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I’m actually not kidding about this one. The homeschooled teenagers in our area are planning a prom. Many of them are Irish step-dancers, and they’re having a ceili (or celidh, if you’re Scottish) prom. They’ll be doing reels and waltzes and stomps and troikas and this one German dance whose name escapes me, but it involves scowling and shaking your fist at your partner, and is a lot more fun than you might suppose.

So the homeschooled teenager in my immediate area and I have been looking for a prom dress. There’s a consignment shop up on Main Street next to Roy and Wayne’s Carp Juice which always has pretty dresses in the window, but what we have discovered is that pretty on the mannequin is not the same thing as pretty that you’re willing to step out of the dressing room wearing. Never mind wearing it in mixed company.

How’s that one look, honey?

Uh . . . no way, Mom.


The girl in question and her friends all know how to sew, and there’s been much discussion about doctoring revealing dresses so as to make them the kind of thing you can wear out in public. But then you say to yourself: Why? Shouldn’t we be busy wiring roses to the decorative trellis and blowing up the pink balloons, not trying to affix several hundred yards of chiffon to the front of an otherwise-lovely . . . is that a bathing -suit top?

Mom . . .

The LDS — a.k.a. the Mormons — are all over this one. Google “modest” and “prom,” or “modest” and “wedding,” too, for that matter, and the sites which come up are almost all based in Salt Lake City. And they’re onto something, for sure. This is a “not sold in stores” situation if ever there were one.

Envisioning a vaguely Jane-Austenish look? There’s this —


— from Totally Modest.

Lovely, simple lines, femininity without froof. That’s what we go for around here.

Other teenager-approved models from the same company:




Of course, inevitably, you also run into a good bit of Miss Ellen’s Poteers:


And Cinderella’s Stepsisters:


And Toulouse-Lautrecky Montmartre-type girls:


And this —


— which I really can’t think of anything to say about, except that apparently there are people who like this sort of thing.

The prom is May 30. Suggestions warmly welcomed.

It’s just got to be the kind of dress a girl can shake her fist in.

[Rating: 83/100]

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