As "prom time" approaches, colour and style are just as important as they were a century ago. The word "prom" is a shortened version of the word "promenade." A hundred years ago, a promenade was the formal march of couples into a ballroom after they had been publicly announced to the guests. For wealthy Americans, debutante balls were grand occasions specifically designed for their daughters' "coming out" into society. This meant that they were now ready to entertain and be courted by approved suitors. Choose long evening dress to be elegant.
It seems as if these grand balls were envied by middle-class parents who also wanted the best for their own children, including good manners and fine tastes. While there had been formal dances for young people in the late 1800s, the early 1900s saw the first proms. Teenagers dressed up in their Sunday best for these high school banquets. By the 1920s and 1930s, dancing had been added. After WW II and the Great Depression, proms took on new, more elaborate identities. They moved from school gyms to country club ballrooms, and students competed fiercely to being recognized as the best-dressed couple.
Today, some students choose to go as singles and others go in groups. Of course, couples still want to look striking, and every girl wants to look beautiful. That's where the colors become important. This year, almost any color of the rainbow is acceptable, but the most popular colors seem to be the brighter jewel tones. Metallic fabrics, geometric shapes, large patterns, and classic silver, gold and white colors will be swirling around the ballrooms. "Bling" is big too. With so many styles and colours to pick from, today's teen need to make an important decision to select their own dresses.