Saturday, May 02, 2009

Wild Card Weekend - Prom Dresses



We love it at the PHS when Ellen Hartman comes to visit, because somehow Ellen always makes us laugh. This weekend she treats us to a post on prom dresses, and we're wondering ...where's the photographic evidence, Ellen?

Take it away....


What did you wear to your prom?

My May Superromance is called The Boyfriend’s Back. So obviously, the boyfriend was around before and left. Yes, this is a high school lovers reunited story. I love that kind of story. And I love hearing about real life high school romance.

I’ve been having a great time in various spots on the Internet discussing old boyfriends, dating disasters, and the Prom with folks as I talk about this book. One of the most fun conversations started with me asking people to share a prom story…I thought we’d talk about our dates, but most of us ended up sighing over our prom dresses. Seems as if no matter how much luster our high school crushes have lost over time, we all still love our dresses.

Prom Dresses Photo by Jennifer Bond

I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of romance readers either had a purple prom dress or would have loved a purple prom dress. I went to two proms, junior and senior year, and both of my dresses were purple. For a long time I thought that made me a weirdo, or at least fashion-challenged. Turns out I am in excellent (purple clad) company.

So let’s hear it. What did you wear to your prom?

I’ll start the show. For my junior prom, I had a purple taffeta, Scarlet O’Hara number complete with hoop underskirt and a bustle held up by purple taffeta roses. (Based on this information, does anyone want to take a guess what year it was when I attended the prom? Hint: “Footloose” was on the DJ’s play list.) At my senior prom, I had a more sedate purple dotted Swiss dress—off-the-shoulder and totally unflattering, but I loved it because…it was purple.
Okay. Who’s next? What did you wear to your prom? (If you didn’t go to a prom, what’s your favorite fancy dress and where did you wear it? Maybe someone has a Rita dress they’d like to describe?)

I’ll pick a comment at random to receive a copy of The Boyfriend’s Back. Details about the book, excerpts, and a sneak peek at the exclusive eBook content (a 14-page scene set when the characters were in high school) are all available on my web site at http://wwww.ellenhartman.com/. The enriched eBook with the bonus content is available for purchase now from eHarlequin.com.

31 comments:

  1. Hello,

    I didn't attend my junior prom. However, I wore a hot pink dress to my senior prom. I know it had a ruffle around the top and bottom, but I can't remember much else. The one thing that sticks out is I broke up with my date that night. After 20 years, I still can't forget that. Have a great day.

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  2. I wore purple too! Actually I organised my prom and didn't end up having enough time to make my dress so while it was pretty purple and sparkling it was very unflattering in a HIDE THE PICTURES!!! kind of way.

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  3. We called it a 'Ball' at our school and it happened in the last two years of high school. Don't know what I was thinking in year 11 - wore this horrific pale pink thing that showed ALL my curves (and not the good kind). By year 12 I'd lost some pounds and gained a little more class (this dress, was a lovely plum colour with lots of flowing chiffon!!)

    What a fun post! Thanks Ellen.

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  4. Housemouse--you broke up with your date at the prom? I wonder if you went with my husband because his date broke up with him!

    I like hot pink for the prom. I wasn't very daring in my high school fashion, I wish I had been.

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Ellen

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  5. Lacey--you organized the prom? My goodness, that must have been quite a task. Did you have a theme?

    Donna asked me for photographic evidence of my prom dresses. I actually just dug out the pictures and they are something else, in a "What were you thinking, woman?" kind of way! ;-)

    I have to see if my husband's scanner still works--maybe I can post them tomorrow.

    Thanks for the story--glad to find another purple lover!
    Ellen

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  6. Rachael--I went the opposite way--from questionable taste to uh oh! Nice to know you were making progress in the right direction!

    I LOVE chiffon. I spent so much time in fabric stores with my mom and grandmother when I was a kid. I loved being in the middle of all the textures and colors. Your dress sounds lovely.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Ellen

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  7. Ooo I'd love to see your prom pictures! Mine are buried never to be found I think lol! I think I still have nightmares about organising it ;) The theme that was voted in was Ice Palace all silver and white which wouldn't clash with anyone's dress I'm pretty sure that was the major draw ;) Purple looked fabulous even if the dress on me didn't :)

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  8. We had a ball in my last year at High School. I wore black! A long black velvet skirt with this sort of Dynasty stylee black jacket... it was the end of the 80s. In my first year at Uni I united the skirt with a black silk boned strapless top. It looked great... they had a proper band and I remember learning the foxtrot from the Great Britian junior ballroom champion (who was also quite cute).
    My favourite ever dress was one that I never bought... it was old style Hollywood, black velvet and long skimming every curve. I always wished I had bought it.

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  9. Gosh, now I feel like I really missed out not having a Prom. We had a leavers disco though, does that count??

    Being as it was the early eighties and I was a born-again Mod and young soul rebel what I can remember involved a hip-hugging black pencil skirt, a pair of winkle picker shoes (which I could hardly walk in), a skin tight pink top I got second hand from Portobello Road market and I thought made me look like Blondie. And a parka!!!

    Nothing purple in sight!

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  10. Lacey--Ice Palace sounds like a great theme from a decorating stand point. It's funny people didn't want to clash with the decorations, though. I don't think I'd have thought of that!

    Ellen

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  11. Biddy--I love that some places called their dances a ball! I'd have loved that.

    Your dress sounds fantastic, but I have to say the second incarnation must have been just incredible.

    We did not have any foxtrotting at our prom--lots of side to side shuffling and maybe the YMCA thrown in at some point. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Ellen

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  12. Heidi--see, this is why it's so much more fun to discuss the outfits than the dates. I have this great picture of your outfit in my head now. Love the Blondie comparison--who wouldn't have wanted to look like her!

    The parka is the perfect accessory for any woman's formal dress, right?

    I love these stories,
    Ellen

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  13. I found my prom photos and scanned them in. I couldn't figure out how to share them so I posted them on my blog.

    It's linked from the home page here. (Click Ellen Hartman in the Author Members list on the side.) Or you can use this direct link, but I think it will open in the comment window and you'll have to close the window to get back. At least that's what happened to me when I tried it.

    Prom PhotosEnjoy. Heh. Heh.

    Ellen

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  14. Hurray! Ellen's back - and now as well as being testy and adjectival, she's come over all dressy!

    Hello Ellen - great to see you here. And I hope you'll be in Washington so that we can meet again in person.

    Dresses - hmmm . . . We never had a prom or a ball or any such thing at my school. University - my sister had a beautiful lacy dress, cream, very simple, very plain, that I asked my mother (who made it) to copy for me. For some reason she decided to ask a firend to help, said 'friend' added gold braids, changed the style . . .I hated it!

    A dress I really liked? When I celebrated my 50th book I found a beautiful dress - burgundy/pink/black crocheted Italian lace with a cmisole style top, long shirt and a lace 'shrug' to gover the top. Oh yes - and wonderfulfuschia pink and silver shoes. This may appear at the RITAs this time ..
    See you there?

    Kate

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  15. Yay! You bet I'll be in D.C.!

    Your dress sounds fantastic and the shoes...wow--perfect! I hope you will wear it to the Ritas. :-)

    Your story about the dress and the gold braid is so sad. I can't even imagine. My mom was a fan of adding rick rack to clothes when she "let the hem down." I spent a lot of years with a row of contrasting color rick rack around the bottoms of all my clothes. She sort of ruined me for the whole "trims" department.

    I loved my wedding dress. It was cream silk with a cream lace top. The top was like a little jacket with a row of gorgeous little buttons up the back. My regency loving heart was thrilled by the buttons.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Kate. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing you again!

    Ellen

    P.S. I thought I'd been doing well with being even-tempered here today, not testy a bit. But then the rick rack memories came back. Bah.

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  16. OMG, Ellen, do you realize I initially titled your blog Prom Dress Wonder...or What Was I Thinking? I wasn't sure if you felt that way about it or not...

    My prom dress was made by my boyfriend's mum. It had kind of a spanish feel to it - black strapless bodice and a red satin skirt that came to my knees in the front and to my ankles in back.

    My prom on the whole sucked though. The highlight was my boyfriend getting stopped by the cops driving my dad's lincoln - he had a burnt out lightbulb but the BF was pretty freaked. It got worse from there.

    Wedding dresses though - big improvement. I loved mine, even if it wasn't what I'd choose now. And our wedding day was lovely.

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  17. Kate's cream dress sounded like it would have been gorgeous it's such a shame the friend got involved.

    I really like the sound of Donna's dress too! That's a great idea! Maybe I'll get one made just for the hell of it and wear it to get groceries ;)

    It's such a shame the rest of the night went badly :(

    I'm off to see if I can find a picture of Kate's 50th book dress on her website :)

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  18. Lacey--having a dress made for yourself is an excellent idea. The blog I did last year for the Pink Hearts was about my tiara. I wear it around the house and it makes me totally happy!

    Ellen

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  19. Donna--I thought I posted a comment but it didn't show up. Hope this doesn't come in twice...

    I can't believe you let your boyfriend's mom make your dress. What if you'd broken up 2 weeks before the dance? She might have done dressmaking sabotage! A waistline 6 sizes too small, a crooked hem, surprise gold braid??!

    Sorry about the sucky prom, but congrats on the awesome wedding dress and day! I think if I had to choose, I'd pick a good wedding over a good prom anyway.

    Thanks for inviting me to blog again!
    Ellen

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  20. Strangely I now want a tiara. See how malleable I am!

    Ellen, I forgot to tell you how much I enjoy the extras on your website in my original post. I'm a book person through and through and it's kind of like the special features on a DVD isn't it? Being able to see the cover before and after and deleted scenes... FUN!

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  21. Lacey--I highly recommend a tiara. ;-)

    I'm glad you like the extras. I feel the same way. They are like the special features on a DVD.

    That's one of the reasons I was excited to do the enriched eBook content for The Boyfriend's Back, it gave me the chance to spend some extra time in the world of the book but in a very different way. (The eBook includes a prequel set when the characters are in high school.)

    I'm looking forward to the future of eBooks because I think we're going to get more and more cool "extras" as we go.

    Cheers,
    Ellen

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  22. LOL Ellen - we'd been together the better part of 2 years at that point, and went together until part way through my first year of uni. It was a pretty sure thing, lol!

    I loved the enriched books! So cool!

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  23. I wore electric blue lame to my senior prom -- strapless, big bow on the hip, asymmetrical tiered skirt. I thought it rocked -- only in the eighties...

    And no, I will not share pictures.

    Ever.

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  24. Kimberly--only in the 80's is right. That was THE era for asymmetrical lame. Oh, the big bow on the hip...I can totally picture it, but a little visual would help. Are you positive you don't want to post a picture or two??

    ;-)

    Thanks,
    Ellen

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  25. Kim, I dare you to post piccies. Enquiring minds want to see them!

    What a crying shame there is absolutely no photographic evidence of my fashion faux pas (they have all been ritually destroyed).

    Love the idea of wearing a tiara round the house, though. And I think I've earned it, as I got married in jeans in New York City Hall! I'm really feeling very deprived here.

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  26. TIARA! TIARA! TIARA!

    First, everyone should at least try a tiara. I'm one of the least girly people I know and I love mine. Deb Salonen has one that lights up--that's another good way to go.

    Hey--if anyone wants to come to the Super Readers party after the Literacy Signing Wed. night at the RWA National convention, we GIVE AWAY tiaras!! You can all get your royal on with us.

    Finally, if someone else posts a prom photo of themselves, I'll post a photo I have of my big 80's hair. It's a perm and there's a lot of it.

    My photo is already scanned and can be posted in a heartbeat. The gauntlet has been thrown...

    ;-)
    Ellen

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  27. Now there's a gauntlet!?!

    *If* I post the shameful picture (and there's some pretty big hair in the picture too -- and it's really blond as well), do I get a tiara?

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  28. Kimberly--of course you can have a tiara! Everyone should have a tiara!

    Now, show us the pictures!

    ;-)

    Ellen

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  29. Book Giveaway!

    This has been so much fun and we still have the possibility of Kimberly's pictures to look forward to!

    Instead of doing a drawing, I thought we should keep the party rolling with prizes for everyone, so if you posted a comment above and would like a copy of The Boyfriend's Back, send me your address at ellen (at) ellenhartman (dot) com.

    Cheers,
    Ellen

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  30. I'm suddenly feeling very deprived of my RWA National convention budget what was I thinking? Who really needs to buy food anyway when there're free tiaras?

    I am looking forward to the big hair! I looked for my own pictures but they're MIA and I think I did that on purpose. Boy, when I hide stuff I hide it good!

    Thanks so much for being so generous with us Ellen! I'm so excited!

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  31. I wore a salmon colored dress with gold lame designs and carried a gold purse. My Mom made it for me and I loved it. It was beautiful.

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