Dressed to impress: students share the story behind their prom outfits

While prom is always considered with much anticipation, April 23 of this year marks a particularly special date as the school’s first conventional, in-person prom since 2019. Attire is often at the forefront of students’ prom preparations. Three seniors share the story behind their outfits for what will be their first and last “real” prom:


Senior Mariam Ali

Senior Mariam Ali doesn’t shy away from the chance to stand out. For her prom outfit, Ali is wearing a Pakistani outfit, as she has done for all high school dances.

“[My outfit] is white and gold, and the pants I wear with it [are] tight then loosen up below the knees,” Ali said. “The style is called a gharara. It’s very blinged out: there [are] a lot of jewels on it and the sleeves are net with a gold embroidery.”

At one point, Ali tried to fit in, wearing a more conventional dress to her eighth grade formal. Freshman year homecoming was the first dance where Ali wore Pakistani clothes, and she enjoyed the outfit and the compliments she received. 

“[For] homecoming, I didn’t know what to wear, and I know homecoming dresses are more [traditionally] short,” Ali said. “Being Muslim, I don’t show that much skin. So I [thought,] ‘I can wear one of my dresses: It’s flowy, and I can be covered up and bring more diversity into the group.’”

While her Pakistani outfits make her feel closer to her culture, Ali is also passionate about hair and makeup.

“Hair and makeup are definitely what I’m connected to,” Ali said. “I’m going to do my makeup, [and] I usually go more out on eye makeup. I just love dressing up.”


Senior B. Haynes


Senior B. Haynes’ outfit inspiration came from an unexpected source: a long-time love for anime.

“My prom date and I both share this love for this anime called ‘My Hero Academia’,” Haynes said. “I had kind of mentioned that I wanted to match with her, and the second she showed me her dress, which is red, I immediately thought back to this blue vest I had, and it reminded me of the same outfit a character [wore] in the movie of the anime.”

Haynes’ outfit is inspired by the character Katsuki Bakugo.

“I started putting two and two together and I was just like, if I wear a red long sleeve button up with a vest over it, it would match the character’s energy,” Haynes said. “That’s where the whole idea came from.”

Haynes said “My Hero Academia” has sentimental value to him as he saw his struggle reflected in [the] characters’ struggles with anxiety, and he sees his outfit as representative of him claiming his anxiety.

“I started watching anime [during] freshman year, so it’s like this nice transition,” Haynes said. “I was very anxious back at my old school, and to see the protagonist also deal with his own form of anxiety and to rise above that and become more than anyone thought he was was very sentimental and inspiring for me. I modeled that as best as I could my senior year.”


Senior Unaiza Khakoo

When prom dress shopping, a hefty price tag and hours spent searching for the one seem inevitable. Senior Unaiza Khakoo, however, found her dress at a secondhand store in less than an hour.

“I think I always wanted a vintage dress,” Khakoo said. “I was going to thrift my dress no matter what. I don’t remember a time when I was not thrifting. I have an older sister and my mom likes thrifts so it became a bonding activity for us. It’s always been a fun family activity we did together.”

Khakoo has thrifted all of her dresses for high school dances and said fashion has become more important as she’s gotten more freedom in how she’s allowed to dress. 

“I find a lot of joy in thrifting my clothes just because it feels like a creative process,” Khakoo said. “You’re going through all these clothes and trying to figure out what fits you best and maybe you’re picking something that’s not necessarily conventional — that has added to my experience with fashion.”

Khakoo plans to incorporate pearls with her jewelry and in her hair, and she said the princess vibe will somewhat go with the theme, “Enchanted Forest.” Most of her anticipation, however, comes with the locale of the Perot.

“I don’t have any expectations for [prom] because I just want to enjoy it as it is and have fun with my friends,” Khakoo said. “ I want to take fun pictures with the gems and the dinosaurs. I love the Perot — I used to go there all the time when I was younger, so it’s nice to have a full circle moment for something you did when you were younger and went to elementary school trips on. It feels like an important moment in our life.”