My 18-calendar year-aged daughter has a robust feeling of type, but passionately hates any sort of regular, professional, glitzy style, and requires a prom gown. She thinks it should be ankle-size and not far too clingy. She usually buys her apparel in secondhand retailers, or on the road. The hand-me-downs from my individual closet, some of them heading back again to my possess mother, have been turned down as not correct. In which to get started? — Susan, New York, N.Y.
Not with “Euphoria.” That a great deal-buzzed-about award-winning teenager streaming drama has given rise to an full style subset on TikTok mostly showcasing what seems to be initiatives to wear the tiniest, most physique-mindful total of clothing feasible. And not with “The Breakfast Club,” the 1985 John Hughes movie in which Molly Ringwald canonized the prom queen stereotype.
There is a rationale the promenade scene in “Carrie,” with its image of the titular character in her bash costume and crown drenched in blood, has entered the pop culture pantheon. Promenade is one particular of these social events that in some way manages to be remarkably fraught no matter what the generation or context. The Met Gala, immediately after all, is successfully the trend/Hollywood/culture prom, and imagine about all the hard work and angst that goes into that! And people guests have stylists to assistance.
The dilemma is how to remain legitimate to yourself even though also exhibiting a distinct facet. Dressing up is an opportunity to drive the edge of identity, specially as superior faculty ends, but also a risk in an arena where judgments and cliques abound — a odd bridge in between earlier and long term.
In this context, I can understand why your daughter prefers not to shop your closet: Prom is, just after all, about her.
Furthermore, of study course, she also demands to be comfortable more than enough to go all-around and dance devoid of anxiety that some human body aspect is likely to be inadvertently revealed. Not to point out consume and drink without acquiring a stomachache due to corsetry or some other sort of punitive costume development.
It can seem difficult. Continue to, there are in actuality heaps of possibilities to the generic spaghetti-strap-deep-vee-neck-slinky-costume-with-slit-up-the-side that appears to be the existing default promenade cliché.
If your promenade-goer is fascinated in the resale economic system, she could scan Poshmark, which has a total area devoted to promenade attire, and may present a lot more assortment than brick-and-mortar vintage outlets. But possibly easier to think about is just getting a good maxi costume, or even a jumpsuit.
(Be aware: Usually there is a little bit of a rate hike associated with “prom dress” or even “party gown,” as opposed to, say, “maxi dress,” just the way there is with “white wedding ceremony shoes,” so be thorough with the search conditions.)
This a single-shouldered caftan costume from Anthropologie, for instance, in dazzling blue is both equally ethereal and funky, thanks to the point the strap is actually … a belt. Or examine out this star-sign sequined glimpse from Absolutely free People today, and this draped silk, which channels 1930s starlet — also why I like this cowl-neck satin jumpsuit from Lulus.
And it is also feasible that the best option, as my colleague Jess Testa suggested, is a incredibly very simple costume and some wonderful components: high effect, reduced motivation, still extremely personalized and as unconventional as could be wished-for.
Your Style Questions, Answered
Every single week on Open Thread, Vanessa will solution a reader’s manner-similar query, which you can deliver to her whenever by means of electronic mail or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.