After months and months of preparation, planning and panic, last night was the conclusion of my five years at secondary school.
When hearing stories of previous proms from people older than myself, they refer it to as a “glorified school disco”, with many of the girls coated with three inches of make-up and dresses so big they can’t walk and hair so tight they fear to turn to the side. Naturally, this led my expectations to be low.
I decided early on that I didn’t want to be too fancy or girly – a simple (not necessarily plain) but classy dress with natural make-up and curled hair. I’ve never been taken by shopping or clothes, so the prospect of my Mum dragging me around Prom shops earlier this year was a terrifying and gloomy one, especially with the hunt for the accessories that are attached with the Prom night – clutch bag, heels, bracelets, necklaces, tiaras, make-up, whatever.
When we were faced with the first official Prom dress shop, things didn’t seem too bad. I was with a friend, and the first dress I tried on in there seemed to be a perfect colour for me. However, things downgraded quickly when we saw both the price tag and the poorly fitted dress around my bust. It was a shame, because royal blue had always been my favourite colour, but the search continued. On and on. On and on, on and on. (It was a very long search.)
Two more shops and a few dozen or so dresses later, we’d given up. I was frustrated about the lack of dresses that suited my figure and my Mum was frustrated because I was frustrated. After a few days of scratching our heads, my Mum went online and found a beautiful company called Quiz which led me to the prom dress that I chose: a long, straight midnight blue dress with an empire neckline and silver jewels beaded across the sleeves and below the bust. It truly made me feel like a princess.
After a long process of two or three months, I acquired a fairly simple headband and two bracelets, a silver clutch bag along with a stunning pair of heels that were – thankfully – very comfortable.
I also decided to get my hair done professionally and then do the natural make-up look by myself. I chose to curl my hair and sweep a few strands back along with my headband. If it was possible, I felt even more like a princess, especially with my heels and clutch bag.
With the preparation and planning done, now it was time to pull it off. I posed for a fair few photos by myself, with my friends and with my boyfriend. Off we all went on the coach, all buzzing and excited, because… well, this was it. Some of us were going to college and others apprenticeships and although most of my friends were staying at sixth form, it was still quite special to share this night with them.
We arrived, had a few drinks (non-alcoholic, unfortunately), posed for a few more professional photographs, and then went for dinner and a few jokey awards. The music started and so did the dancing. Before we all knew it, the night was over.
I suppose in some ways it was a glorified school disco, and perhaps it wasn’t worth the price of up to £1,000 that undoubtedly some families were paying, but it wasn’t something that I would want to miss. If I would give any advise, it would be that your priority is being comfortable in your own skin; it sounds predictable but you’d be surprised how many girls looked so rigid, so make sure you pick something that’s comfy and, well, you.