As I stepped onto the glossy dance floor at my junior prom, something electrifying happened. It was not the booty-poppin’ dance skills of Beyonce that suddenly hit me, but rather the sad scientific fact that sweat, humidity and rain means major frizz. An hour with the hot iron for four hours of hair whose volume rivaled that of the shimmering disco ball. My spirit deflated by my inflated hair, I retreated to a table and watched as my classmates got their groove on all the while searching futilely for my date, Dave. I didn’t find him until the bus ride room where I gave him the cold shoulder in return for the one song we danced to. “Prom sucks!” I thought.
Let’s rewind one year and one day from this moment: the day before my first prom. I had already come to terms with the fact that I was not one of those lucky girls who can begin bragging about their prom experience freshman or sophomore year. In fact, I decided such a fate was inappropriate for me as it left little room for speculation. I had two wholesome years of daydreaming. I’m talking play-by-plays. By my calculations, prom should have gone a little something like this: In my teal floor grazing cut out gown I would look so gorgeous that I would be mistaken for a Greek goddess by some and a sheer hallucination by others. Just before stepping onto the boat (surprisingly this is not part of the daydream, somehow my school nabbed a yacht!) I would casually glance at the shoreline a give a pleasant laugh while someone took my picture. And at the climax of the night as the principal slid open the envelope to reveal the heirs to prom royalty, a delighted smirk would appear on her face. “Your 2008 prom queen is…. Missy!” she would say, despite my absence from the ballot.
Perhaps this was my first mistake.
Expect To Have Fun
We are surrounded by media depictions of what happens at a typical prom. “Pretty in Pink”, “High School Musical”, “Mean Girls”, “Carrie” (OK, maybe not that last one). It’s difficult not to build certain expectations. However, make sure those expectations are general, like “I’m going to have an amazing time dancing at prom”. If you plan out all the little details (like I did!) you will likely end up disappointed. Go into the dance with a positive outlook and be ready for little mishaps.
Ban Wardrobe Malfunctions
Speaking of mishaps, know that double sided tape is not fool-proof. For example, it is capable of detaching from your dress and peeking out like plastic fringe while you are gazing into your date’s eyes on the car ride to prom. At which point it is definitely best to laugh it off. Your safest bet for keeping everything in place is double sided tape, however, simply buying a dress without a dramatic neckline will eliminate the problem entirely. I’m a sucker for metallics and pleats so naturally I’m in love with this BCBGMAXAZRIA gown.
Sew & Save
If you really want to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions, getting your dress tailored is ideal. I got mine to fit me like a glove for under $20. A little help from your local seamstress opens up a whole new world of prom options from thrift stores. Senior year I dished out a mere $15 for a thrifted silver and black beaded body-con mini-dress trimmed with a Grecian inspired print. I received way more compliments on this little stand-out than on my pretty, yet common cut out gown from junior year. Plus, if I never wear it again I won’t have the $300 guilt of my teal gown on my shoulders.
After that first prom filled with frizz, wardrobe malfunctions and a flaky date I learned some lessons. Of course at senior prom I repeated a few mistakes such as going with another date named Dave (who turned out to be just as flaky as the first!) and skimping on the Frizz-Ease. However, I also wore a vintage comfortably cut dress and remembered that prom is what you make it.
Hope these tips help you chictopians have a great time in prom 2011!
Third photo images from: modcloth.com