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    Categories: Prom Guide

Brief History of Prom Dresses – How Prom Began?

When we think of Prom – an acronym for Promenade dance, the first thing that comes to the mind are the people in elegant and flamboyant dresses with corsages on their wrists, a banquet hall filled with the incessant chatter combined with the prepping sessions for the Ball dance which is probably the most happening part of this event. In this article we will be taking a brief look at the History of Prom.

Earlier, the Prom was treated as a function which marked the beginning of the participation of students in the adult social events and eventually, it started gaining popularity in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, and later spread to Australia, Asia, Europe and Africa where it is celebrated in different forms and styles especially among the high school students. Another important highlight of the Prom night is the declaration of the Prom King and Prom Queen who are chosen according to the votes taken prior to this event.

In the recent versions of this event, the traditional ball dance has been replaced with electronic DJ music in various countries, however, there are some parts where the previous approach is still followed. Generally celebrated the end of school year in May or June, Prom night is an ultimate socialising event which marks the beginning of the adult life and the undertaking of bigger responsibilities for the high school students.

How Prom is Celebrated across the World

The tradition of prom is different for every country and varies in style and the way it is approached and organised. Let’s throw some light on how this night is celebrated in the various regions around the world –

Prom in The United Kingdom

Prom night is popularly known as the ‘Debutante ball’ in the UK and is organised after the final year exams in the high school. Girls can be seen donning floor-length evening gowns and boys in the formal suits. The dance is followed by a huge reception and multi-course meal.

Prom in Germany

Abitur’ is what a Prom night in Germany most commonly referred as with ‘Abiball’ as the official dance of the night. The ball takes place after the graduation ceremony with a slight twist as family and friends of the participants are also invited over here. Dresses are worn in a similar manner with evening gowns and suits being the prime dressing choice.

Prom in Finland

Vanhjen tanssit’ as they call it in Finland, the prom night marks the celebration of the forthcoming leader and not the present section of the graduating seniors. Dresses are meant to be worn in a dignified manner over here and are generally the usual formal wear. The best part is the dance styles which the students start preparing for over a month which usually varies such as tango, waltz and ball dance, etc.

Prom in Poland

Studniowka’ is the equivalent of prom night in Poland in which the final event takes place before the 100 days of the graduating batch’s final examinations. Polonaise is the traditional dance of a Polish prom night which is followed by a champagne toast, celebrating the bright future of the batch.

When it comes to the attire, it is generally seen that the dress code of boys is a black or white formal wear which is accompanied with ties/bow ties along with vests in addition to the boutonniere given to them by the female partner. On the other hand, girls are asked to wear evening gowns along the corsage which is meant to be worn on the wrists. Just like the dance night, the dresses themselves are an important part of the event and have evolved over the years. From the vintage gowns and loosely fitted tuxedos to more sensible dressing attires, the world has come far off.

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Talking about this evolution over the decades, here is a sneak peek into the different dressing styles of females that have prevailed over time –

  • Starting with the 1940s, long gowns with full sleeves were prevalent as they were a sign of modest dressing among girls.
  • Then came the tea-length dresses of the early 1950s, when full-skirted dresses started getting attention. These usually extended up to the mid-calf along with optional ruffles.
  • The late 1950s reveal a certain liking for tight bodice and tulle skirt which became a popular affair during that time.
  • The early 1960s are synonymous with puff hairs, slim skirts, and pastel colour schemes where the evening gowns had a raised waistline. While late years of that decade see a slight change in the form of the empire waist.
  • The 1970s started marking the era of long floaty gowns that were usually cut out in synthetic fabric material and had long sleeves. However, during the late 70s, strappy gown started gaining traction.
  • The early 1980s saw a drastic evolution in the form of shiny satin dresses which were later replaced by the slightly tighter, and low waist dresses and with side hair parting the 90s.

Moving to the latest trends in prom dresses in pastel colours, laces which add a little bit of vintage touch, and slicked back hair give a polished look. Moreover, girls nowadays are just not restricted to the flowy gowns, they can even don the sharp-cut suit look with equal poise and elegance. Opt for a well-fitted jacket and pants with natural makeup for a change and you’ll be good to go.

However, if you want to go for the tradition girly touch, then can go for dresses which are strapless, one shoulder, sequined or even the little black dress that has been an ultimate saviour at any time. Girls can choose the simple and classic cuts in dresses which embellished necklines. Shift dresses and prints are also becoming popular these days and can opt in various colours according to your choice and preference.

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If you are looking out for designer gowns and dresses for the biggest night at affordable rates, then you can make a brief search online There are plenty of online shops (websites) which offer you the best Prom dresses as per your budget and need. Some of these online dresses websites have emerged as a brands in past few years as well! From embellished gowns, frothy frocks to the long gowns, you have a plethora of options to choose from these fashion sites.

So, dress your best and take the graduation day head on with sheer confidence. Have an amazing Prom experience!

This post was last modified on March 3, 2017, 5:35 am

Cammy White :A fashion blogger and art enthusiast currently living in NY, US. I have done my Masters in Science with Food and Nutrition as major. Since I have a deep inclination towards niches like women's health, beauty, fashion and lifestyle I regularly write on these topics. In my free time I love swimming and hit the gym and cycle riding.