Top 10 | Best Vintage Prom Dresses

Yesterday I had the privilege of helping a gal find her senior prom dress, just as I did with her older sister. She wanted something unique so there would be no chance of the dreaded who wore it better moment. Naturally, a vintage dress was the answer! Our appointment and all her excitement got me thinking about my own prom which I hadn't done in quite some time because, you know, it's been a minute! But more specifically, it got me thinking about the history which is something I had never really given much thought. 

Prom, short for...promenade? The formal introductions you often see in old movies. You know the one, there's a line up, names are called and couples walk (ahem, promenade) down the grand staircase into the crowd. It makes sense but I hadn't realized that prom was short for anything. 

In my quest for an image from every decade, I wondered why I was finding numerous university photos. As it turns out, proms were not originally a high school event but actually began at universities and really started to take off in the 1930's and the tradition has only continued to grown over time. 

History aside, let's get down to what it's really all about...the dress. Here are my favorite dresses broken down by decade. Which one tickles your fancy?

1930s Prom

Evelyn Andrews in her prom dress circa mid 1930's. Such a beautifully color tinted photo not to mention those shoulders! Found here.

Evelyn Andrews in her prom dress circa mid 1930's. Such a beautifully color tinted photo not to mention those shoulders! Found here.

Nonchalantly posing in the yard pre-prom, spring 1939. This 1930's dance dress with a long, flown skirt is such a classic style for the era. Found here.

Nonchalantly posing in the yard pre-prom, spring 1939. This 1930's dance dress with a long, flown skirt is such a classic style for the era. Found here.

1940s Prom

A couples photo equals more dresses to admire! Long gowns in solid and plaid satin were all the rage in the 1940's. These gals are on top of it! Found here.

A couples photo equals more dresses to admire! Long gowns in solid and plaid satin were all the rage in the 1940's. These gals are on top of it! Found here.

A 1940's prom snapshot in the true definition of prom...promenade, and in classic 1940's style, full, puff sleeves. Found here.

A 1940's prom snapshot in the true definition of prom...promenade, and in classic 1940's style, full, puff sleeves. Found here.

1950s Prom

The epitome of 1950's prom, tea length dreses with a strapless neckline and layers of tulle. Found here.

The epitome of 1950's prom, tea length dreses with a strapless neckline and layers of tulle. Found here.

Time Life has an insane image archive. The collection this photo comes from is definitely worth checking out if you're into 1950's prom style. Found here.

Time Life has an insane image archive. The collection this photo comes from is definitely worth checking out if you're into 1950's prom style. Found here.

1960s Prom

It's a bit hard to catch the full effect of this 1960's prom dress but admittedly, I'm just as much in love with her hair style. Found here.

It's a bit hard to catch the full effect of this 1960's prom dress but admittedly, I'm just as much in love with her hair style. Found here.

The cut of this dress is one of my favorite 1960's style not only in party dresses but also day dresses. Found here.

The cut of this dress is one of my favorite 1960's style not only in party dresses but also day dresses. Found here.

1970s Prom

1970's prom style with sheer crochet sleeves and that center medallion we all know and love from the decade. Found here.

1970's prom style with sheer crochet sleeves and that center medallion we all know and love from the decade. Found here.

1970s prom aka the poly-blend prom. The name of the fabric gets a bad wrap but I'm a sucker for the 1970's bohemian gowns. Found here.

1970s prom aka the poly-blend prom. The name of the fabric gets a bad wrap but I'm a sucker for the 1970's bohemian gowns. Found here.

Looking for a vintage prom dress? Take a look at our selection!