The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

Seniors shop for prom outfits

Erin Caplan
Current seniors Michaela Boeder and Jillian Hilwig and class of 2023 seniors Scout Pollack, Teona Cherey and Raya Arora, pose for photos before prom 2023.

Prom is arguably one of the most important days in all of high school, with all of the glitz, glam and the undeniable search for the perfect outfit. This year, prom takes place Friday, May 17 at the Rockville Hilton, which has been RM’s go-to location for many years. Tickets  will start selling to seniors only on April 29.

As the countdown begins, every single detail from the dazzle of the shoes to the swoosh of the hair becomes a mission. One day a year, students ditch their pajama pants and Ugg slippers for over-the-top dresses and all kinds of suits and ties. Or do they? Prom has changed tremendously over the years. 

“Back in the 90s, big puffy dresses were all the rage in addition to the girls wearing their hair with as much volume as possible,” health teacher Randy Thompson said. 

Nowadays, the style is much more simple, with the most popular style last year being silk dresses for ladies and black suits for guys, according to The Quality Edit

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The hardest part about prom is the endless weeks of preparation when shopping. 

“I have looked just about everywhere and I still can’t find a dress,” senior Lujan Izquierdo said. 

Some students, on the other hand, have an easy time finding prom outfits because they know where to go. “I bought my prom dress from Deja Vu, a boutique in Mount Airy, which is about an hour from Rockville,” senior Jamie Schutz said, “It was the first and only store I went to. I knew of it because I got my Bat Mitzvah dress there about five years ago, so I just went back.” 

My little sister and I have been planning prom dress shopping since as long as I can remember.

— Tori Dziasek

While prom is still a once-in-a-lifetime event, it has become duller than it once was. 

“It is time to bring back bright puffy dresses!… When I went to prom even the guys wore bright-colored tuxedos,” Mr. Thompson said.

In addition to prom not having the exact allure it once had, the way students at Richard Montgomery shop for their prom outfits has changed. Years ago, prom shopping was almost always done in person. It was crucial to get a feel for exactly how the dress or suit looked on you, how it hugged every curve, or how it hung in an unflattering way. Now, the majority of people shop online. 

“I have only shopped online. I’m too lazy to go in person. Also, I don’t even know where to look, that isn’t online,” senior Rafy Rodriguez said. 

As Roderiguez stated, many students don’t even know where to go shopping. It is much easier to find the perfect prom outfit with the push of a few buttons. 

One popular place people shop online is Lulu’s, a boutique that sells formal wear., or Revolve, a  store that sells external brands online, with a notable price range. But despite the innovations in dress shopping, some students still go  to the department store to try on dresses in-person.

Senior Sophia Eisenberg, meanwhile, hates dress shopping. “The mall sucks. It’s bright. I get a headache. I’m a petite person,” she said. “It’s really hard to find things that fit me and are flattering.”

Following a tradition of DMV teens, class of 2023 members visited the National Mall before prom 2023. (Erin Caplan)

As an alternative, she is taking the “Pretty in Pink” route: making her dress from scratch. It is also her first time making a dress, though her grandmother has taught her how to sew. “I did some sketching in a journal. I took my own measurements. I looked on the sewing Reddit and found someone who made a dress that I really liked,” she said. Eisenberg even bought her own fabric from Mood, the fabric store featured in the show “Project Runway.” “It’s really scary and it’s also a big thing,” she said. “I don’t want to mess it up.

Just in case, Eisenberg has a backup dress in store: her mom’s engagement dress, which she is proud of due to the emotional connection it brings between her and her mom.

 Senior Tori Dziasek also has valued familial connections with prom dress shopping. “My little sister and I have been planning prom dress shopping since as long as I can remember,” she said. “We were planning on always going together to try on a million prom dresses or something. So, I’m going shopping with Olivia this weekend.”

Esienberg noted the importance of prom as a high school tradition. “This is a big milestone that a lot of us go through and it’s sentimental to high school,” Eisenberg said. “It’s an amazing way to bring my family into this milestone.”


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About the Contributors
Raha Murtuza
Raha Murtuza, Editor-in-Chief
Raha is super excited to spend her senior year as Editor-in-Chief of The Tide! Before being EIC, she wrote for Sports and Arts, and then became an editor for Arts. When she's not at school or working on all things Tide, she enjoys painting, visiting Trader Joe's and listening to the best record label on Earth, Habibi Funk.
Elena Parisi
Elena Parisi, Features Editor
Elena Parisi is a senior and is so excited to be back as a Features Editor. This is her third year with The Tide, after being a Features writer and a Features asistant editor. Besides The Tide, her passions include dancing, practicing Spanish and listening to music.