I’m really a big softie when it comes to prom and prom dresses. Really any sort of formal event when you’re a kid. See the thing is, for a lot of these girls –you know, perfectly normal sweet girls– senior prom is in all likelihood one of only two times they’ll really get to wear a ballgown, the other time being their wedding.
Give the kids a break.
As far as I’m concerned, prom is a time for complete sartorial excess. Make a mistake, look silly, wear cheap satin. You’re young, why not?
I vaguely regret my senior prom gown. It was a perfectly timeless red satin number with a boned basque bodice and box pleated ballgown skirt.
Always the pragmatist, I went classic knowing I’d probably have to wear it for recitals in college, which I did. After my move to Texas I altered it to cocktail length, removed the straps and a few of the pleats and got another couple uses out of it. Now it lives somewhere in my grandparents’ closet. I haven’t had the heart to get rid of it.
I didn’t know as a 17 year-old kid in Virginia that my life would turn out to have a relatively high ballgown requirement. I figured it might, but I also figured I’d join the cast of Riverdance before moving to New Zealand, marrying Mark Cawardine and becoming a field ornithologist.
All of this is to say, I firmly believe in the right for a girl to wear a lstupid prom dress.
The trend these days seems to be for hyper-ruched dresses with bubble hems or those horrible pick-ups:
or the same bodice ruching with a mermaid skirt, and Lord knows they’d probably want to wear it with shiny spandex opera length gloves that flatter precisely no one in the universe.
And you know, fine. I don’t care. Would I wear it? No, but I’m not a 17 year-old girl whose entire world is about to change in a few weeks.
If I had to do it all over again –and thank God I don’t– knowing what I know now about how my life has turned out, I’d actually go for a big goofy dress on purpose. Probably something like this blue one:
which clearly takes its inspiration from the Dolce and Gabbana shows from 2008.
Why? Because it’s a sweet, fun dress to be worn by a (probably) sweet, fun girl for a (hopefully) sweet, fun event that pretty much marks the end of being a kid. Celebrating being young, gorgeous and carefree is what Prom is all about, Charlie Brown.
But seriously, don’t wear the spandex gloves.