NSFW: Le Rouge et le Noir

This is what I wore to the annual dinner and dance thrown by the university President over the holidays.
It was, predictably, freezing that night, so I went crazy and wore pants with my dress.

Cigarette Pants: Monsoon
Ruby Ballet Flats: Bloch London
Purse: unknown provenance, but it is the perfect size for relief flats except I was already wearing my relief flats
Finger Guns: Classic

The affair was held in the Athletic Centre, in the gym.  After the lukewarm buffet dinner I danced to Lady Gaga and Shania Twain (seriously) beneath the glow of the scoreboard and warmed by cheap red wine.  It was a magical night.

No really, it was.  I didn’t go to my high school formal but I’m pretty sure it would have looked a lot like this.  But I never would have worn pants to the formal.  Or flats.  And, no doubt, I would have been there with a spotty youth, since I was myself a spotty youth.

I am so glad I am no longer a teenager.

What did you wear to your high school formal? 

19 thoughts on “NSFW: Le Rouge et le Noir

  1. Pingback: NSFW: IPF Summit, or Rinty the Crusher’s Wedding | In Professorial Fashion

  2. Love that dress!Let's see…1992, and 1993… In 1992 I wore a green mermaid dress, although it looked a little bit like Madonna's pink dress (bow and everything) from Material Girl, although I didn't fill my dress out quite like Madge. In 1993 I didn't have a date. So mom wasn't willing to shell out the bucks (i think she said something like if I had just tried harder…to do what? get a boy to like me?). We ended up at some pagaent shop that was having a huge sale I got a black cocktail dress for $75. It wouldn't be so bad now except for the gigantic pouffy neck/sleeve things.I thought, at the time, the dresses were awesome. I had hoped that, like my mother's 1964 prom dress (knee length with crinoline, powder blue and white gloves) that I would be able to look back at that green satin gown with the giant bow on the butt and smile happily at it's awesome vintageness. This dream of mine was totally dashed when some students of mine, theater girls, so you know they know the score, told me my dresses were frightfully 1992 and would never, ever be cool again. *sigh* LOL I still love that green dress.I also still have it.

  3. Full disclosure: I did go to the semi-formal when I was in grade 10 with a boy in grade 12. I wore a lavender floral explosion Laura Ashley cotton tea dress, white kitten heels and borrowed pearls. I'm pretty sure I was not wearing what my date was expecting. The event was held in the school's cafeteria, bedecked with streamers.In grade 12 (not my graduating year) I went to the formal with my friend who was in grade 13 whose girlfriend had just dumped him. He gave me 2 days to find a dress. I wore a cornflower blue bridesmaid dress with a low back, butt bow and enormous puffed sleeves, iridescent pumps and a wrist corsage with pink roses (from my date). In those days, boys would find out what colour their date was going to wear and order a tuxedo to match. My date wore a white tuxedo jacket (with black pants), a pale pink shirt and a burgundy cummerband and bow tie–he looked more dashing than he sounds. And the burgundy looked great with his ex's dress (oh yes, she was there with someone else) which was burgundy velvet. My/her corsage would have been very pretty with her dress. This event was held at a hotel since the school had long since decided they didn't want the liability of drunken teenagers. I don't know why the hotel did. The sum total of these two awkward experiences cured me of wanting to go the formal ever again. Though I did entertain renting a tux and going solo (which never, ever happened at my high school) for a very brief moment. It would have been a great story if I had, but it also would have been horrible at the time, so probably best that I didn't have the guts.

  4. What a great convo starter! I'm a late bloomer (like a decade late) so I didn't do any dances in high school.I like that you pulled off the pants and dress look. I am just really not willing to freeze my bum off to look good. Because let's face it it, we can look good in warm clothes too.

  5. i never went to any high school formals…not sure why.your red flats are pretty! love that deep red.a dress w/ pants? i've done it! that's when you say "what dress? this is a tunic." 🙂

  6. What a great convo starter! I'm a late bloomer (like a decade late) so I didn't do any dances in high school.I like that you pulled off the pants and dress look. I am just really not willing to freeze my bum off to look good. Because let's face it it, we can look good in warm clothes too.

  7. Seriously?! Your university President hosts a dinner and dance in the gym? That is crazy-awful. It is awesome that you attended AND danced by the light of the scoreboards. Also, I, too, am impressed by how well this dress transitions from the floor of Camelot to the dance hall of your university. The pants and red shoes are inspired additions that make the transition all the more impressive. I was a disaster in high school and thus went to 4 "proms," or my school's equivalent (grade 12 & 13 graduation dances). I went twice with boys I was dating to their graduations, then twice to my own grade 12 & 13 grad's, which I attended with a guy who was a friend (gr 12) and with a girl/woman who was a friend (gr.13). ALL of these events sucked, and all but one featured late 80s/early nineties horrors. The one exception was the final dress: essentially a short, lined, black lace tube sock with deep Vs front and back, and cap sleeves with shoulder pads in 'em. My mom helped me pick it out. I suspect she was as sick of my being in high school as I was.

  8. Wonderful garnet shoes. wonderful sparkly dress! I wore a dreary silver grey number to our formal with pink satin pumps I found in an op shop for a dollar. I went with a tall unhappy boy who was a gifted artist and looked lovely in his borrowed tuxedo. Our formal had none of the glamour or cultural importance of The Prom – the nuns made us go. Nobody was game enough not to. I might have enjoyed it more if I took finger guns.

  9. I went to both the junior and the senior prom and I still have both dresses. The junior prom dress is one of my favorite items of clothing: it was a dusty rose, somewhat flapperish dress and I wore it to a wedding in the summer of 2002, and it was still appropriate. (It was about 8 years old, so it could have been passe, but was not old enough to be retro. But it continues to look more 1920s than 1990s and it worked…I am proud of you for the pants and the flats…

  10. I love that dress with cigarette pants, and I want to steal your ruby-red flats. I also love that you danced under that sweet scoreboard glow.I'm in the minority here, as I went to my high school's equivalent of prom, the Grade 12 Graduation Dance, not once but twice. First time, on the arm of my one-year-older boyfriend: red silk bias-cut crepe spaghetti strap dress fitted to the waist, with a full skirt hitting just at the bottom of my knew. Worn with gold heels and dangly gold and sparkly earrings. Second time, at my own graduation: slithery silver-blue mid-calf slip dress. Worn with the straps pinned together between my shoulder blades using a pewter and rhinestone heart-on-a-bar brooch, long pewter cupid earrings, pewter t-strap heels. Apparently I need to blog about this, as I obviously have way too much to say about high school formal wear.

  11. I think that dress looks smashing with cigarette pants!For my senior prom, I was going to break all the rules with a short black sheath, white gloves, pearls, really messy tousled hair (this was 1993). Chickened out a couple days before the dance and my mom stayed up two days straight sewing me a French blue moire spaghetti strap long column dress with slit. Still stood out among all the red and black dresses, but wish I had the guts to go crazy (which in this day and age would be seen as matronly).

  12. They didn't do prom — or dances, really — at my high school (which was a mixed gender affair). Which seems weird as I think about it. I think it might have been because it was a small town which a healthy teen mortality rate from drunk driving, so it was probably a liability issue. Anyhow, no high school formal for me — though I probably wouldn't have gone anyway. I was too busy being a giant nerd. This dress is awesome. I really like it with cigarette pants. I particularly enjoy, though, how you've transitioned a dress that saw what it saw in Vegas to a Presidential dinner & dance. Clearly, your superpower is re-purposing.

  13. Finger guns! Always a classic. I didn't go to my high school prom because, like Anne, I went to an all-girl's school (although a male friend did invite me – our prom was shared – AS HIS FRIEND'S DATE! No.) and I wasn't into that kind of thing. I did chaperone the prom at my job last year and it was truly magical.

  14. But did you make finger guns at the University President?I didn't go to my high school formals because I was way too cool for that, and they wouldn't let me and my friends in the door in our black trenchcoats anyway.

  15. Return of the finger guns. I dig this outfit and the fact you danced to pop music in your university's gym. I was a spotty youth who wore the cheapest dress I could find (that did make me look like a meringue) and did my own hair at our high school formal, which was unheard of in my semi upper middle class suburb of Chicago. I wish I rocked as hard as you. (If I were cooler then, I would have thrifted something).

  16. I didn't go to my high school formal either. It was tough to wrangle up a date going to an all-girl's school and all, and I wasn't into stuff like that then. Though I kind of wish I had just for the rite-of-passage of it all. I can only pretend that the prom in "10 Things I Hate About You" and other late 90's high school movies was my prom.Anyway. That dress is so awesome! It really dresses up your finger guns.

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