Prom dresses through the ages

The prom dress is considered as the most important dress in a teenager’s life. Though prom is all about dance, dresses and accessories turn out to be the highlight of the night. The prom night said to be evolved from debutante balls, has been around since the late 1800s. At the beginning of the 1900s, it was just a dance where boys and girls wore their best outfit. The event called for drinking tea, meeting people and dancing.

The 50s saw an economic boom in the garment industry. The girls started shopping to get that perfect dress and wore gowns with full skirts and strapless ruched bodice. The tea length dress was popular too. These outfits had straps that covered the shoulder or had short sleeves.

In the 60s, the dresses were plain. Long, straight skirts with lace boat neck replaced full skirts. The dresses were loose fit and materials such as rayon or taffeta was used.

The 1970s was all about free flowing dresses. The girls wore long sleeves and floral prints were in vogue. These gowns were tied in at the waist to form a shape. Most gowns had an overlay of chiffon that covered the dress and the arms. The boys started wearing colored tux, mainly blue with piping around the lapel and bow tie. The shirts had frills and a tuxedo matching their vest.

The 80s and the 90s were all about metallic and neon colors. The frills and ruffles were a major part of the dress of the 80s. The gowns had shoulder pads, and the girls loved to accessorize themselves with loop earrings, bracelets, etc. Stilettos and teased hair finished their look. The frills and ruffles were cut down a bit in the 90s, but the fashion trend of the 80s still continued. Velvet was the most sought after fabric for the gown, halter top and spaghetti strap were the favorites. Loose dresses gave way to body fitting outfits, but accessories did not get the prominence of the 80s.

At present, the prom outfits have become more sophisticated. The 2000s were all about Greek inspired gowns, body-hugging dresses. Lace and embellishments play a vital role these days, irrespective of what is trending. 2014 is going to be all about high slit, short skirts with sheer overlay and Peplum skirts. And it will be intriguing to look back on the trends after a decade.


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