Sunday, March 15, 2009

As I get older (shhh...), I always love to ask new people I meet two questions. 1) What was your first job? and 2) What did you wear to prom? These were especially useful questions when I wasn't living in Canada and making friends that I didn't know in High School/Uni. These people came to me as full-formed 20somethings, and I always wondered- what happened before?

Most people are now well out of their first jobs. When I was slogging my way through the working world, I would often meet successful and powerful people who told me their first jobs were at tiny grocery marts or mowing lawns. Everyone starts somewhere, and it's inspiring to see what leaps, bounds, and meanderings led a person to where they are now.

The prom question also offered me a weird and often amusing glimpse into the past. 20something stark-black-outfit-wearing fashionistas would tell me about their baby blue Cinderella prom dresses. People would sigh and get misty-eyed, or cringe and instinctively go and burn their photo albums.

This is exactly what I wore to prom seven years ago (a modern re-creation). A purple dress from Holt Renfrew that was twice as much as I wanted to spend on a dress. I told my parents I would wear it again, and to keep the entire budget down clopped about in $25 clearance Anne Klein heels (pictured) and did not get my hair done.
Flash-forward seven years and true to my promise to my parents, I am once again swanning about in this gown. Once again, to a school 'formal'. Yes, it only took almost a decade to "wear it again", but I am getting more use out of it. It looks a bit awkward and bunchy in this photo (smoothed out a bit in reality), but I hiked it up a bit and dropped one of the shoulders. In my tradition of wearing obscenely cheap shoes, I am wearing $8 shoes purchased from a Shanghai market.
What will you wear to prom? What did you wear to prom? Do you still love it? Oh, nostalgia!

p.s- I'm still dating the same fella I went to prom with. Well I suppose some things never change.


donna said...

I wore a amazingly beautiful Spanish chickita style gown from Mendocino (think of a fruit bowl on my head!). In retrospect, probably a tad over ambitious. The gown was black floral print on white cotton/silk, and long with a back-end poof. Sounds monstrous, but it really was very pretty. It was expensive and, although I made the same problem, I never wore it again, and I highly doubt I will. I have an excuse though, the entire night was terrible and I wound up with alcohol poisoning. I've dubbed it the bad-luck dress.

ohphilippa said...

i wore a dkny tight black velvet dress my mum found in a clearance store in singapore (it was her dress) and i was the opposite to you - i bought these outrageously expensive (and in hindsight, ugly) shoes that were so uncomfortable i never wore them again

Alice X said...

that's a beautiful dress. prom is on 2 years for me but wow, you're still dating the same person? that's quite a nice thing.

anabela / fieldguided said...

Oh dear. I didn't take my prom seriously at all (I went with two friends and we got totally hammered and stayed up all night -- it was so fun!). I had a dress made, though, and it was so tacky. I took an page from Seventeen magazine because we didn't have Teen Vogue then! It was lavender silk with a jacket and (oh my) faux fur trim. At least it wasn't boring!