beauty

"It's the side fringe for me": 10 women share their most cringe-worthy formal look.

In a world of TikTok and Instagram, it seems like today's teens have managed to entirely avoid one key experience of growing up: the awkward phase.

Like, just think back to your high school formal for a minute. It's... painful, right? 

Full of unbrushed curls, heavy eyeliner, satin dresses, and mirror selfies with ACTUAL cameras. There's way too much bronzer, foundation that doesn't quite match, and a disturbing amount of peep-toe heels.

Watch: Moments of cringeworthy embarrassment caused by kids. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

It's full of tragic beauty and fashion decisions - but tbh, we wouldn't have it any other way.

So, in celebration of the one thing we all have in common, we challenged some brave Mamamia employees to share their most cringe-worthy formal looks. And boy, did they deliver.

Maddie.

"It's the side fringe, invisible eyebrows, and one-shouldered flower affair for me. Oh.... and the diamanté shoes."

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Lily.

"The hair, and the shoes... it's all terrible. Those peep-toe heels were my most prized possession for like five years."

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Emmeline.

"Here's my year 10 formal look, including an on-sale bridesmaid dress and a very different coloured face-to-neck. But my crowning glory is my jewellery which I made myself (and by that I mean printed off pictures from the Internet and lacquered it on with nail polish)."

"The necklaces were The Beatles and The Strokes, my earrings were Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and my bracelet had like The Rolling Stones and David Cassidy??"

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Isobel.

"Unbrushed curls, Manning Cartell dress and my mum’s earrings lol. Plus, a tee-shirt tan line from a tennis tournament that week. And an awkward closed-mouth smile to hide braces, obviously."

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Gia.

"I was also a peep-toe tragic."

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"Year 12 was slightly better, though."

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Tamara.

"Box dyed hair. Deep side part. Dangly beaded earrings. Teal satin cocktail dress."

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Katie.

"I was ill-prepared for my year 12 dance, and so borrowed my friend's mum's dress (and Spanx) and then had to wear a jacket because it didn't zip up. Luckily I think 2010 was a big year for corporate-sequins..."

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Rikki.

"A floor-length red satin dress, curls and a tiara. I was of course front and centre in our group photo."

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Claire.

"A heritage green spaghetti strap full-length gown with a thigh-high slit and a ruffled boob section. I had unbrushed curls and the ugliest platform booties."

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Erin.

"I could't find my year 10 formal photos which is ultimately disappointing (metallic kitten heels, a satin dress and unbrushed curls were involved), but I did find my year 12 formal photos. I wore approximately 343 black bangles, five kilos of purple eyeshadow and didn't fake tan my hands."

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Do you have a tragic formal look you'd like to share? Let us know!

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