A Painfully Awkward Trip Down Memory Lane, or, What I Wore to Prom

In what may possibly be THE singularly most embarrassing uncomfortable post in the short life of my blog, of all the possible weekly prompts for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, I chose:

The prom dress.

Or in this case, dresses. As I had two, and they were both horrendous hideous memorable.

Oh, yes.

Or, *oh.my.word*

The year was 1984, and I was a sophomore. I still don’t remember why we didn’t BUY me a prom dress. (in all honesty, they were expensive, and we weren’t frivolous – those were the days of “layaway”, remember that?) Anywho…this dress was borrowed. More embarrassingly, it was borrowed from a lovely upperclassman who wasn’t actually a close friend of mine (she was way cool, and I was a geek), but whose mom was a friend of my mom.

Yeppers, my mom borrowed a dress for me.

And while the owner of the dress was fashionable, the dress was not.

Not even for 1984.

A picture speaks a thousand words.

The only saving grace is that I can honestly say I didn’t pick this out myself.

And oh, the daisy bouquet? What were we thinking?


I have to take some responsibility for the dress I wore to prom in 1985. (And 1986.)

As a junior, I wasn’t dating anyone at prom time. I had no plans to go to mine (pitiful) and a guy friend who was a senior at the other high school wasn’t dating anyone either. You can’t miss your senior prom, right? So he asked me…about two weeks before prom.

The borrowed dress was returned (thankfully) after the previous prom, so we went to a dress shop in the next town.

Where we found this lovely, shiny lilac beauty, which, to be honest, was a size too big. But it was available (and probably on sale – you only wear it once, right?) so we bought it.

I’m sure there is a crinoline under there to poof it out, too.

The entire ensemble is such a disaster reflection of the ’80’s, I don’t know where to begin…

Those gloves. (I think they were lilac, too…and there are probably lilac shoes under the skirt, heaven help me.) I’m sure I thought they were FABULOUS.

I have to hand it to the girls of today. While I DO think some of the dresses are too short/low cut/stripper-pole-ishflashy, they’ve got a lot more glam and style than what we wore then.

And despite the fact that they have already brought back many of the styles that we wore in the ’80s, I think it’s safe to say that these confections won’t be.

Mama’s Losin’ It

For a more posts about other fantastically awful prom dresses (you know, like a train wreck, you just HAVE to look) and a bunch of lovely posts about proposals (which I didn’t write about because I couldn’t do it justice), personal Seven Wonders and parenting joys and challenges, head on over to Mama Kat’s.

I’m going to go sit in the corner and hide my face.

* * * * *

Oh, and for Day 17 of Giving Thanks, I am ever so grateful to have the means to buy a new dress if I need one – while being able to see hand-me-downs for what they are (practical, and Pea LOVES getting to wear something that belonged to a much-looked-up-to cousin). I’m also thankful for how my mom managed to stretch what could be a tight budget some months when we were kids. Lastly, I’m very thankful that styles have changed – and that the ones that have come back are meant for a shopper much more youthful than me!


  1. I wore a borrowed dress too. Only mine was a bridesmaid dress. It was peach. Think peaches and cream Barbie. In 1994.


  2. I went to prom in 98-01, so my dresses aren’t hideous odes to history as of yet. My husband is about your age though, and his prom photo included tails on his coat, and white gloves.

    ON HIM.

    Um, what?

    ps I love the garter on your beau in pic #2

    visiting from Mama Kat’s

    • Coffee on my iPad. Oh my word.

      Ah, did you check out my date? Yeppers, that’s a white tux with tails. And a purple cummerbund.

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. So sorry…….

    • We did what we had to do, and we NEVER went without. You done just fine, Mom.


      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  4. Those photos are great 😀 I’ll try to dig up my prom photo over the weekend as well – I wore black 😐

  5. My 10 yr old is addicted to lace gloves. And cotton. And corduroy. And any other material they happen to come in. Thank you, Madonna and Pat Benatar. Also, Claire’s. And lemme tell ya, you would have been SO jealous of my prom dress. I can almost feel your jealousy, it’s so warranted.

  6. Whaaaaat? You don’t like your lace gloves? I wore a similar pair in ’85 when I graduated and I’ve got the picture to prove it if you head on over to my place. I think we made Madonna proud. lol.

    • Oh, I liked my lace gloves then.
      I also thought I was stylin in my freshman photo.
      *face palm*
      and I’m jealous that you wore gloves to graduation.

Leave a Reply