Decade-by-decade, prom dresses have transformed to meet new expectations and trends. Prom is derived from the term “promenade” which was the presentation of guests at the beginning of a formal event. Not only is prom about celebrating and partying, but also about looking your best and taking millions of pictures. Fashion and trends are always changing, along with the styles of prom dresses. From colors, patterns, lengths, sparkles, and frills, prom dresses are a way for a girls to show individuality and diversity as a group. Prom has become a night that many students look forward to. Finding and wearing the perfect dress became a special memory in a girls life. It became important and exciting to look your best and the dress played a huge roll in that. From the 1950s, until today the variety of prom dresses designed are extravagant. See what's the prom dress history of 50s-90s.


Prom first came around in the late 1800s as a celebration in universities for graduating students. In the 1930s Prom was first mentioned in yearbooks. When the economy boomed in the 1980s Prom did as well. Schools started to hold Prom at fancy venues and make them more and more elaborate. Dresses did the same. Since then Prom has come a long way, only becoming more specials as a memory to be made with friends. In recent years, Prom has become such an occasion that families will spend 1,000 to 2,000 dollars on the overall cost. Asking someone to prom became more complicated, tickets more expensive, and along with all of that the prom dress transformed to make it a perfect night.

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From thrills and polka-dots to long silky dresses the transformation of the prom dress is affected by trends, the economy, and the eyes of teenagers. Prom in the 1940’s was a lot different than it is today. Dresses were very frilly and long with tulle skirts. Many of the dresses had floral patterns and were made of silk. In the 1950s, full skirted dresses became popular. The dresses would reach lengths of mid-calf and would usually include frills. Tight bodices were also trendy to show off a women’s body. Shawls were then worn to make the look more modest. The style stayed mostly the same throughout the 1960s as well.


The color scheme included pastel shades of blues, yellows, and whites. As time moved into the 1970s and the disco era, dresses started to be made of synthetics. People described these dresses as “gently unflattering.” As the 1980s approached dresses became simpler, silky, strappy gowns. Instead of pastels, a pop of colors appeared including metallic, shiny materials. Strapless evening prom dresses and off the shoulder prom dresses became trendy in the 1990s. High neck lines then became popular as the 90s ended and the 2000s started. Thousands of styles became trendy at one point or another. People tastes change based on which era they were living in.

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This years trends include two pieces dresses, bright colors, florals prints, and long skirts. A variety of types of lace, sequins, and more can be found on any dress. Long gowns are most common in solid brights colors. This year many girls were seen a variety of styles from strapless to one strapped dresses. Prom is only getting more and more hyped year after year. The prom dress has evolved to the likings of the eyes of teenage girls and will continue to do so we push into the future.