It's a very different time for teenagers today than it was when we at Fashionista were in high school. Instagram didn't exist, nor did Tumblr or Vine or even Facebook in its current mega-platform iteration. Kendall and Kylie Jenner were but wee children, and choker-style necklaces were still very much A Thing from their first time around. And at my prom, the song that elicited the most excitement from the dance floor was Usher's "Love in This Club." So, that ages me.
Unfortunately/fortunately, the styles that were so aggressively popular at our respective proms have since gone on to the sartorial graveyard. But, what if we adults were suddenly able to peel years off our ages and attend prom in 2016? Could you imagine the possibilities?! Well, we took it upon ourselves to think up our dream prom outfits for the present day, no holds barred. $5,000 Saint Laurent biker jackets? Sure, why not! $8,500 Gucci gowns and $1,100 clutches and $815 rings emblazoned with F-bombs? The more extravagant and expensive, the better.
Scroll through below to check out everyone's picks.
Alyssa Vingan Klein, Executive Editor
The two most prominent styles of dress at my waspy Virginia Beach high school were full-on prep and laid-back surfer, but I never fell comfortably into either camp. I fancied myself to be a bit more rock and roll and paid close attention to trends in fashion magazines, although I generally played it safe when it came to my outfit choices. However, if I could go to prom again tomorrow, I'd definitely channel Kate Moss and pair a slinky, sexy dress with a tough leather jacket — basically something in line with the Saint Laurent spring 2016 aesthetic. Though I was never really Prom Queen material, I might even top the whole thing off with a grunge tiara.
Dhani Mau, Editorial Director
I actually wore a fairly minimalist satin dress to my prom, but it was shorter, really unflattering and black, just like literally everyone else's. Today, I'd go for a more elevated version of comfy minimalism. I love the gold chain on the back, which these subtly glam Catbird earrings would tie into nicely. I'd keep my beauty look pared back and within the pinkish color palette — I think dusty rose falls nicely in between the pale pink dress and black accessories.
Tyler McCall, Deputy Editor
I wore a short dress to prom both years I went, and I don't regret a thing. It's all about being young and having fun, so I would keep the beauty fresh and simple, and definitely take advantage of the opportunity to play with accessories!
Chantal Fernandez, Senior Editor
If I were going to prom now, I'd want to wear something easy and flirty, with shoes that let me get my dance on. I love this bold, printed MSGM dress. The shoulder situation is trendy and youthful, but it's not too girlie. I'd pair it with a cat-eye and pastel mules. The bag can be simple and classic, as long as it fits a instant film camera perfect for party-friendly documentation.
Maura Brannigan, Senior Editor
Though I'm actually still obsessed with my prom dress (short, and in the prettiest white eyelet lace), I'd probably gravitate towards something of the Alessandro Michele-for-Gucci variety today. This gown, with its punchy frills and deep neckline, would provide a nice mix of prim and daring. I'd trade any uncomfortable heels for sneakers (the dress in question is long enough to cover them, anyway), and would pair it with a mix of coordinating accessories. As for the jewelry? Well, let's just say this: One ring goes for something more subdued, while the other has a bit more bite.
Maria Bobila, Associate Editor
If I was a teenager right now, I would probably be as obsessed with the Jenners as I was — wait, still am — with the Olsens, so my prom gown would obviously be from Balmain. Plus, now that I've gone to my fair share of formal evening events, I'd also provide my past self with a few things that value comfort over convention: Instead of a tiny clutch, I'd sport a luxe backpack big enough to store the sneakers I'd swap into post-group photos. And I would totally be that girl on the dance floor with a selfie stick.
Gemma Kim, Editorial Assistant
I thought I'd go for something long and dramatic since I wore a short, unfussy dress for prom, but then I took one look at this Narciso Rodriguez number and knew immediately that this would be "the one." It's classic, minimal and easy — basically, the opposite of what you'd expect to find in a typical prom dress. As for accessories, I'd go with these Stuart Weitzman heels (since they go with everything) and splurge on this mini laser-cut leather clutch by Alaïa.
Fawnia Soo Hoo, Contributing Editor
I feel like an Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent (sniff, sniff) dress is just made for prom. Well, fantasy "Gossip Girl" prom, if Jenny Humphrey won the lottery or stole something from Lily van der Woodsen's '80s dress archive. And I'd add a bunch of sporty elements, like white leather sneakers, in an ode to the Delia's catalogs of yore. Plus, a designer bomber is the closest my nonathletic (and non-football-bro-dating) high school self would ever get to wearing a varsity jacket, anyway.
Homepage photo: MTV