This past weekend, my high school hosted the junior/senior prom on campus. The weather was miserably rainy and unseasonably cold, but none of us cared, because most of us had not seen one another as a group in over a year. I felt safe attending since I had received both doses of the COVID vaccine with two weeks’ worth of wait between the last booster, and masks were mandatory for added precaution. The event was held outdoors under a large tent, so the night air made us feel better about being in a social setting.
Ever since I started high school, I knew that I would wear red for my last dance. I had saved numerous red ball gowns to a board on Pinterest, all of which were inspired by Taylor Swift’s dresses worn to the CMA Awards. When the year looked like it would be a series of postponements and cancellations, I felt that investing in the dream gown would be a risk, so I opted for a lower-key, minimalist sheath that I could wear again. I am so glad that I did, because the full-length, crepe design by Dessy Group of New York City, was the perfect choice.
If you are unfamiliar with Dessy, then I highly recommend visiting the company’s website for hundreds of cuts and designs offered in every color imaginable. I selected the Parisian red gown from the “available now” line, and as promised, I received the dress within one week. The off-the-rack size (a 4 regular; 5’5”, 120) was perfect. I did need a little bit of length taken off the bottom (thank you to The Dressmaker’s Closet on Quarrier Street in Charleston), but no other alternations were needed. The gown didn’t wrinkle under a seatbelt in the car, and not after sitting at a table for extended periods of time.
Dessy has been my go-to designer for years, and gowns tagged by a variety of labels are available at many retail locations such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue, among others. I paired the dress with gold accessories by Nina, which include a strappy sandal and matching clutch handbag. I used jewelry that I had saved from previous events, which were Tiffany-inspired “diamonds by the yard” necklaces and bracelets. I found these inspired looks on QVC and Etsy.com. The Nina brand can be found locally at Yarid’s Shoes on Bridge Road, or at any of the store’s locations.
In keeping with a minimalist theme, I opted to do my own hair, makeup, and nails. With the weather being so dreary, I decided to wear a low ponytail secured with a gold elastic band. My mask was a gold floral print (Etsy.com) to complement my bag and shoes. I used Estee Lauder cosmetics and a matching red polish on my toes. My fingernails are in bad shape from so much handwashing, so I added press-on nails in a nude shade (all purchased at Target).
My last formal was one for the memory books. While the entire year has been an adjustment, I feel that some of our best decisions come from being “plan B”. If your school is hosting a prom or a formal end-of-the-year event, I hope you have a safe time in-person, behind the wheel, and at the after-parties!
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