Feeling brave? Come and share your formal photos with us...

Best. Look. Ever.





Do you look back on your formal photos and cringe with embarrassment?

Our styles often change so dramatically in the years after we leave high school, sometimes all it takes is 12 months to look back and wonder what the WHAT that girl was wearing (and who the hell let her out of the house with all that eyeliner)?

It’s been ten years since I finished school, and in a Romy and Michele-esque walk down memory lane, I dug out the old formal photos to see what ridiculous choices I made during what I considered the most important moment of my education.

They were kind of disappointing. And not becasue I made bad choices, but because I didn’t. No hilarious hairstyles or ridiculously misguided foundation lines. No puffy shoulders or sequin-spew. I looked quite nice, to be honest. BOR-ING.

In year 10, I went for more of a princess vibe. I think a lot of girls go down that road because it’s the first time many of them have worn a ball gown and they want it to look like it’s straight out of a Disney film. My dress was made to look like one of the gowns Kate Winslet wore in Titanic. Not Disney, but close.

It was a fun night with lots of dancing, none of which was with my date. (Panicking that nobody would ask me and I would end up having to go alone, I had awkwardly asked a boy I barely knew to be my plus one. He graciously accepted, to which I replied “Awesome, thanks. Now I can get serious about my dress.” Not exactly a love connection.)

My Titanic inspiration. I almost made it. Almost.


In year 12, I was rocking more of a sexy vibe. I was 17, and quite obviously a mature adult who now knew everything about beauty and fashion (that eyeliner I wore in year 10 was SO ridiculous).


My best friend’s mum made my dress because – get this – I couldn’t find one in stores that was a LOW ENOUGH CUT for my liking. Oi.

You see, my boob situation at that age was pretty much non-existent. Not only did I not have to wear a bra, I’m not sure I could even have found one in a cup size made for me anyway. Unless ‘nipples only’ is a cup size. (That’s the one good thing about gaining weight – getting boobs. Although I’m pretty sure my current D-cups are still just my double A’s, but with a weight problem.)

Anyway, in my infinite fashion wisdom I thought the best way to work with my non-existant breasts was to make them the highlight of my outfit. Flawless logic, no?

I was going for the Jennifer Lopez pre-major fame look. I didn’t quite get there. But besides being a pretty  terrible fit, I think I looked quite nice regardless.

I think at that exact moment I was asking “I look like J-Lo, right? RIGHT?”


So they’re my two formal dresses. I kind of wish now that I had tried to push some fashion boundaries, just so I would have some hilarious photos to look back on. But a small part of me is also pleased (and shocked) that I managed to navigate my way through two of high school’s most documented moments without setting off any major hair/make-up/fashion bombs.

So… What was YOUR formal dress like? Was the inspiration behind it a total product of the times (ie my attempt at J-Lo), or were you brave enough to go your own way?

I’d love for you to describe it in the comments, or (even better) post some photos! Let’s see if we can get enough for a formal pic gallery.

And extra points if you’re willing post some pics even if your dress was a total disaster. I reckon they’re the best photos anyway.