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You Might Not Like Today’s Prom Dresses, But Were Ours Any Better?

It’s prom season, so cue the parental protests about our teenager’s prom dresses. They’re too low. Too high. Too, too tight. Too everything, right?

Well, we don’t entirely disagree. But we’ve been wondering. Were our prom dress styles so much better?

Welcome to a trip down memory lane with Your Teen‘s “best of the worst” styles from prom-nights past.

Prom Dress Styles Over The Ages

1. Laura Ashley

Remember when you could go to prom covered chin to toe in lace? Yes, you were nicely covered, but would you be caught dead in that dress today?

laura_ashley dress model on a boat with an umbrella. Source: Pinterest

laura_ashley dress model on a beach with a headscarf. Source: Pinterest


2. Hair and ruffles in the 1980s

Raise your hand if you went to prom wearing an explosion of taffeta, tulle, bows, sequins, and ruffles. And the hairdos. Wow. It’s so hard to believe anyone let you leave the house looking like that.

80s prom dresses with huge arm ruffles. Source: Totally 80s

Blue and purple prom dresses on models with huge 80s hair. Source:

3. Gunne Sax

Ooh, Gunne Sax. Every girl’s dream outfit. So feminine, right? You went to prom looking like you stepped out of Little House on the Prarie. But hey, who remembers that stuff anyway. 

Gunne Sax dress reminiscent of little house on the prairie Source: littlebittybits


Gunne Sax dress reminiscent of little house on the prairie. Source:

4. Southern Belle

If you grew up in the South, apparently you went to prom dressed like Scarlett O’Hara. The hats. Worse yet, the colors. And you couldn’t forget a parasol.

southern_belle giant dresses with huge sun hats and ruffles source:

southern_prom giant white and gold dress with ruffles. source:

5. Move over Mariah Carey in the 1990s

We’ll concede that 1990s prom dresses were somewhat more tasteful except … guess who started the trend toward those sexier prom styles we’re complaining about today. Yep. In the 90’s, the style was skimpy, sexy, and high heels.

1990s short blue sleeveless dress with sequins. Source:


6. Sunglasses at night

Let’s not let the boys off the hook for their prom clothes. Nope. They didn’t make such good fashion choices either. Saturday Night Fever, here we come.

teen boys in 80s prom tuxedos with caption prom 1988. Source: Pinterest

boy_prom teen boy in ruffly shirt and prom tuxedo. Source:

Tell us what you wore to prom! We’d love to hear about it.

Diana Simeon is an editorial consultant for Your Teen.

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