the gloss at prom

Though I’m sure you imagine us as robots automatically generating content each day, similar to the rest of the Internet (no? am I the only person who imagines that about every site ever?), The Gloss is actually made up of people. Multiple people, in fact, like a big ol’ cheerleading pyramid of glossy goodness. Actually, that sounds sticky and gross, so maybe just a bunch of women in their twenties and thirties writing on the Internet.

Anyway, it is prom season and, as such, I thought it might be fun to show you all what we here wore to our own silly, awkward, glamorous, ridiculous, wonderful, weird proms.

I, for one, am uncool in retrospect because I was the kind of person who enjoyed prom. No, that’s a downplay to the point of being a lie: I f’ing loved prom. A chance to buy a snazzy dress that was inappropriate for all other occasions, then proceed to plan every detail one could ever think of, and then get ready for 6+ hours that day? As somebody who absolutely loves both beauty and obsessively planning events more than just about anything in the world, prom was the perfect occasion for Teenage Sam.

In fact, I went to five proms. Two at my former public school and three at my prep school, and I loved nearly every minute of them. I wasn’t one of those kids who desperately wanted to be prom queen — do those kids even exist anymore or are they just frozen as quintessential characters on MTV Made and 90s films? — nor did I want to be “the bell of the ball” or whatever. I just loved/still love dancing to bad music with people I like while wearing ridiculous clothes, then riding in an unreasonably gaudy limo to get fast food because why not.


2006: I went with my high school/college boyfriend and wore something very, very shiny. I have no idea why my hair was like that, don’t ask me. We danced to Sean Paul’s “Temperature” more than once.


2007: I went with that same boyfriend and some of our friends. He flew overnight to get there in time, so I remember he snagged a pink tux shirt and the last pantsuits available at the mall. I wore a long, polka dot mermaid gown and white satin gloves from Claire’s, and lots of gel in my hurr. I did the girls’ makeup and I remember having a lovely time. We danced to Say Anything more than once.


2008: I was a senior! My date and I decided to model our prom outfits after Chinatown. I still love that dress and I desperately wish I could wear fingerwaves every day of my life.


Jennifer Wright, editor-at-large, looking snazzy and classy as ever in an iridescent gown paired with a lovely pose. Ta-da!

amanda chatel the gloss prom

Amanda Chatel, contributing editor, wore a pretty shade of lavender and would like to “thank Melrose Place for making chokers so ‘cool.'” I, for one, am loving the socks with shoes.


Joanna Rafael, A+ intern, kind of went to prom and wore beautiful purple tights. “We had prom at a TV studio–I was there for a half hour and I didn’t really leave the parking lot. Cool matching headband and tights.” She is too cool.


Elizabeth Licata, weekend editor, had this lovely anecdote:

Unfortunately she does not have any photos of me swanning around prom all night with a 13″ cigarette holder that had no cigarette in it. My mom has no photos of that because I was really careful to hide it from my parents, because I was convinced my empty cigarette holder was somehow illicit and would get me in trouble.

Why I thought I’d get in trouble for vamping around prom with an empty cigarette holder is beyond me. But the fact that my big teenage rebellion consisted of carrying around a long, empty cigarette holder at prom makes it suddenly make a lot more sense that my mom wasn’t worried when I didn’t come home after prom and instead went off to Lake Geneva with my boyfriend and another friend. My boyfriend later told me he thought we were going to lose our virginities, but I spent the whole weekend learning how to make potato guns and target-shooting tubers at decorative islands.

I love this story. I just love it.


Jamie Peck, contributing editor, captioned these photos: “Goofing around at jr prom with a male friend I imported from elsewhere because I didn’t have any good male friends at my school. GOTH 4 LIFE.” Not gonna lie, Anthony Hopkins is quite possibly one of the best prom decor elements I have ever seen, ever.


Julie Kraut, Editorial Director for, showed us this lovely “photo of myself as a child bride…I mean, going to Prom.” For the record, Julie, even if this is slightly bridal, it did fit you super well, which makes it infinitely better than 90% of prom dresses in the world. Plus, it looks more comfortable than all the f’ing tulle I wore around my ankles in 2007.

So, there you have it, wonderful Glossers! Us at prom, bein’ all young and stuff. Got any fun prom photos of your own? Share ’em!