Proms first began way back in the 1800s, where the dances were held at colleges to promote etiquette and manners in each year’s graduating class. So proms have been going for a long, long time. And things have changed quite a bit since back in the day. We thought you might enjoy a look at some of the changes in prom since your parents’ and grandparents’ time. Most likely someone in your family attended a prom in the 80s with their hair styled crazy-big with the help of a can or two of White Rain. And they probably wore matching satin pumps, too. Madonna even rocked some classic 80s prom chic:
Or, maybe your mom went in the 90s in a drop-waisted taffeta number, a ridiculous hair bow and a pair of gloves? [Keep in mind, one day you’ll be looking back at your own prom photos wondering what YOU were thinking.]
Things have changed BIG TIME since the old days. Here is a fun comparison of what’s up now versus what was popular then. And, FYI, it is NOT puffy sleeve dresses.
Invitation: Asking vs. ASKING
It used to be that a guy simply asked a girl if she wanted to go to prom. Something along the lines of, “Hey, do you wanna go to prom?” That was it. Nowadays asking someone to prom has transformed from an awkward rite of passage to an elaborate display of affection. Guys go all out with complex promposals which they plan out for months ahead of time. If you “Gen Zers” have a love language, it is definitely promposals.
Photos: Instant vs 3 Day Wait
It used to be that parents happily snapped pics of cute prom couples with cameras. And those couples probably also had disposable cameras to capture the night for themselves. Those pics took DAYS to get dropped off and developed at the photo lab. These days, if you want to see how prom went, you don’t have to wait five minutes. All you need to do get online and connect with your friends and family on Instagram and Snapchat! You’ll be like every other prom goer, taking and posting pics from your phone, constantly updating your every move onto your social media accounts in real time. Some things haven’t changed — most proms still have photographers on hand to take those awkward, classic prom pictures. However, many schools are hiring hip and modern interactive photo services like the Knoxville Photo Booth Co. to bring the party to the next level!
Getting Dressed: Some Things Never Change
Any woman looking back on her prom days can likely remember running from store to store with her girlfriends, trying to find the perfect dress for the big night – and this is a trend we don’t ever seeing going away. At The Gilded Gown, we stock the hottest looks for prom dresses every year. For 2018 what’s hot are deep, rich colors like navy and burgundy. We are selling lots of styles from two-piece ensembles to lace dresses, from slinky gowns with detailed beading, to long sleeves and floral prints.
The guys are still selecting their tuxes from places like Regal Tuxedo, usually with help from the girls who want them to match their dresses. And some guys are ordering online, too, from places like The Black Tux. YouTuber Tanner Fox got his sharp, classic Peak Lapel Tux from The Black Tux for #prom2k18.
Corsages: No longer pinned on….
With great-looking dresses and suits comes the need for gorgeous flower accents! The exchanging of corsages and boutonnières is one prom tradition that isn’t going anywhere. Check out Melissa Timm Designs for the perfect floral accessories to complete your prom ensemble. A modern take on the corsage? Nowadays girls are wearing corsages on their bracelets or even on their rings. So cute!
Music: The Psychedelic Furs vs Rihanna
Some things never change and having the RIGHT music at prom is key. What’s cool in music changes rapidly – sometimes week to week! Fresh artists like Halsey, Drake, and Janelle Monaé will be big hits on the dance floor this year. Of course we don’t expect promgoers to be into the songs that past generations liked years ago (although Beyoncé is always a safe bet). You guys keep up with which artists are hot by checking out music services like Spotify and Google Play Music! (We still love the Furs though! Give ’em a listen and let us know what you think!)
So prom trends have come and gone, and what’s hot, now, in 2018 is going to change by next year’s prom. The important things about prom, though, will always remain the same: friends, fun, love, celebration and a rite of passage as you move toward adulthood. Oh, and embarrassing pictures to look back on when you’re old.