"I got this great Nicole Miller dress, and I wanted my shoes to match, so I dyed them and my bag purple. It had rained the night before, and when we were walking to take our photos, I looked down and realized that the dye in my shoes was bleeding! By the end of the night, there was purple dye EVERYWHERE -- all over my ankles, everything."
"I really wanted to find a colorful dress, but always seemed to pick something long and black. Even now I gravitate towards classic dresses like the one I wore! It was impossible not to feel like a million dollars, standing by the water with my date."
"I got this dress at Pure Bliss Bridal in Newburyport, MA and the color is 'Lime Steel.' Naturally my first thought was 'BLUE STEEL.' Plus, the shop registered it for me so that no one else would show up to prom in the same dress. The back was all open and criss-crossed so I couldn't wear a bra with it -- and that was seriously nerve-racking!"
"I chose this dress because it was bright green and really fitting for Spring. I loved the fabric. Plus, I was one of very few girls who wore a dress this length, so it made me feel special!"
"That was a great brown chiffon dress I found at BCBG - I think the store had just opened in Indianapolis either that year or the year before, and that was where everyone was buying their dresses. You can't see it in the picture, but there was some really pretty stitched detailing on the bodice. It was a departure from the more popular neon princess ball gown styles of the time, but I'd suffice to say it was a good choice - it's a dress I would still wear today. I've since parted with the accompanying earrings, shoes, and clutch, but the date and I still good friends."
"For my senior prom, I begged my mom for a trendy prom dress and was lucky enough to snag this Catherine Malandrino gem. I still have it today and wear it to summer events and cocktail parties."
"My favorite part about prom was going shopping with my mom for this dress, black and white was very on trend at this time. I also got my hair done with all my friends beforehand."
"To me, this dress symbolizes a lot of firsts. It was my very first prom as I was a sophomore going with a junior boy and I was really nervous! I remember going to the Jessica McClintock store in Union Square in San Francisco on a Saturday afternoon with my mom. I must have tried on every prom dress in the store because I was so excited, and I ended up picking this one."
"It felt very Cinderella to me, in that pretty blue color. (Couldn't wear a bra, but I was a skinny sophomore so it didn't really matter!) Also, i got my hair done in my very first updo! Two years later I dug it out of the 'ol closet to rewear it for my own senior prom. I must admit, it didn't feel as special the second time around!"
"My best friend Kristin and I went to King of Prussia mall in PA with our moms, and we both wound up getting similar black and white cocktail dresses! I loved that dress so much that I wore it again to a formal my freshman year of college. My date(whom I was totally crushing on at the time) is still one of my best friends today."
"I made sure that my date and I were matching even down to the corsage. I went with my whole football team and we had a great time. I'm still friends with my date today."
"One perk of going to an all-girls school is that we could go to two proms each year -- our own and that of our brother school. In the end, I went to 5 proms. My group of friends and our respective dates would get together at someone's house for dinner before the dance...my parents came to every single one of these 'before parties' to take pictures."
"Well, my original plan was to choose a fun and bright colored dress. Needless to say, my date was very confused when my dress ended up being brown!"
"I walked into a small vintage store, dreading the hunt for my prom dress, but I saw this dress hanging on the wall and fell in love right away. It was the first dress I tried on, and it fit perfectly! To top it off, the necklace belonged to my grandmother."
"This BCBG dress was the first dress I tried on when I went shopping with mom. I tried on endless more but in the end knew it was the one, from that first moment in the dressing room. I'd been home schooled my whole life but got invited to be someone's date for their senior prom. Loved the dress so much but knew I wouldn't have a reason to wear it again, so I had it tailored short and have gotten tons of use for it—even let my friend use it for her prom!"
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When we asked our editors to send us their prom photos, we weren't surprised by the reactions we heard: "I don't know where they are," "I'll have to have my parents scan them," and our personal favorite, "Oh gosh, I had hoped to forget that phase."
Unearthing these treasures reminds us of how important prom is -- at that key moment in a teen's life. From picking out the best dress in the city (where was Rent the Runway back then?) to making sure your updo was perfect, it wasn't easy getting ready for the big day. All of this, along with finding -- or being asked by -- the perfect date, made the pressure of prom nearly unbearable.
Our editors have lived all over the place: from Minnesota, San Diego and Pittsburgh, to Greenwich, and even the Big Apple. As such, each prom (and the style of dress) was totally different. It's one of the aspects we love about modern-day proms: the individuality of not only the attendees and ensembles they're wearing, but the event itself! Whether their prom was very formal or casual, all of our editors looked great -- even if they claim they wish to forget it now.
Click through the gallery above to see our editors best prom pictures, and a few stories of their special night!