Thursday, May 08, 2008

It's Prom Time...Do You Know Where Your Dress Is?

Since my husband (aka Surfer Guy) is a high school teacher and I have a high schooler, there’s been a lot of prom in the air. Does it bring me back! Short of your wedding, prom night is supposed to be the most romantic night of a girl’s life. My high school actually had both a Junior Prom and a Senior Ball, so we had two opportunities to get it right. One of my friends said that when it came to prom planning for their son this year, they were just “waiting for the girls to tell them who he was taking and where he was supposed to show up.” This is how I got my Junior Prom date. I was just matched up with one of the guys in our group who didn’t have a girlfriend.

For Senior Ball, I went with my boyfriend at the time. I remember having a wonderful evening, except maybe it wasn’t so great for him. As we were leaving his best friend’s house after taking pictures, we rear-ended said best friend's car. It was just a little bump in my mind, but it caused very expensive damage to the grill of my guy's dad’s Cadillac that we’d borrowed for the night. Probably put a bit of a damper on his spirits!

And of course, prom time means prom dresses. A friend told me last night that she figured out her daughter’s technique to getting the perfect prom dress. They shopped all over two cities. Then back to another. By the time they were on the third round, my friend said she was so tired that she agreed to the first one her girl gushed over—a dress that cost over $300!

My Junior Prom dress was white cotton and so, so cute. It had buttons down the side and braided shoulder straps. Very unusual…or so I thought, until another girl showed up in it in yellow! It didn’t matter, though, as she was known as quite the fashionista, so we both felt cool. My dress for Senior Ball was quite another matter. My mom and I could not agree (I’m pretty sure I wanted something slinky and mom was so not having it) and I ended up with this pale blue dress with eyelet at the hem. I thought it was more suitable for an eight-year-old, but somehow my mom wore me out. I did have this really pretty little crown of pink baby roses that I pinned in my hair to make up for it.

The photo above is from the duct tape prom dress contest. I love this one! And how clever that couple is. I bet they got very close in the making of their outfits. Which brings me to this last photo that our own Kathleen Eagle shared with me earlier this week. Can you tell it's made of condoms? This dress makes sure that the wearer on prom night won’t be unprotected.

Okay, spill about your prom! Great night? Great dress? Or was it one that you’d like to do-over?

31 comments:

Debra Dixon said...

LOL! Love both creative prom outfits.

I graduated at 16 so I really didn't have the true "prom" experience until I was in college and going to my sorority's formals. I went to dances and had the pretty dresses, but halters were all the rage and that didn't work with my body type. I don't care what they say about strapless support...at a certain point it just doesn't support.

I've never been one who loves dress-up spanglely parties. I really am not a fan of the RITA glitter. It's just not me. LOL!

If I were a size 6 and shopping offered an easy, quick choice of simple ways to look elegant and dressed for the red carpet, maybe I'd do it more often.

Christie Ridgway said...

Deb: I don't think it matters what size we are...shopping for those kind of dresses is never easy. As for support...ack, I hear you. I'm not real big up top, but I still like to feel "contained" and I've tried just about every kind of straples, backless, sticky contraption out there to keep things in place. They're never completely comfortable and they never really work completely either.

Helen Brenna said...

I didn't go to prom! WAHH! Couldn't afford a dress, basically, so several of my friends all boycotted and went to one of their lake cabins. We had a blast!!

I got to live vicariously through my daughter and don't regret a minute of splurging with her!

Anonymous said...

My dress for my senior prom was pale turquoise blue chiffon, empire style with a "jeweled" band under the breasts. It had what seemed at the time to be a very deep V-neck. Very grownup. Very elegant. Very Grecian.

My dad only let me get it on the condition the V of the neckline be sewn up a bit higher so absolutely no cleavage showed.

I put a pair of manicure sissors in my little gold evening bag and as soon as I got to the prom I went to the ladies room and removed the delicate little stitches the seamtress had added.

Dad never even noticed what I'd done. Or, if he did, he never mentioned it.

Candace said...

The above comment wasn't supposed to be anonymous. That was supposed to be Candace.

Cindy Gerard said...

Ah prom. I LOVED shopping for a dress. In fact, I loved my dress so much that I wore it again for my senior prom. It had long lacy sleeves so I took the sleeves out and wore long white gloves. I don't think I fooled anyone but I was happy - and OH SO Cool! :o)

Christie Ridgway said...

Helen: My two best friends (one who was Homecoming Queen, the other a reknowned beauty) did not get invited to Senior Prom. I was actually a little bit conflicted that I did...because they had a very fun night, including spying on the promgoers and lots of chocolate. So I know you had fun.

Christie Ridgway said...

Candace: As a parent, I have to wonder if your dad did indeed notice, but decided the point was moot as you were home safely, etc.

I think the dress sounds scrumptious! I'm trying to think where my prom dresses ended up. The white one I wore to a lot of sorority events and so did a lot of my sorority sisters...if I recall, I "willed" it to the house for communal use when I left.

The blue one must be around somewhere.

Christie Ridgway said...

Cindy: Long white gloves! How chic! I went prom dress shopping with a friend and her daughter a few years ago and she ended up with this amazing black dress that had a hem of black feathers. I didn't know if I could have pulled that off at a NYC cocktail party, but she had all the confidence in the world when wearing it.

Betina Krahn said...

I went to my senior prom with a guy friend who had a secret crush on me. By the time we went, I knew about the crush and was squicky about it.

But I found a lovely light greet dotted swiss dress(it was the rage then, believe me) with satin trim. . . empire waist and a cute bow in the back. Several guys in my Physics class stared at me in surprise when I walked in. My date got me the most marvelous corsage ever. . . eight gorgeous pink roses. . . it flowed over my shoulder and down my chest. People remarked on it all night long.

By the time we left for the after-prom party, all I could think of was having to kiss him good-night and how that was going to lead to more problems. sigh.

By today's standards, our prom nights were pretty tame. (The parents planned and put on an "after party" with a band and a faux casino and prizes.) But I still can't imagine any girl actually WEARING the condom dress to a prom. But it probably made its point just by being made in the first place.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Candace, I love the story about your dad! My sister sent me the picture of Prom Daddy's condom creation. I have a feeling it's harder for dads to watch their daughters go off on the big date than for moms. After all, Daddy was once the guy in the white sports coat with the pink carnation. And the broncin' buck hormones.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Okay, prom is a biggie for me. In my day, formal dances were way too many to spend the kind of $ they do nowadays. I went to 5 proms when I was in high school. Freshman year was the last one for South Hadley High School's winter and spring proms. I went to both. I went to all 5 proms with guys named Robert--2 Bobs and a Rob. I wore different dresses each time, but one was borrowed and a couple were Mama made. I did get lots of use out of them for other events. I went to several Cotillions, a couple of Spinsters and Ushers Balls, a couple of Officers Balls (put on by the officers' wifes for the Air Force Academy cadets' summer base tour) and a couple of ROTC balls.

One thing I remember about all of these events--and I did love the whole dress up thing--was that the event itself didn't quite live up to the expectation, but they were all fun. (sing with me now) I ejjoooy be-ing a girl!

We always went to these things in a group, but absolutely with dates (no stags allowed) and there was always dinner at a restaurant and a house party or two afterward, always with parents present, and never any alcohol. I was a nerd, basically. But I enjoooyed be-ing a nerd!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oops. That's officers *wives*.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, Candace. Too funny.

My parents wouldn't let me get two piece swimsuits as a teenager. Can you guess how easy it is to hide a bikini in ... just about anything?

Michele Hauf said...

Prom. Uggh. I was supposed to go. Got the picture of me and my guy all dressed up. But on the way to prom he revealed he'd promised his old girlfriend he'd never take anyone but her to the prom. So instead he took me to a keg party, in a muddy field (and me in my pretty pink dress!). I was so desperately in love at the time, that I tolerated his cruel behavior. I can look back now and see how stupid love makes a girl sometimes. If I could do it over, I would have had him drop me off at the prom, and walked in alone.

lois greiman said...

Yikes, Michele, you could write a story about that one.

I liked the prom, got the dresses, did the hair thing and all, but recently I've been able to dress up my daughter for the upcoming Miss MN pageant and actually that's been more fun. Maybe cuz she has those eight foot long legs to carry off the look. Maybe just cuz it's more fun living vicariously. Hmmmm, there's a scary thought.

Liza said...

My school had a JR/SR prom, so I got to go both years. I had a red dress my junior year and a black dress my senior year. I went with friends both times and had a blast.

My oldest niece just had her prom last weekend. She actually found a prom dress at Ross's for $20.00 and got shoes as DSW for $15.00(sparkle sandles). Since her dress and shoes only cost $35.00, her parents paid for prom dinner, her dates ticket(she asked, he goes to a different school), and flowers.

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele! Oh, what we put up with for love. I remember having a party when I was 16 and inviting the boy I was crushing on. I was so excited! When he showed up...he wasn't alone. He had another girl on his arm. Broke my heart. How did you explain to your parents when they asked about the prom?

Liza said...

My school had a JR/SR prom, so I got to go both years. I had a red dress my junior year and a black dress my senior year. I went with friends both times and had a blast.

My oldest niece just had her prom last weekend. She actually found a prom dress at Ross's for $20.00 and got shoes as DSW for $15.00(sparkle sandles). Since her dress and shoes only cost $35.00, her parents paid for prom dinner, her dates ticket(she asked, he goes to a different school), and flowers.

Playground Monitor said...

My mom bought me a prom dress from a co-worker (it was her daughter's) but I never wore it. Nobody asked me to the prom and I sure as heck wasn't going alone and sit along the wall by myself. I think she eventually gave the dress to the thrift store.

Now I get to dress up for awards night at RWA and I have yet to spend more than $40 on a dress. I shop the off-price stores on senior discount day!

Prom these days is scary. Kids rent motel rooms and throw wild parties. Uh... why do the parents allow this??? My boys went to a friend's house (with the parents there but tucked away upstairs) after prom and watched movies. And there were no limo rentals either. I just don't see how (or why) parents afford these things, especially when they're facing four (or more) very expensive years of college.

Marilyn

Playground Monitor said...

Oh man I LOVE Ross! I found a $150 Jones New York cocktail dress there last year for $25 including my senior discount.

M

Debra Dixon said...

Michele!!

That just broke my heart. Stupid boy. Stupid.

Michele Hauf said...

I never did explain to my parents. To this day they believe I went to the prom. I spent the night at the guy's house, sleeping on a smelly old couch in the basement. He dropped me off, and then went back to the keg party.
It's the price a girl pays for loving those bad, bad boyz. ;-)

Christie Ridgway said...

Liza and Marilyn: I just paid $9.99 for the cutest shoes at Ross! I hadn't been there in ages and couldn't believe my luck. I've yet to wear them, though. Also bought a darling pair of Calvin Klein jeans and a pair of khaki pants (probably the millionth pair I own). However, I think I was in a bit of a Ross fever because the I put the khaki pants on the other day and I think they're kind of ugly now. Sort of Mom-pantish.

Christie Ridgway said...

Blogger is eating my comments. I wanted to say that I so envy Cindy and her dress with long gloves. I want long gloves!

My mother-in-law bought me cute (but wrist-lenght) satiny black gloves and a matching evening purse the first birthday I had after Son 1 was born. I often put them on, but I've never actually worn them out!

Susan Kay Law said...

I remember it was a lot cheaper back at my school than it is now!

We did on our own hair, our own makeup, and nobody got manicures. I wore the same dress for all three years (it was a junior and senior prom - the juniors had to do all the work) and went as a sophomore because a junior asked me. It was pink and flouncy Gunne Sax - remember those? I loved it.

Nobody rented a limo, and food was part of the prom.

I don't think we had any less fun that it wasn't such a production as it is now.

Of course, my wedding wasn't as much of aproduction as they seem to be now, either!

Lois, can we have pictures of your daughter all dressed up for the pageant? Please?

Susie, mother of only sons

Christie Ridgway said...

Susie: I know, it's sad to me a MOOS (for those who don't know, mother of only sons) and have to live all this vicariously. Once, Son 1's girlfriend (now a former gf) brought over a brush, comb, and pins, and wanted me to put her hair in an up-do! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. However, I had to look it up on the internet and the result was very, very bad. I was so sorry, because I know if I'd had a chance for more practice I could have done a good job.

I also want to see pix of Lois's daughter!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Today's Strib featured kids in their prom dress in the style section. The one I thought was prettiest was made by the girl's grandmother. Very stylish--Grandma needs to try out for Project Runway. I hope she saves it forever and ever. So sweet!

Amy Addison said...

My Prom dress and my Wedding dress combined didn't even cost $300. I'm sitting here, trying to remember prom and I can't. I know I went. I went every year (yes, I always dated Seniors), but they were all just meh.

Sadly, though I am deliriously happy with Husband, I remember much of the reception at my wedding...

Francy said...

Hello everybody! I particularly appreciate the subject of this post because we don't have anything like a prom in Italian high schools! And it's a pity because I'm sure it's an event students will remember for the rest of their lives! And the preparation must be great part of the fun!
Some students of mine, who spent a school year in the States on a student exchange -- the last school year in the USA but the last but one in Italy -- told me they had had the time of their lives dressing up for the prom and for the school photo album and they regretted the fact that there's no such thing as a prom in our high schools. So I don't have any 'prom story' to tell you ,I'm sorry (and jealous!)

Francesca

Karin Tabke said...

I remember my prom fondly, it was a great night, and my dress? I had it custom made. The year before at my junior prom there was another chick wearing the same dress I was wearing. I was horrified. So to make sure that would not happen again I had my senior prom dress made. It was black, and sleek and I still have it. :) My youngest of four has his prom next weekend. Between the prom tickets, the party bus, the tux, the corsage, the hotel room in the city, then two nights in Santa Cruz, plus incidentals, the prom expenses around here have gone up a bit.
But he is the last one...