Take a look at prom dresses throughout time

Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate about You. Photo courtesy of Google images.

Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate about You. Photo courtesy of Google images.

Emma Purcell, Staff Reporter

Nowadays, people take prom pretty seriously. There are “send-off” parties, where sometimes entire extended families show up and send you off to prom. Occasionally, professional photographers are hired. People elaborately “prompose” to their date, sometimes in front of hundreds of people. But for most girls, prom is all the about the dress. Girls spend an upwards of $200 dollars on a dress. There’s a Facebook page dedicated to posting your prom dress to ensure no one else shows up wearing the same one. It’s that serious. When prom originated in the 1940’s, though there were no Facebook groups, dressing up was taken just as seriously. Throughout the years, prom trends have changed as the world has changed.

Here are prom trends in the last 75 years:

1940’s: Girls during this time period wore full-length, long sleeved (or at least their shoulders covered) dresses. The dresses had a slim silhouette to use less fabric because of wartime fabric rations.

1950’s: Differing from the 40’s, mid-calf length, full-skirted, ruffle-y dresses were considered highly-fashionable. Equally as popular was a tight bodice with a tulle-skirt. A lot of these dresses were shoulder-baring, so shawls were quite common.

1960’s: The early 1960’s was a period of change in terms of prom style. The skirts got less poofy and the waistlines got a bit higher. The dresses stayed similar to past decades with their wholesome pastel colors. By the late 1960’s, empire silhouettes (where the dress is fitted just below the bust) were in full force. But the main focus of prom was the hair. The higher you could pile up your hair on your head the better.

1970’s: The disco era: not exactly known for great style. Prom in the 1970’s, at least in my opinion, represented the era well. Girls wore long, flowy dresses made of materials like nylon or polyester.

1980’s: Girls in the 1980’s wore satin-y, metallic colored dresses. A lot of them were poofy sleeved, ruffle-y and big bowed. And you can’t forget about the shoulder pads!

1990’s: Simple, spaghetti strapped dresses took over the prom scene during this era. Think Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate about You.

2000’s: Going to prom in the early 2000’s was all about halter tops and bare shoulders. As time progressed, dresses got a lot more colorful and more detailed, with rhinestones and more texture. The 1950’s tight bodice with tulle-skirt came back in style.