Disclosure: I was compensated to write this post. The views expressed in this post are my own.
I did not know anything about American high schools. I made the decision to go to college in the United States, by looking at college brochures. This was in the Dark Ages pre-internet and streaming TV/movies. I never visited a single college campus. Never even spoke to a college admissions officer by phone. My English high school was all I knew.
I had a little experience with American schooling as I had attended elementary school and, then a private school…both in New Jersey. Suffice it say, whatever knowledge I had about American high schools I had gleaned from watching Grease and a TV show with Sarah Jessica Parker called Square Pegs. England was the last stop for TV shows that were canceled in the U.S. And there were only three TV channels! What I learned from Grease didn’t seem all that relevant to me as an 80s college student. Grease was set in the 50s…surely much had changed…and yet…
I soon found out that 80s American high schools had not changed much at all. In those first few weeks as a freshman, I heard about proms, Homecoming dances, Homecoming King and Queen, and, of course, graduation. None of which were a part of my high school experience. You see in England, legally you can leave school at 16 to get a job, or stay on until 18 to go to college or get a job. Because there are two “leavings” there is very little sense of camaraderie or unity with other students in your grade. I was not officially part of a “Class of…” I was with my classmates until we all turned 16 in 10th grade…called 5th year in England. Some left at 16 to learn a trade or get a job. My group of classmates stayed on to do courses to prepare for college. Though I was with these kids for two years, there were few opportunities to bond with other students. I don’t recall any school-wide assemblies. There were no dances. If my school fielded sports teams, which it likely did, I never attended any games. Football in England is soccer in America. American kids are fiercely loyal to their sports teams, especially football…not so in the U.K. where sports games, if any, were sparsely attended.
The tales of shopping for prom dresses was fascinating to me. I would listen to my new friends talking about going with their moms to shop for the perfect dress. They were adamant that wearing a castoff dress from a sister or cousin was not even up for discussion. Those 80s dresses seemed almost like wedding dresses to me. So elaborate. So much tulle. Such bright colors. Like brides all over the world who search high and low for the perfect dress, my college buddies didn’t rest until the perfect prom dress was found. Now of course those prom gowns from the 8os would be considered very old fashioned now and well…very 80s!
DressFirst.com is an online site selling wedding dresses, prom dresses, evening dresses, holiday dresses, homecoming dresses, etc. With a high school senior in my home, I know that soon I will be helping her shop for a prom dress. And when I say “shop” what I mean is pay for the dress. You know how teens are…especially teen girls…they don’t want any input on what to wear…especially from mom!
I perused the Dress First prom dress section and found the selection to be extensive. What I really liked is the ability to search by categories, for instance, dress silhouette…
- ball gown
…and by neckline…
- one shoulder
- and more
…and by hemline…
- ankle length
- floor length
…and by embellishments…
…and by fabric…
So many choices and options! Prom dresses on Dress First range from $50 to over $250. There were many, many dresses in the $100-$150 range so you don’t have to break the bank shopping with your teen for the prom dress of her dreams.