Say We Were Going to Prom Now

What would we wear?


If the shop windows in New York City are an indication of anything, it has to be that we are approaching prom season. And when I think prom season I think fruit cake, which is a metaphor for WHY RUIN SOMETHING THAT TASTES SO GREAT ON ITS OWN (fruit/dress shopping) WITH ADDED SUGAR AND GLUTEN (cake/the guidelines that constitute appearing “prom perfect”)?

I like to think I was manipulatively coerced into wearing the metallic crew neck, sleeveless dress that cloaked my body in 2007 when I went to prom. My mom essentially told me that it was this dress or no dress at all, which theoretically should have made for a cool project but I was an asshat.

The dress was tight until the top of my waist line, displaying for all the paltry chest I continue to holster, and then like an explosion that erupts in the wake of a combination of salt and eggs, it expanded outward from the waist until mid-thigh to confirm that on this night, I would let no one see my lying hips.

I got really drunk before we even got to prom, hit my head, and that was it for me.

But things would be different now.

I’d have a much better sense of who I am, and therefore what I want to wear, which is precisely why we bring you What We Would Wear To Prom If We Were Going to Prom Now. It’s a combination of a lot of capital letters coupled with micro-mood boards and illustrations not unlike the ones we imparted on you in March regarding our dream spring spoils.

And if I was 18 in 2014, there is a 0% chance I wouldn’t wear a white suit with some version of a fiesta top underneath it.


Now what you’re seeing is my own drawn depiction of said suit next to one by Habile, who stepped in for me during the last go, too.

I like to think I’d know to ask myself: Self, WWDKD? (What Would Diane Keaton Do?) Upon understanding that she’d wear a suit, I’d look at runway inspiration, chiefly from the archives of Christophe Lemaire and Stella McCartney and then manipulate some variables to make the look my own. I’d tailor the pants to appear ankle length (though not quite as skinny as pictured), and I’d wear loafers so I could be in flats, that were red, so they could match my lips, and a messy top knot (dangling strand of hair notwithstanding) to exemplify a sense of: I care, but I don’t give a shit.

Make sense?

My senior prom dress walked that dangerous line of will-I-or-will-I-not accidentally flash the dean. It was short. Really, really short, in white fabric with a tiered skirt and an embellished assortment of crystal beads at the dipped U-neck for added measure. If you got it, flaunt it. If you have hair, curl it. And if you have skin, turn it orange. That was my motto!

If I were given a Do-Over I’d go full lady, inspired by the silhouettes of Katie Ermilio, Rosie Assoulin, and Dries Van Noten (Fall 2010). I’d want beautiful fabric and dark color, and high, high heels in a unique but not distracting shape. I’d forgo the clutch and choose something with pockets, and keep my jewelry simple save for a really serious ring. Hairspiration? Connie Britton. The higher the hair, the closer to heaven.


I do not regret my choice of prom dress. I do, however, regret proudly bringing a photo in to the hairdresser of Lauren Conrad’s flat-ironed locks complete with a single braid affixed to her head as the model for my evening hairdo. My dress was a bright blue, short sleeve, pleated vintage dress that sat in my closet for four years after being purchased on a trip to New York. It hit just below my knee which was long by California prom standards. Today, I’d go for length, wearing the princess tutu of childhood dreams in conjunction with a polo shirt à la Rochas.

Messy hair is a necessity. As you can see in the sketch it is unsure whether or not it wants to be up or down, maybe a little bit of both? (Definitely not L.C. — that’s for sure). The most important lesson I have learned from formal events is foot comfort is key. Luckily, a long skirt covers your flats, which means you can win the limbo contest. If there is no limbo contest, you’re at a lame party.



So, what are you going to wear?/Did you wear?/Would you wear?/Wish you wore?

Cover photo and Leandra illustration by Habile Buston

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  • Linda

    Cheer up girls!!, it is time for an unforgettable day. Prom day!!, it brings me back to it.
    If you are looking for a good place to find cheap Lladro figurines you should visit Lladro porcelain shop online.

  • All of you look would look simply dashing in the above looks. Almost makes me want to go to prom this year………….oh, wait, no! They are typically quite lame and overpriced at my school, so I would rather save my $, by pieces similar to the above, and hit up a taco shack.

    Fashion’s favorite word is ‘juxtaposition,’ eh?

  • I looked like a cross between tan mom and Paris Hilton (complete with hair extensions and a fake orchid clipped into my hair) at my prom. So yes, I’d love a do over…

  • Oh, but when else in my life would I have worn the iridescent lavender, sequined, corset/bustier with silver sandals and a bobbi-pinned updo? We have our whole lives to dress in black and carry a vintage minaudiere. Embrace the moment!

  • GapToothedGirl

    I’d love to see a prom, maybe more to be invited to a prom, but here in Italy there is no prom…
    Love, Gap.

  • Quinn Halman

    All your regrets make me very nervous about what I’m going to think when I look back on next Friday. Opposite of my galpal @EmmaHager, not only will I be going to prom, but I am also the directer of social events at my school (it’s like the prefects in Harry Potter, there’s a special tie and pin. Private school, eh?) so I’ve been working my tuchus off on this thing. But like Emma, I want to save money so I’m deciding between an orange, V-neck Zara dress, or an old Alexander McQueen dress of my mummy’s that has the perfect balance of Man Repeller and not freaking my date out. Although, I did want to make a kickstarter so I could afford a Rosie Assoulin dress, but I actually never got around to doing that

    • pixxx?!

    • Hey galpal! Post pictures here, please! Have fun. And you know I’d go to social events of my school if YOU were in charge.

  • Daecery C

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I now feel 100% confident about
    what I am wearing to prom. And what’s crazy is I was initially going
    for a look similar to what Amelia picked out. Color and everything! But
    thanks for helping me realize that I will look cool no matter what 🙂 I
    hope on the day of I can tweet you my look! Thank you for inspiring me
    Man Repeller!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Definitely tweet us your look!!! and post it back here!

  • Heidi

    This article is definite incomplete without actual prom pics from you three. I am sure they exist…post them please!!

    • Amelia Diamond

      hmm sooo weird we can’t seem to find them…

      • Leandra Medine

        i got drunk before i got there so,

      • No, no, no….I am sure there’s some way you guys can find them. If you need assistance I can help!

  • Liz

    Oh wow was my prom look bad. Circa 2008: unnatural freakishly even tanning bed tan, hair sprayed to hell curled hair, tropical multi-colored floor-length silky dress, and bizarre kitten heel embellished flipflop-esque shoes. It doesn’t get worse.

  • Stephanie

    I went to prom in the late 90’s so I would be right in fashion again now, right??? Junior prom I picked the shoes first and brought the dress to match, a satin light blue with floral that laced up the back (which also got recycled Senior year at a neighboring schools prom). Senior prom was a black backless with rhinestone straps and a huge slit up the leg, very Angelina. I love prom and seeing all the kids dressed up! Bring it!!!

  • Whitney V

    How fun, would love Prom now to be able to wear something similar to Amelia’s suggestion. My dress was very posh spice and my hair scary spice… Nor the best combo, though great as separates!

  • Elena

    My Prom was a couple weeks ago, and fortunately, at my school, everyone goes. So I have four do-overs to finally get it right. Mine was safe this year – the “Phoebe” BCBG and gold heels. Definitely going to change it up next year because you never get to relive these dances! xo

  • Autumn

    Charlotte – your prom ensemble is pretty much exactly what Bianca (played by Larissa Oleynik) wore to her prom in “10 Things I Hate About You” though she opted for an all-pink version. I was always envious of that look. *sigh*

    • Charlotte Fassler

      You know me better than I know myself— clearly you are reading into my subconscious. But really, does Joseph Gordon Levitt want to be my hypothetical prom date?

      • Autumn

        That depends which era of JGL it would be escorting you to prom: current Batman-and-Robin-Don-Jon version or the above middle-hair-part version. Or, dare I say, the 3rd Rock from the Sun era – yikes. Though he’d be underage so nevermind.

      • Autumn

        Also, she couldn’t iron her top before prom? tsk tsk.

  • Cali

    I went to prom (proudly? ignorantly?) with a farmer’s tan in a dress that was half wedding (white and flouncy) and half eight-year-old diva (embroidered with black, sparkly beads). I absolutely loved it and I loved my senior prom dress even more (BCBG, pink, scalloped, yah!). So fun to get dressed up with good friends! If I had a redo, I’d go full lady, a la Amelia.

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    I retyped the tweet and copied and pasted the link and sent it in a message toe a guy that has shown his contributions in this field in a statistical presentation

  • Melissa

    I never went to prom (prom would have been mid-late nineties for me). I got asked when I was younger and my family didn’t have the money, by the time I was a Senior I was living with my husband and had a kid . . so um, yeah. Ironically my local small town mall put on an annual prom show that I modeled in a few times, so I have pictures of me wearing various prom dresses. Now I have a kid who will soon be old enough to go, maybe he will take me (yeah, right).

  • Jamie

    Senior prom ’08. The dress boring, but the hair was legendary. #neverforget #noregrets

  • Rhea

    Loved this post! We unfortunately don’t have Prom in India but all the movies and serials I have watched have made me think of what I would wear a million times over! Love how you ladies imaginarily styled yourself!

  • Karla Werner Zeuthen

    Seeing as i am very picky and also didn’t want to spend all my money on a dress, I ended up sewing my own cropped top with matching full, big-ass pleated skirt. Actually kind of like the outfit Amelia picked out… All though i chose a dusty rose-pink fabric instead of dark. I constantly changed my mind throughout the process, one minute regretting everything, the next over ecstatic with my work, but in the end I think it turned out quite as I wanted it! I ended up adding a pocket and therefore it couldn’t go all wrong, right? You gotta love pockets!

  • I’d sew some sort of tutu, wear a white shirt with it, add an oversized blazer that I would pin things to, because who doesn’t love pokey objects?, and then wear some pointy pointy heels. Balletine meets wierd lady next door meets someone fancy…

  • Sully Ann

    In high school I wanted to become a fashion designer so for all school events I bought fabric and had someone sew it for me (my sewing skills were and still are questionable). I loved my prom dress! I designed my dress and two of my best friend’s dresses! Fun times!

  • Edie

    I had a my ‘prom’ in November last year (grad ball; I’m Australian) and I felt a little bit chuffed/fashion prophet when I was flicking through the Dior 2014 resort collection … I wore high waisted, wide-legged black silk pants, and a shirt I put together of Japanese silk scarves from my grandmother’s travels. Silk scarves represent! No regrets thus far …

  • Rita

    I’m going to prom this year and I’m wearing a mango crisscross strap black dress, black cut-out ankle boots and if necessary a leather jacket (and I’m going to acessorize the shit out of it, of course)

    • Either that or a full on Cara at the met ball gala look (I don’t do colors, or girly very comfortably)

  • Emma

    Where can I find the light pink halter prom dress above?

  • Isobel

    I wore a really simple form fitting, just below the knee burnt orange dress with a high neck and tiny spaghetti straps. It was very alexander wang and I picked it up from a thrift shop for $9 so if the night was a disappointment at least I didn’t waste money on a dress. I also got blind drunk, attacked a guy’s lips I’d been obsessed with all year and proceeded to throw up all over the front of my dress. Great night all round…

  • I went full baby blue princess at my prom. I would be so much cooler the second time around. Thanks for the inspiration! It’s a pretty fun little act of nostalgia.

  • Celeste

    THE FRUIT CAKE THING THAT BUGS ME SO BAD. unless its raw vegan blueberry cheesecake. that i can handle.

  • María

    Last year, I wore for Prom Night a black and blue suit with a cropped top. It was amazing, I think if you don’t like the typical prom dress a suit is a perfect decision, you can look elegant, comfortable and not that feminine (which I definitely hate… feeling like a Disney’s princess).
    Love the white suit and Diane Keaton drawing,

  • LilyP

    “upcycled” thrift store 80s wedding dress and a leather jacket with huge tiara and stripper shoes?

  • Oh, man. I went to four proms, so by my last one I didn’t give a crap anymore; I got a date purely by chance the night of the prom. I wore the same full-length black sequin halter column dress I wore to my first prom, but this time with combat boots, a jean jacket, and fairy wings from Claire’s. I also may or may not have worn a fuchsia bobbed wig.

  • kaila

    where was this article last month when was getting ready for prom?!?! being me, i didn’t want to wear the stereotypical dresses found in prom ads. but i definitely do not regret my choices. i wore an eco-friendly dress from the reformation and mules paired with a pink streak in my hair…my dream prom dress was one of the stella mccartney ss14 dresses ( one of the navy colored lace)

  • Hannah

    I wore a vintage minty green lace dress that had elbow length sleeves and hit just below my knee that I pulled out of a fancy dress box about two weeks before prom. It was classic and simple and I feel very lucky to have made a choice that I don’t regret at all!!!

  • I’m so NOT a girly girl but I wore a bubblegum pink puffy dress to prom. Ugh. High school is a time that I would not look back to.

  • Jmw

    My favorite was my daughter, who said F***k prom and went to see Lady GaGa instead.

  • Dying over Amelia’s look. But what about graduation??

  • …I let my mom pick out my prom dress (after a disastrous custom dress from China, which I would liken to a red circus tent). She picked a one-shoulder, tight, ruched, red number that hit below the knee. Very retro and cute, especially paired with red pumps!
    If I could go back though, I would have snatched up a vintage Betsey Johnson creation-it really would have been an ideal prom dress. Just the right amount of fantasy.

  • Guest

    Hey guys thank you so much for inspiring me to go with my look! I felt super confident and I had so much fun putting it together and I had even more fun at the actual prom.

    PS: Sorry if the photos are horizontal I could not figure out a way to rotate them. Please don’t break you neck 🙂

    – Daecery C.

  • Daecery C.

    Hey guys thank you so much for helping in boosting my confidence on my prom fit. I was worried that it would look like I was wearing pajamas but I loved the way it looked, hope you guys do to!

    -Daecery C.

  • bong
  • Emma McLaughlin

    I’m late to the comment game but I just saw this and had to share. I got my prom dress for $17 off of Asos Marketplace and then live tweeted my prom in it. It had a slit in the side, which went up past my knee. On my knee I had a temporary tattoo of Pablo Picasso, which was perfect for when people asked who my date was. I made my own corsage out of an old tutu, a flower from the grocery store, and, you guessed it, Bobby Pins. What I am trying to say is, I won prom.