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Prom is Here... But What Do I Wear?

Spring is right around the corner, literally, and for most that means warmer weather, flowers blossoming, allergies swarming, and windows opening. However, if you are somewhere between the ages of 15 and 18, the change in weather is the least of your concern. For these high schoolers it’s all about designer clothing, spray tans, working up the courage to ask your crush to prom, and looking forward to some potential bad decision-making. That’s right, prom season is in full swing! Let’s take a look at the history of prom, the effect this tradition has had on us through the ages, and finding the right look.

We can find several prom-centric teen films that have this teen tradition front and center, such as Grease, Pretty in Pink, American Pie, 10 Things I Hate About You, Drive Me Crazy, and Mean Girls. Some of these movies employ the “rite of passage” circle for teen’s today, while others simply just add in a dance (or prom) at the end of their films as a conclusion. But why do these teen films conclude with prom at the end of their movies? Is it because prom, for most teens, represent an ending to one story and a beginning to another? Perhaps…

Today, prom is considered the second most relevant experience of the modern teenager, only being surpassed by passing their driver’s license. This shows that prom is still very much alive within our culture today, but do you know how far back prom actually goes back?? Believe it or not, we can actually say prom is older than sliced bread! That’s right, the origin of prom goes all the way back to the late 1800’s, where colleges and universities would gather in celebration for their graduating class for a formal ball. The reasoning for this can be seen in the definition of prom – which is short for promenade, described as “the formal, introductory parading of guests at a party.” In doing so, this was to promote social etiquette and manner’s in their graduating class. Not a bad idea, however, a bit ironic as you taste that strange taste in the punch bowl, don’t you think?

As the years passed, prom became more of a celebration filled with dinners, music and entertainment. Well into the 1950’s, the age for prom decreased to a younger age as these dances were held in high school gymnasiums until they moved to more substantial venues like hotels. Ironically, in teen films, you can still catch proms being held in high school gymnasiums. For a film like, Grease, that is relevant for the decade, however, in Drive Me Crazy, which is a film one year before the Millennium, this prom would more than likely be held at a country club or hotel. But hey, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything – after all in 1975, a prom was held in a white house. Yes, that White House – President Ford held his daughter’s prom in the East Room. I’d say that’s one memorable prom!

Even throughout several decades, the meaning behind prom still carries – dress your finest and have the night of your life! So, we ask you young gents, what will you be wearing? This is a question that most young men can’t seem to answer with the flip of a hat. After all, casual wear for these high schoolers involve jeans and a t-shirt for most, right? All of sudden they have to choose between a suit or tux – wait, what is the difference? A long-tie or a bowtie – does it even matter? And wait…. a color – can’t I just go with black? Shoes – shoes…. seriously? Can’t I just wear my converses? Flo- No way… flowers? This is becoming an expensive date, isn’t it? Well, sit back and let’s dive into making these choices without having a panic attack.

Suit or Tuxedo
Are you having a hard time choosing between a suit or tuxedo? Let’s make this simple –  In choosing between a tuxedo and suit, it all comes down to how formal your event is, and as this is your prom – we can all agree that this is a very formal event. If your date is wearing a beautiful Cinderella dress, you should definitely be pulling your best Prince Charming look and rocking that tuxedo!

Long-Tie vs. Bowtie
Now, to accurately complete the look of the tuxedo, you should accompany it with a bowtie. Don’t you dare wear a clip-on! Back in the 1800s when the tuxedo first made its rounds, bow ties were the intended look. Somewhere along the way, however, long neck ties came into play. This look came to fruition in efforts to dress down, as this became the trend in the 90’s – thus making them look like suits. The everlasting battle between long ties and bowties paired with tuxedos continued on.

If you’re going to wear a tuxedo though, why make it look a suit? But no worry, it seems bowties have made a comeback! More and more prom goers seem to be opting for bow ties – which says that tradition stands, and dressing up is back in. Who else is as excited about this as we are? To wear a bow tie with a tuxedo says to us that, as a young adult, you are commemorating something very special as prom should be.

Pick a Color… Any Color
In our opinion, this is the fun part! Picking a color is extremely important when it comes to events like proms and weddings. There is always a particular color scheme. After all, shouldn’t those awkward pictures at least look glamorous?

Here at, we have so many colors available to you for your bowties, vests, and cummerbunds that it may actually make your head spin. Your first option would be to talk with your date. We urge you to talk with her! No, seriously. Find out the exact name of the color she has gone with, and click that little ‘chat’ button on the bottom of your screen and we’ll be more than happy to guide you through it! The process can be overwhelming as a first-time tuxedo shopper, so we’re more than happy to lend a hand.

Another option is to go with a simple black tux and white neckwear. Sounds boring, huh? But think about how much your date will stand out. You’ll definitely score points for that one… face it, every girl dreams about the perfect prom and the perfect date.

And guess what? Once you’re done buying the tux… that’s when the REAL fun comes! That’s right, time to make memories, perhaps a bad decision or two, and have the time of your life!