Thursday, June 6, 2013


Prom season is in the air, and I still can't help but be drawn to the dress department when walking through stores at the mall. I love dressing up. I always have. I was definitely more excited about picking out a dress, shoes, and a matching bag and figuring out how I would do my hair, than going to the actual event. In high school, I went to a very small Christian school (Baptist school), so we didn't exactly have a typical "prom". Ours was called a "banquet". The junior/senior banquet. It literally involved dinner and some type of entertainment, trivia or a guest speaker. That's right, no dancing allowed. We had a strict dress code - no strapless dresses for the girls, they had to at least be knee length, and it was bad taste if you didn't have a shawl or some type of wrap. Modesty was key, people. You didn't want to get asked to leave. 

It may not have been totally traditional, but we looked forward to it all year and spent hours talking about it, shopping for it and daydreaming about it. Not to mention who was going with whom.

I can't imagine how challenging it is to find a classy and "modest" prom dress today. Some of the styles are still elegant (like that coral single-strap dress), others, like these sparkly disco balls are a little loud for my taste. Not to mention the ones that are too tight, too short or too revealing.

Dresses are definitely getting shorter and shorter. No one in my class would have dared to wear one of these little numbers. 

Some styles are downright ridiculous. I imagine the only thing a girl could accessorize with this is a big basket of fruit on her head. 

Seeing prom dresses on display made me want to take a walk down memory lane and remember the dresses I wore. Let's reminisce, shall we? I feel old already.

I was a sophomore in high school. It was a big deal to be asked by a junior to attend the junior/senior banquet. This dress was my cousin's bridesmaid dress and I loved the color. How about that pose?

My junior year, I kept drooling over a plum colored chiffon dress from Barbara Moss. Who remembers that store? Ironically, it's the same cut, style and length as the yellow dress. I actually went to two banquets that year, ours and one at our rival school. The top photo is at our banquet with girls in my class. Notice all the pretty shawls we had. Hair up was definitely the style, and yes, I wore a tiara. I made the mistake of having my makeup done at the Clinique counter, and I looked like ghost. That's why I left my hair half down and did my own makeup the second time around. 

Why not keep the a-line dress going? I sure did. And I wore the tiara. Again. I'm not sure why. I think I wanted a do-over from the year before. This dress was pale pink with a silver shimmer. It was one of my favorites. The style that year was "princess" with poofy skirts, pink, lavender, white, and shimmery gowns.

In college, every year there was a winter formal and a spring formal. I wore this light blue dress to the spring formal. The bodice tied up the back, the skirt was iridescent and I got it for *free* from a dry cleaners when someone never picked it up, for a year. Not sure how that happened or why I remember that fact. 

Back to the a-line style, this time in red. There was a sale at Bon-Ton. This was at the winter formal, yet, somehow I look like I was in the tropics. Go tanning much? This was probably the darkest I ever tanned, and I'm so embarrassed to look at these now! I knew how bad it was for my skin then, but I still wanted that not so "healthy glow." Especially to wear sleeveless in the middle of winter. I wasn't fooling anyone.

By spring of 2004, I had met the love of my life and we decided to go to the spring formal at our college together. I was a senior, Andrew was a junior. We were newly dating so it was exciting to get dressed up and have a night on the town with our friends. Heather let me borrow a dress of hers. It was a beautiful silver flowy material - and yes, similar a-line style. I stuck with what worked! 

The last one we went to was the spring formal, Andrew's senior year. I had already graduated and we were now engaged for a couple months. I wore a bridesmaid dress that was for Jen's upcoming wedding (that I was in), prior to her wedding day. Risky, I know! Oh yea, and I had braces put back on my teeth in preparation for our own wedding that July. It was a whirlwind year! I love the fact that we got to share these special occasions together. We were end-of-college-sweethearts.

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