I remember mine. It was quite a while ago now, 15 years at least, and proms just weren’t such a big thing here in the UK as they were over in the US. It was more like a big party to see everyone before you knuckled down, did your exams, and then scattered all over the country to various universities.
I didn’t really have the money to buy a proper dress for various reasons so I decided to make my own. This wasn’t a surprise to anyone – my grandparents worked as a tailor and seamstress so I’d been brought up sewing for most of my life.
The dress itself was fine, but I have no idea what I was thinking when it came to choosing the fabric! I’m a very small person. Just 5ft tall and I was a pretty slim teenager. For some reason I decided to use a black fabric with huge flowers printed on it. It would have looked great on someone eight inches taller than me! Even with skyscraper high heels I still managed to get lost in that floral print!
My dress that I made for my boyfriend’s sixth form ball was much better. It was navy satin, backless, with a plunging neckline. I wish I still had the pattern today, it would be so in style right now! I think I learned from seeing the pictures of my own ball and chose a plain fabric instead. Now if I’m buying or making a dress for a formal occasion I always buy plain colours. Patterns are just so hard to pull of when you’re petite!
What I’d Have Done Differently
Aside from choosing a different dress fabric, I think I’d have hired a cool car to drop me off and pick me up. The hotel that the event was at had a beautiful huge driveway where everyone having drinks could see you arrive.
I wasn’t cool at school, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for lovely cars. I especially love sports cars in racing livery – this car here would have been perfect for me!
The American trend for having pre-prom photos taken in your dress is really nice and I hope that takes off over here. The only photos my parents have of me really from when I was a teenager are my horrible school uniform photos. The opportunity to have “senior” photos done in a fancy ball gown with a nice car would be something that I think most young people would treasure forever.
There are some great prom car hire ideas here. I had a friend at school who would have loved the 60s V-Dub they have on their list. And could you imagine turning up to your sixth form ball or prom in a replica of the Ghostbusters car? Or a New York yellow taxi cab?
So many teenagers now are finding it much easier to express themselves because of the way that social media and the internet has transformed our culture. I like to think that turning up to their big send-off from school or college could be a wonderful extension of that.