The Vintage American Prom Dress
The 1950's prom dress is one of the most recognisable and coveted vintage dresses out there. It's a style our customers ask for, again and again. But why was such a fantastical dress designed in the first place?
Debutante balls originated sometime in the 1800's in America. They were a big part of a young persons transition into adulthood and particularly began to grow from the 1930's on-wards. Post-war America, saw a growth in wealth. People had more expendable money and began spending more on leisure. It's at this stage that the High School Prom really took off. Before this, parties of this type were only for the wealthy, upper classes, debutantes launching into society and grand balls. The High School Prom brought soirees to the gym hall and eventually expanded out into hotels.
It was a way to celebrate and indulge in fashion and fun. The introduction of the Prom Queen meant that the young ladies of the time tried to out-do each other with the most elaborate dress. The bigger the better!
The shape of the prom dress was influenced by the hugely popular "New Look" style by Dior of the late 40's. It was tightly fitted on top, particularly at the waist with a full circle, voluminous skirt.
Prom dresses were decorated with masses of tulle, lace, corsages, beads and sequins, sashes, bows, ribbon and every other decoration you could think of as the young ladies tried to best each other in the glamour stakes!
We have a huge collection of original vintage prom dresses from the 1940's to 1960's but we really specialise in the 50's proms. Some are featured at the end of this post. We've also come across similar dresses to those pictured in the real, vintage photographs and fashion advertisements of the day. It's such a treat to see them as they were over 60 years ago. Owning one of these is a real snippet of history! Imagine twirling on the dance floor in something so iconic!
Today, our customers wear their vintage prom dresses for their wedding, as bridesmaids, to the debs, for a milestone birthday party, on the red carpet, as wedding guests and at the races.
Real Life Prom Photos
Prom Dress Advertisements and Fashion Photography
Dirty Fabulous 1950's Prom Dresses