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Evolution of Prom Fashion

There is a promise of undying perfection offered to every teen attending their first prom. This perfection is evident in the way people dance, the way they dress or even in their smiles. The prom night is about building a memory of youth that teenagers would nurture for the rest of their lives. This is what makes Prom and everything associated with it so important in a teenager’s life. Here is an article that traces the fashion trends inherent in Prom since the early 1930’s.


Early 1940’s

Frills and Tulle ruled the 1940’s fashion a far as Prom was concerned. It has to be noted that this was also the time of World War II and the Great depression. Clothing was dependent on economic, social as well as sociological changes that were slowly amalgamating into norms. Due to cloth rationing adopted as part of war efforts, hemlines were decreased and multiple pockets were discouraged as it was perceived to be wasteful.

1950’s - 1960’s

Floral patterns moulded mainstream sensibilities during this time. Full length skirts and silk shawls dominated the narrative of prom fashion during this time. This was the point of time well formed trends were developing and sweeping up young people by the scruff of their dresses. The color schemes however still remained pastel shades.


Here is a point in our history that was moulded by the music that reverberated in the streets. Disco had a huge effect on prom fashions. The dresses made during this time were from synthetics and were often described as “gently unflattering”. These dresses had sheer long sleeves and were a signature facet of trends that were ever evolving

1980’s - 1990’s

Simplicity was the byword of the eighties. This era saw also saw the transitioning from pastels to metallic hues that brought in variations like greys and even sparkling color tones. Silk dresses and strappy gowns made an emphatic comeback. Prom in the eighties was all about simplicity marries to extravagant color tones. This very trend continued on well into the nineteen nineties.

2000 - Present

Necklines started plunging upwards as early 2000 rolled in. Halters tops became a radical fashion idea during this time which is ironic because it was just the kind of thing which was imposed on women during earlier era’s for the sake of “modesty”. What followed was a backward hug for early minimalism as far as prom dresses were concerned. Tulle and tight bodice conquered new areas of prom fashion only difference to an earlier era that immortalized these styles being that color tones were varied and the designs were much more elegant.

Posted on Thursday, 29 Dec 2016


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