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.
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