6 May

Get ready, here they come

May has arrived and along with May comes prom season. I love spring despite two issues; Why do taxes have to come in April? it ruins the month, one can hardly go around singing “April in Paris” when you know you will never afford the trip to be there in April. The second issue is Prom Season. I have worked for Black Tie Formal for 26 years, Ouch! this year will be my 27th prom window. I have done so many that ruffled tux shirts are back in style. I really do not want to sound like the “Grinch who Stole my limousine” but honestly teenagers today are so spoiled, I am speechless, limousines? I was lucky if i could get my Dads Chevy for the night, let alone a 30 foot long Hummer with driver, 14 speaker sound, wrap-around leather seating and a revolving mirror ball to boot, it’s ridiculous. The media have managed to convince all 17 year olds that they deserve the same treatment usually reserved for visiting foreign dignitaries and sleazy gun-toting rap artists,[if you can call them artists] do I sound like my father?

Everyone has to go through this rite of passage, it’s how we become adults. Even I attended my senior prom, although I did not wear a tux. It was the 60’s I a styled myself more along the lines of Sonny Bono than James Bond. I ran across a few Polaroids of my prom outfit and lets just say the years were less that kind to my adolescent sense of style. I think that’s the one thing that has not changed since my “Night of Nights” kids today are just as unaware of timeless fashion as I was.

 The stream of prom couples that flood the store all have delusions of grandeur way beyond their means, unless they are accompanied by a generous grandmas who will foot the bill, [and there for call the shots, much to the young mans dismay] They all see themselves as the embodiment of their favorite style icons. Sean John, Fifty Cent and who ever else is the “Bad” du jour. Bad is an understatement, worse is more like it. “I don’t want to look like everyone else” is the inevitable answer when asked by a salesperson what they would like to wear. Ironically they all end up looking the same in their search for individuality. “The same game just different players” is what my Dad used to say. It’s all driven by the choice of color made by the fair young thing who is his date. The prom dress hasn’t changed that much over the years [although there is less of it] It’s Spring, so the choice is always the same. Cream, pink, peach, aqua, mint green or lilac, don’t forget gold or silver. That’s it, that leaves the young man with a choice of black, white, grey or cream and of course we can match the vest to the dress. We RENT suits because you won’t buy one! if you want something real special I suggest you speak to Prince William I’m sure he can “hook you up” 

Yet they still try to bend the program that has been prescribed by No, you can’t wear these trousers baggy, hanging off your ass, they are meant to worn at your waist. The 6 button mid calf jacket isn’t right for you if your 5′ 3″ nor is it very good if your 350 pounds. No, you don’t wear a top hat unless your JFK  going to his inauguration, sneakers with a tux is soooo over, only Fred Astaire could carry a cane and not look silly and my pet peeve of all time, A bow tie is worn with a tux not a long tie, it’s a prom not a funeral. 

After all the trauma from the mother,the grand mother and the girlfriend, the salespeople [God bless them ] convince them they have made the right choice and out the door they go with a cream, black, grey or white tux, with all the wrong accessories. Ready to make their grand entrance into manhood and 30 years later when digging through their souvenirs utter to themselves “What was I thinking?”


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