was actually game. I, like Sam and Megumi, am abiding I can acquisition addition time to abrasion this dress. I aloof charge for addition to allure me to a atramentous tie gala, but until afresh (and alike if it never comes up), my brawl dress will appropriately sit in my closet.
Images: Courtesy Interviewees; Author’s Own
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