If you’re a weirdo or an outsider (like I definitely was!), the debate over going to prom (or ball, as we call it in New Zealand) is ever-present. Sometimes seen as the domain of the lame, it can be hard to get excited about voluntarily spending time with people you’d rather ignore.
But just like every 80s high school movie, in which I am imagining myself as the rebel heroine of the story, I decided to go to mine. Otherwise, I decided, I wouldn’t know what I’d missed!
I was in full-on goth mode at the time, & chose a crimson maxi-dress in a dark brocade. It had boning in the bodice & a full skirt, & I wore it with fishnets (I think?!) & Mary Janes. Actually, looking back, it was kind of a badass choice for a 16 year old girl to make.
I took two dates — one was my boyfriend, the other was a guy friend — & the only remaining photo I have from that night is of the three of us sticking our tongues out at the photographer!
But despite my cool dress & rad dates, I was still self-conscious. There was no way in hell I was going to get on that dance-floor, so my boyfriend & I stood around the perimeter, raising our eyebrows at one another until I finally said, “Okay, I’ve had enough… Let’s go do something else.”
We got in his car — there was a five year age difference between us, which was quite a scandal at my Anglican girls’ school! — & went out for pizza. We had way more fun eating greasy pizza in our formal wear than we did at the ball itself!
It can be easy to feel that, when it comes to your prom, you have to be traditional & play it safe. But those old rules are made to be broken!
These days, we have the luxury of being able to express ourselves in every piece of our lives… & the prom is no different. You have to put your own individual stamp on it; make it an expression of who you really are! Even if twenty years later you look back on it & cringe, at least you know you went with your heart… !
Re-imagining your prom is pretty fun. If I knew then what I know today, I’d have worn a bright pink dress with a tulle petticoat, & turned up on a bicycle. I’d take my best friend as my date & give her flowers. I might try to bribe the DJ to play a couple of songs by Missy Elliott. I’d mix it up & team my frothy dress with combat boots, fill my purse with candy & sparklers, & dance all night long!
Of course, it’s all about the dress… So many, many options would need to be scouted. In my quest to find the perfect prom dress, I stumbled upon Camille La Vie, a store which packs a punch & houses an extensive collection of dazzling party dresses. If you’re a girl/magpie who loves all things sparkly, check out their site!
I love this one the most, probably because it looks like psychedelic cotton-candy. That would definitely be my pick. But having said that, this gown is perfect for mermaids (& mermaid dancing), & this one is glorious. (I’m a sucker for sequins.) This dress is so modern fairy! J’adore!
Is your prom just around the corner? Have you thought about what you’re going to wear yet? Can we discuss it AT LENGTH on Facebook?! (I want to live vicariously through you!)
…& if you, like me, are several years past your
prime prom, I want to hear what it was like! Did you wear something cool or something shocking? If you were going to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Dreaming of corsages & spiked punch,
This post was made possible with the help of Camille La Vie! If you like what you see, check out their site here!
Vintage photography courtesy Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.