Monday, April 5, 2010

Promenade Across the Floor!

You know how in movies, characters are always asking each other, "If you could do one thing over again, what would it be?" and the character being asked always says, "Nothing. I wouldn't change a thing". Well, I call bullshit on that. If I could do one thing over, it would definitely be PROM! This is a cautionary tale girls, don't agree to go with your grumpy, closet-case best friend who thinks he's in love with you and don't agree to go with someone who isn't going to dance. If I could do my prom over again, I would ask one of the super hot, black, and (might I add) physically developed, linebackers from my high school football team. Not only did they look like 20-something year old hotties, they all knew how to dance. In addition to my date, I would also definitely want to change what I wore. I had to get a different dress at the last minute because the one I bought online did not fit. The one I replaced it with did not fit either, so I really do not know what I was thinking. Also, if I could go back in time, I would join the prom committee and take control of the decorating and etc. so that my prom would look something a little more like this:

Who knows if any teenage girls are reading this blog but if you are or if you know one, I highly recommend passing on these pearls of wisdom. Pearl number one, find a dress you love! Number two, find a date who is fun! Number three, dance! Number four, get your hair done! Number five, accessorize! That said, I have put together some style boards for different prom looks so we can all fantasize about rewriting history and/or pass it along to our teenage pals. In my mind there are really only three acceptable style categories for prom: Cute/Innocent, Sophisticated/Sexy, and Crazy/Original. Of course, these are not hard lines of division so, these three categories can sort of bleed into each other and create hybrids, but what's really important is that you don't look a) boring, b) tacky, or c) 13 (all of which can happen really easily).

This is my 70's inspired prom look. I love the weird colors people wore during that decade, like mustard yellow, peach, and off greens. For this outfit you definitely need a long flowy dress like this, I like the one above because it has sheer cover up with some really cute crochet detailing underneath it. True, it is a little conservative, but that will probably set you apart in a good way. As you will see I am all about clutches and rhinestones as far as accessories go. Although, I will admit that I hate carrying around clutches, so if you are like me, go for one with a chain. Another nice 70's touch is a corsage. It brings an innocence to the look, and it reminds me of The Virgin Suicides. If your date is going to get you one, make sure it does something for your outfit.  These shoes are adorable by the way. If only my feet were size 5 1/2... well, actually that would look really freaky, but if you are petite, congrats to you because all the cutest shoes are in your size and us normal people have to fight over vintage shoes that actually fit! 

Vintage dress, shoes, clutch, earrings, and corsage from Etsy.

Okay, this truly is a fantasy because this dress is from Giles 2010 Resort collection and probably costs thousands of dollars but, you get the idea. Cute, strapless, short and puffy. Not to mention pink. You can find like 10,000 of these by Betsey Johnson on Ebay. This is my modern prom look with a vintage twist. You may have noticed that the shoes match the clutch in this outfit, I think this is a good rule of thumb unless the shoes are a really bright color. If that is the case, matching the clutch to the shoes usually ends up looking tacky and/or forced. Colors like black, silver, white, brown, and even gold are neutral and work well with a matching clutch. Again with the vintage rhinestone jewelry, I know! But it really is a fun and easy way to class up an outfit. Every time I start a sentence with 'but' I hear one of my past English teachers protesting in my head, she can suck it though because I like starting sentences with 'but'. Hear that teenagers? Your English teachers will haunt you forever.

Dress by Giles.
Vintage bow earrings, rhinestone necklace, and clutch from Etsy.

This is my 50's teen dream look. Dreamy, right? Have you guys heard people using that word as a substitute for 'cool' lately? My boyfriend and I met at this health food store where we both worked. When I told my burnout-living in the forest-anarchy chick coworker that he and I were going steady, she responded, "Dreamy!" and I thought she was saying that he's dreamy (as in good looking) and so, I laughed out loud because I thought she was giving me cred for scoring such a hottie but then I realized later that she responded, "dreamy!" to a lot of things, so I guess she probably wasn't remarking on the hotness of my boyfriend. He is hot though. Anyway, back to the outfit. It's dreamy, as in, it looks like it came out of a dream because it's warm and nostalgic. I love the pearly peach tones together. Pearls = cute and classy.

Vintage dressshoespearl necklace, clutch and earrings from Etsy.

Pant suit for prom? Absolutely. Number one reason is you will look like a badass. Number two, the versatility of separates allows you to wear it again and again, a million different ways. So, even if you do drop a couple of hundred dollars buying it, it's not going to be some frilly memory that sits in your closet forever (that's the sales pitch for mom btw). Number three reason, you will be unique. Cons to this look is that not everyone can pull it off and it has to fit perfectly. But, another good thing about a pant suit like this is that it can easily be more feminine or less feminine depending on your accessories. I tried to go for a balance here. I picked out some pink heels but they are so brightly colored against the rest of the outfit, I think it's more edgy than girly. I reinforced that theme with the modern earrings, tank top and long key necklace. I threw in the screaming tiger hair pins for fun and topped it off with a gray clutch (notice it's not pink). So, if you wanted to make this more girly, you could try replacing the metal accessories with rhinestones and if you wanted it to be less girly, I would nix the shoes and go with a black flat... maybe add a tie. The other cool thing about an outfit like this is you can do something really different with your makeup and I'm talking some Ziggy Stardust action. Okay, maybe not that bold, but really - it depends.

Suit by Giles.
Tank from Anthropologie.
Shoes by Kate Spade, clutch by Jessica McClintock available from Zappos.
Handmade Tiger Bobby Pins, earrings, and key necklace from Etsy.

This is the only acceptable way to style a mermaid dress. You have to class it up if you are going to wear one because they can be cliche for prom, especially if it's not vintage. I kept it simple and went with some giant rhinestone earrings, a velvet clutch, and these gorgeous shoes. So 40's and cute. Styled, wavy hair and bold, red lipstick are a must! This would probably be a good time to bust out the Veronica Lake hair.

Vintage dress, hair pinsearrings and clutch from Etsy.
Shoes by Kate Spade available at Zappos.

Another fantasy Giles dress. This silhouette, however, can be found elsewhere. Look for sleek and long with a sweetheart top. This is my sophisticated/original look. It's sleek and sexy but with a fun, unique edge. Search for items that are modern, but have a vintage feel. The dress, gloves and shoes are good examples of this. Then, pair it with true vintage items, but find ones that are unique, like this bright gold purse, the large pearl earrings, or the tortoiseshell hair clips. I top it off with a bouffant ponytail, which is a perfect blend of modern and vintage.

Dress by Giles.
Vintage hair clips, earrings, and purse from Etsy.
Shoes from Zappos.
Gloves from Modcloth.

Hope you enjoyed this post, you are now ready to Promenade across the floor, and sashay right out the door!


  1. Thanks so much for featuring some of my items in your post! I just finished the glamorous stuff, next I am having a disco-prom theme (probably later this week and over the weekend) so keep watching if you really want some more recent retro fun!

    Ditto on the prom advice. I can't really recall my senior prom (except my best friend being plastered and she and her date basically holding each other up in their pic - teens - so, NOT cool!) I do recall that for my Junior prom my date was older (he WAS 20!) but, somewhat religious, which is fine, except that he would not dance to the last song, Stairway to Heaven! Who does not dance to the last song? He said it was Satanic, I broke up with him that night. I also wore a ridiculous white lacy dress that looked more like a wedding dress in training than a prom dress. It was 1983, so, I'll cut myself some slack, but, girls today have so many options - be original and have fun!

  2. Great story! My date was the opposite (but ironically similar) he wouldn't dance because he was too "punk rock" to dance to hip hop and that is all that they played.

  3. I wish I had a second chance for prom. I change the dress, I wore to both my Junior and senior. Both were so plain. I also wish I had a date to my senior prom. I couldn't find one and most of friends seem to have been taken. I felt a little pathetic asking a younger guy, I should have though.


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