There have been many stories recently from social media, showing girls and boys heading to their High School prom in traditional West African dress, sometimes with matching outfits for their date as well.
This is a wonderful development, mixing the traditional High School prom with other elements of these teenagers’ upbringing and heritage, and the photos of these proud students have inspired more and more of their peers to do the same when it comes to choosing their prom outfit.
For girls, in particular, the dress is the key part of this event. In much the same way as a bride wants to have the perfect dress for her wedding day, girls are seeking a dress for prom which expresses who they are as they go out into the world as adults after graduation. Many girls have the option to make their own dress for prom, using West African fabric and traditional prints as the basis of their creations.
Making their own dresses is the best way to ensure that potential prom queens are able to get the very best fit, as well as being able to choose their own style. With wax prints, it’s possible to find a colour and style which expresses the wearer’s individual personality, because of the huge range of colours and styles to choose from.
For an occasion as important and formal as a prom, dresses can be finished with lace or brocade for that more expensive appearance, taking them away from being everyday garments and marking them out as very special gowns.
Of course, no prom outfit would ever be complete without the right shoes and bag. Because of the variety of colours present in many West African fabrics, there are usually several different colours of shoes and bags that would go well with each dress. The most important thing, as any prom queen will tell you, is that the shoes and the bag are matching.
Some girls also opt to wear a head-tie. Whilst this is an alternative to a tiara, it is no less splendid, and attracts just as much admiration and attention as any jewels.