All About the Dress

February 10, 2022

Prom night. Glorified by cinematic themes of drama and teen romance–it is often anything but storylike. If you can stomach the long hours of head-pounding music in the dank musk of an unairconditioned high school gym while your clothes cling to your skin and your face threatens to melt off, you probably deserve a medal.

In all seriousness though, prom is one of those little milestones that you don’t really think about until you start to run out of time to experience it. As school days dwindle down, many seniors will seek to make this last prom their best.

There are several components that dictate how one’s night at the dance will go. One of these, and perhaps the most important, is the perfect outfit–dresses, specifically. As prom has evolved through decades of teenage fads, the appropriate attire has changed drastically. What was once a semi-formal occasion has become more lenient, giving the attendees a wider scope of clothing choices.

I personally have always preferred simple dresses, often in shades of dark red or black. This year, I chose a sleek, black sleeveless gown with a belt of gemstones across the middle. I believe that it is both classic and charming. However, when discussing outfits with other girls and observing the formal dresses that are on display in clothing stores, I have discovered that my tastes are a bit different. Two-piece dresses have staked their claim on a portion of the teen girl population, as well as the cupcake-esque princess gowns. Glitter and sequins are rampant, as always, but intricate floral and embroidery designs have also made their way back to the scene. Short, floor-length, slit and high-low skirts are common, if with some variation. 

Truth be told, I haven’t attended prom since my freshman year. And to that point, I haven’t had much occasion to purchase a formal dress. As the date draws closer, I have found that not everyone’s dress shopping experience is the same. In recent years,with some blame to the pandemic I’m sure, dress shopping has expanded to an online marketplace, as well. Several senior girls have discussed purchasing their prom dresses from online venders, rather than facing the hassle of dressing rooms and limited sizing instore. And while the horrible lighting and endless mirrors can make one self-conscious, I find that going out on an afternoon to try on pretty dresses is always a treat. I get to act my age and feel a little bit like a princess, if only for a little while.

The time frame for purchasing a dress is pretty relative. I personally bought mine in late November, just before the Christmas season was in full swing. I didn’t necessarily have a plan for when I wanted to buy my dress, though I imagine many other girls would. My mother and I went out of town to a dress shop in the Grapevine Mills mall. I tried on a few things for my mom and a few for myself. Then, we found one that just worked better than all the rest. We joked about it as we were leaving, but we both knew I’d probably be walking out with something in black. 

All in all, I think it’s acceptable to buy a prom dress whenever you like, as long as you feel comfortable in it and you’ve explored plenty of options.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Meghan Helton
Meghan Helton, Copy Editor

Hi! My name’s Meghan and I am the Assignment Editor for The Rider Chronicle. I’m a travel enthusiast (I’ve been to over 14 different countries),...

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