When I think "Vintage Prom Dress", I imagine a spiffy little number from the 40s, a Dior "New Look" full-skirted, wasp-waist frock from the 50s, or a something mod or Jackie-esque from the 60s. So I am a little disturbed today to learn that my prom dress is considered "vintage". I sported the lovely black & white number above to my high school prom, only 24 years ago. While everyone else was wearing pastel prairie dresses and lace, I was pushing the ol' fashion envelope. Well, as much as one could push it, back then in the 80's, when it was already pushed pretty far. We had our prom at a very grown-up catering hall. Our theme was the power ballad of the decade, "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. The DJ used a turntable, and played records (I was tempted to link that to a wikipedia entry for all you young'uns).
Midnight Glamour sold the above dress (and no I did not buy it) for $135, pretty close to what Mumsie shelled out in 1984 at the Jordan Marsh Department Store. But let me tell you, we sure got her money's worth:
- Wore it to my Junior Prom in 1984.
- Update (June 7) Wore it to emcee "Mr. Advocate" high school pageant*
- Wore it to someone else's Junior Prom in 1985.
- Had my grandmother (a seamstress) shorten it to "tea length" and wore it to some guy's college formal at SUNY Maritime in 1986.
- Had grandma deconstruct it and sew the knee-length skirt to a drop waist black taffeta bodice with big puffy sleeves (please try to remember this was the 80s, people) and wore it to a formal at my college in 1987 with some guy from SUNY Maritime.
- Wore it to yet some other guy's college formal at SUNY Maritime in 1987 (what can I say, I liked a man in uniform).
Stopped short of a Molly Ringwald/Pretty in Pink New Wave redesign of the dress. I think it went to Goodwill after that. Adding in the cost of the additional fabric (but not for labor -- for that was priceless) and dry cleaning, the average cost per wear was about $29. Not bad, eh?
I almost wish I still had it in its original incarnation, because I still think it is pretty cute. I have no idea where the heck I would wear it though!
*The Advocate was our HS newspaper and every year we did a "pageant" as a fundraiser. The contestants were all boys. It was a lot of fun, especially the big opening dance number. We had some good sports at our school.