Privilege Blog

When A Brand Surprises

Last week I posted some ideas for fancy dresses under $250, at A Practical Wedding. And of course Sky’s The Limit, Net-a-Porter Let Me At It is easy, at least in our imaginations.

But if you’ve got a real event coming up, you might want some other options. You might want lavish, but at less cost than a small car.

Mother of the Bride, Over 50, Long

Enter Teri Jon. Their slogan is “The perfect dress at the right price and the right size.” Sold often in the Special Occasion salon at Saks Fifth Avenue. When their representative first contacted me about working together, I confess the fashionista in me cocked an eyebrow. But when I looked at their goods, I was surprised.

While the brand may not scream glamor, the clothes do. Or at least they speak in dulcet tones of sophistication with a soupçon of comfort. And the company is working to modernize the brand, just as we, their customers, are doing for the stereotypes of 40 and 50+ women.


Their representative and I worked out an arrangement in which they loaned me a couple of dresses to show you. I get to play at dress up, Teri Jon gets to meet my fantastic readers, and one of you will win a gold dress. Yes, Teri Jon are hosting generous giveaway complete with our usual story-telling.

I thought I’d emulate the traditional lady pose here, hand often on sofa, in front of a painting. Of course, in place of Schumacher-covered splendor and a family portrait we have Pottery Barn’s Pearce sofa and Lily Stockman’s Her Favorite Time Of Day.  Never mind, fancy dress is 50% imagination. The silver lace number above allows room for my non-imaginary midsection.


I didn’t want to take it off. Couldn’t decide if my princess name is Marguerite or Katrina. Worn with crystal-toed Jimmy Choos, gold family bracelet and antique Swedish chandelier earrings, brown-pink Armani lipstick, and a crown braid. Braids are all the rage, and many blowout places will do them for less than the traditional updo. Plus they survive a sleep or two.


Teri Jon also offers cocktail dresses. This one, in a silk gazar, cried out for 40s styling. Hey, the crown braid still works! Just switch out the muted pink lip for a bright red by MAC, and presto change-o Kiss Me Sailor! Earrings by Vicente Agor, and Tan-go ankle strap Mary Janes by Valentino, via Nordstrom.


I pulled an old velvet coat out of the closet. Old as in I bought it in London in 1979. Yes it has some gnarly shoulder pads. Jaeger. Another brand due for modernization, but I digress.




And finally, the dress Teri Jon is giving away. Since it will be yours, I traded the living room for a blank canvas. The land of off-white backgrounds, doors that lead we don’t know where, and Internet cabling. Also known as the Back Hall. Remember I told you my house needs painting? Yup.

The dress, however, shines. I’m wearing Beladora earrings, a gold chain necklace wrapped twice around my wrist because I liked the way the end of it dangled free, and blue-green beaded René Caovilla slingbacks bought for my brother’s wedding. I also added NARS bronzer. The dress insisted.


You can see that even when I’m not holding The Sideways Pose That Slimmed Goliath, the built-in taffeta-sash creates a nice shape.


The lace is interesting, almost chrysanthemum-patterned.


The sequins throw a pattern of light wherever you walk. Notice the glints on the wall, like domestic fireflies. You bring your own red carpet lighting.


The dress comes in sizes 2-18 and is made of polyester and nylon. The giveaway is open in this case only to US readers. Winner will be announced Monday, March 24th.

So please tell us a story of the first time you wore a long dress. You can define “first time” loosely. For me, the tale involves a Houston debutante party. One of the straps of my chiffon halter dress was apparently a little loose, as I danced briefly in a full Janet Jackson. Not to be repeated. Luckily all the dresses here stay put.

Do tell.


No compensation was received for this post. Beladora now sponsors Privilege with an ad in the sidebar. Affiliate links included may generate commissions.
Self-funded hair by Yajaira at Halo, a local salon found here.

83 Responses

  1. I first wore a long dress, my mother’s, to a non-prom held in the seventies
    at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ. It was something she had bought
    in the Caribbean, a medium-blue cotton halter-style, with pale outlines of tropical flowers as background. A new dress wasn’t in the cards so I asked if I could borrow it. I barely filled out the bust and had to stuff tissue paper in the seams. I added a ivory necklace — the only accessory, except for long, straight hair. My date wore a tuxedo (or is that dinner jacket?) We posed for photos
    taken by my father. I’m beaming.

  2. The first time I wore a long dress was graduation from my primary school, a private coed day school on the North Shore of Boston. Plenty of Boston Brahmins were in my class and we dressed the part with girls in long white dresses and boys in navy blazers (gold buttons optional) and khakis with white shirts and ties. I felt like a princess, pure and pretty. It was a lovely memory and the feeling glows out of those old photographs from 30 years ago. Thank you for sharing this company. Beautiful dresses! Go Saks for bringing them to the world.

  3. The “first time” I wore a long dress was to my ninth grade homecoming dance.
    My mom and I went to a women’s boutique downtown and found a beautiful black satin dress that was $300 off–down to $30–because of its strangely small size. This was really a store for women, not a store for 14-year-old girls, so it fit me like a glove (if “fit me like a glove” doesn’t require sitting down). I asked a longtime friend who I had a crush on to be my date. he found out what color my dress was and showed up before the dance with a bouquet of yellow roses interspersed with black glittery stuff. I still have that bouquet dried at home. I had never felt more glamorous or more grown up in my life, and when we showed up to the dance, we were probably the most dressed up couple there.

    It’s appropriate that you mentioned this at that time because my mom and I were going over old photo cards last night and encountered the pictures of that dance!

  4. The first time I wore a long dress was for my junior-senior prom in 1966. It was a lovely color of 2 shades of turquoise. It was a classic. Straight lines and a little lace. Shoes dyed to match. I love also looking at the old photos and seeing the styles and how they can update them. Some are still so classic and need little change.
    Thank you for sharing a wonderful post.

  5. Like most women, my first “long dress” event was a high school dance: the annual Military Ball, hosted by the ROTC, my freshman year. The dress I wore was nothing special – just sprigged cotton with little puffy sleeves (money was tight in our blue-collar home) – but I was insanely thrilled to be able to wear the corsage my date bought (blue-tinged carnations). No debutante balls for me, but still a lovely memory.

    The silver lace gown looks absolutely gorgeous on you, by-the-by.

  6. I never wore a long dress.
    Even at my wedding I was a bit uncomfortable, and had the dress cut a-symmetrically to be less formal.
    I just never been to a formal event.
    But that cocktail dress is beautiful.

  7. Oh, gosh, what a memory, a DREADFUL bridesmaid dress for a cousin’s wedding in the late 60s. Vivid fuchsia, chiffon over taffeta, long sheer sleeves, really terrible. I had red hair then, what was the bride thinking to even include me?

    Other long dresses have been so much better, no wonder that one had been repressed?


  8. Beautiful! Especially the gold one. Love the lace points on the hem. I would be thrilled to own this dress, but alas, gold isn’t my color. Let us know the lucky sturdy gal who will.

  9. Probably 9th grade Cotillion dance. Long white satin sleeveless dress, scooped neck, with a daisy trim at the empire bust and a matching long coat that went over it. I was still pretty flat chested so it required a very foam padded bra-my date bounced off of me whenever he got close. Must have been 1970 because Chicago’s Colour My World was THE slow song to dance to.
    O! And I had my hair piled up on my head in an “up-do”, walked into the house and my brother said “Looks like you sat under a cow. What a huge cow patty on your head.” I immediately washed out my hair and styled it myself.

  10. YEP!I too was a DEB in LA JOLLA………..we actually bought two dresses because by the time the BALL arrived I found one that I liked so much better!MY poor MOTHER!T was a wedding dress I do believe looking back………..Then there was my wedding dress that was long and tight I had to lift the gown to my thighs to climb the stairs in SAN MINIATO AL MONTE in Florence, Italy to arrive in time with the ORGANIST!I adore long gowns……….love that they are in fashion now to wear by day.
    You look SMASHING in the second gown!I think YOU NEED THAT ONE!

  11. I love how you’ve styled these dresses!
    If I had to pick one for you it would be the first one….and the braid is quite chic!
    As I am not a US reader I cannot take part in the story telling but will pop back later and see what others have written.

  12. My first long dress was for a dance when I was 16. It was a marigold yellow skirt with an attached, long sleeved tuxedo style white top, and was belted with the marigold yellow. It was very different from what everyone else wore and I loved that dress so much.

    These dresses look great on you, but you know I’m drawn to more quiet clothing without so much embellishment.

    Love your Valentino shoes and so glad you got them!

  13. No debutante balls for me, either, but I do have very clear memories of my first long dress. Imagine a high school dance in the late 70’s, my Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock glided into the cafeteria, me thrilled to see many others like her. The hippie style was all the rage, though it makes me cringe a little now. Mine was a calico in pastels, complete with dotted Swiss and lace.

    I love that gold dress. The midriff design is very flattering!

  14. I think the first time was a formal party in college. I wore a long qipao bought in Boston’s Chinatown. It was red satin embroidered with a floral pattern. It wasn’t a terribly expensive dress – I could afford it as a college student, after all – but I looked amazing.

  15. What a great collection Lisa and the Teri Jon giveaway dress is a smash hit. I’ll bet that “Sideways pose that slimmed Goliath” slayed Significant Husband. My initial fancy dress moment was as last minute escort to my ‘Estella’. She (along with her mother) demanded I take her to our Prom as her real beau was off at Uni (natch)and being last minute, the only tux available in my size was white. As a late bloomer I then hadn’t quite reached my strapping 5’6″ stature. Since I knew what was coming,a preemptive strike was in order. Upon arrival, I wrestled the mic away from our Class President and with outstretched arm and busboy accent revved up the crowd with “The Plane, The Plane…”

  16. What beautiful dresses and you look stunning in them.

    My first formal dress was for my junior/senior prom in 1971. My mother, who is a beautiful seamstress, made a long gold brocade dress for me which was stunning. Since then, i have worn my long formal dresses and recently to the British Balls which I have been going to for a number of years now. Still I love the memory of my first gown in the beautiful brocade. I have always loved the more elegant fabrics and still do though I seldom wear them any more.

  17. Class Night, my senior year of high school, when we were all presented with our awards and scholarships. Traditionally, girls wore their prom dresses – but I didn’t go to prom, so my mother and I went to Von Maur a few weeks later and got a prom dress on clearance for all of $33. It was black, tank style, with a lace cutout at the midriff. It was 1998, if that doesn’t make it clear.

    At the same time, I got a pair of black suede two inch pumps, which were my very first grown up shoes.

  18. Lovely dresses all! What a fun post. You look amazing in all of them, and I love how you styled each one Lisa.
    My first long dress was for my graduation from Jr. High in 1971. My mother made it–a beautifully tailored, long sleeved number out of pink eyelet. It featured tight sleeves that flared at the wrist, and a big flouncy ruffle at the hem. The trick was to avoid catching my shoe on the ruffle as I walked. A big treat was to get my hair done at the “beauty parlor”–It was poufed on top of my head in a Gibson Girl style, which was all the rage.
    When I see those pictures I don’t recognize myself. I guess that is what dressing up is all about.

  19. I think my first long dress was for junior high school graduation…a gorgeous floaty lavender creation with a matching floral hair comb. I thought I was the bomb. :-)

  20. I first wore a (borrowed) long dress for an enchanted evening at the Moulin Rouge. I was 14, visiting Paris with my high school French class. At 14, I felt decidedly un-pretty; mousy brown hair cut unflatteringly by my mother in the same style as my brothers, braces on my teeth. . . but that night at the Moulin Rouge, I felt very glamorous. All these years later, I remember the color if not the style, but I remember swishing and sashaying and feeling very grown up. And, for once, pretty.

  21. Wow, wow and wow!
    You look stunning in that braid and the soft blue is wonderful on you.
    Jaeger have alas modernised and gone to the dogs, horrible fabrics.

    Well I was of a family which required a long gown for events for every year from the age of 15 or so, my very first was fuchsia and fell into very soft flounces, I still remember being fitted for it with mum at my side.
    It felt transformative in so many ways.

  22. I had to really stop and think about this! MY first occasion for a long dress was for 8th grade graduation. Although, I had worn maxi skirts previously with peasant blouses (born in 1960, Bay Area girl) and love them (still do!)

    But a dress was needed for pomp and young circumstance, in what is now referred to as Middle School. My beauty was from the Gunne Sax outlet in SF, and was my favorite frock for many years to come. Sweet memories!

  23. That gold dress is divine!

    My 1st formal dressing was senior prom. I wore a bridesmaid dress that my aunt wore in her best friend’s wedding.

    I am due for my own lovely frock! Seriously, this is so lovely I hope my 12 yr old neice wants to borrow It for her prom.


  24. Wow, look at you all Red Carpet Ready! Both the silver and gold gowns look fabulous on you, but I especially love that cocktail dress!

  25. The very first long elegant dress I wore was to a work meet and greet at theatro zinzanni in sf. I remember being so happy to not have to wear a suit. It was a cream bias cut gown with small fans embroidered in colored thread and sead beads.

  26. While I love to wear dresses I prefer to skip occasions that are so formal as to require long dresses. I prefer a tea length gown, full skirt; even went with that for my wedding dress. My first long dress was an 8th grade choral performance. Long gowns were required for the orchestral performances I played in as well.

  27. The first time I wore a long dress was to what must be a Southern kind of event called “The Senior Boys’ Dance”–a dance put on by some of the boys of the senior class of my high school. It was February of 1970 and my dress was lovely. Imagine white chiffon with a slightly empire bodice of slightly pearlized sequins with a scroll of pink sequins down the front. My description does not do justice to the confection which was this dress. I floated through the evening (I liked my date a lot!) My long hair was in an updo because my mother insisted and I did not like that part–but after all these years, the photos look pretty good to me. I wore the dress again to my senior prom a few months later (different date and I liked him too). Back in those days, even an 18 year old knew that two long dresses were not in the plan or budget.

  28. My very first long dress was for a band performance in 9th grade. It was also my first time being measured.

    I was a lucky 14 year old in that I didn’t have body image issues, they weren’t something that ever occurred to me to have. So standing in a long closet that smelled of valve oil and anti-static spray, I was taped and measured to fit into a long, black velvet gown. Some of the other students felt embarrassed, or like lab specimens. I felt like royalty, since at the time the only images of a woman’s measurement’s being taken that I’d seen were from Cinderella.

    The day of our first concert came and I, wearing pantyhose (not tights! so adult!) and sensible black kitten heels was given my Size Me dress. I put it on, and the magic of the moment just whooooshed right out of the room.

    It was heavy, itchy, and smelly. I’m not positive they drycleaned the stock of dresses between band seasons. Despite all the princess measuring, it fit like a sack and the seams drooped too far down my shoulders. I had a hard time gracefully maneuvering my french horn that evening.

    But at least I wasn’t wearing generic dress pants and a tuxedo shirt with a clip on bow tie and black button covers, which is what the non-audition band students were wearing, boys and girls alike. For the next concert, I borrowed my mother’s pearls and some body spray.

  29. I’m disqualifying myself because I know that gold won’t suit me, but I still want to tell my story! My first long dress was also my first little black dress, and I wore it to the Chez Panisse cafe over 20 years ago to what I think of as my first adult dinner. We waited *forever* for a table, and had drunk so much coffee by then that I’m surprised we were still able to hold cutlery. They seated us in the alcove over the front of the restaurant, and the sound of the rain dripping on the roof made it seem like we were in our own magical tree house where vegetables tasted like jewels and the salmon like buttercream. That is still one of the best meals I have ever eaten, although the black dress is long faded and retired. Hooray for first fancy dresses, our lives would not be the same without them!

  30. First long dress…Convent boarding school. First formal dance. Blind Date. Somebody’s brother pressed into the role of escort. The nuns carefully checking as we left for the Ball. No cleavage, nothing strapless. Modesty prevails. Chiffon as I remember. Aqua I think, although the photo is black and white. I am smiling out for posterity…as beautiful as I will ever be.

  31. No stories, and no need of a long dress, but I just want to say they are beautiful gowns and look lovely on you.

  32. You look stunning that silver number, just stunning!

    My first formal dress wasn’t long but it was special. When we were 15, we couldn’t go to the school ball but wanted to join in the fun. A group of us decided to have a night out with dessert at a fancy cafe.

    My dress was midnight blue velvet with sequins, a snug bodice and full knee length skirt. My mum altered the high neckline for me into a v neck. I had a midnight blue hair ornament (a big poofy hairclip thing) and grey snakeskin heels.

    We had such fun getting ready and swanning about town in our fancy outfits.

  33. My first long dress was to the 7th grade Spring dance- none of us had a date and at that age we didn’t seem to care! It was by Laura Ashley and I think its still in our dress up box– I need to crawl up in the attic and look- our granddaughter is getting to the dress up stage.

  34. It was for my senior prom; I had worn some fantastic dresses for many other events, but for the Senior Prom, I wanted a long red dress, like Julia Roberts in the Pretty Woman opera scene. We had one made; it was floor length w a slit and spaghetti straps, no other embellishment needed besides my youth and the beauty that came with being youth, healthy and happy. I still love to see pictures and remember how it felt to be so happy and so lovely.

  35. Those dresses all look really amazing on you, particularly the gold one.

    My first long dress was in the 4th grade, 1976. The “Little House on the Prairie” look was all the rage, and my long dress was made of a calico cotton that looked like patchwork. Big poofy sleeves, little ruffled tiers on the skirt, and the whole mess was trimmed in cotton crocheted lace.

    I’d love to win a better dress than that.

  36. I was a child in the 70s, so we wore long dresses a lot of the time. My first formal long dress was a white Gunne Sax dress that I wore to back-to-back events at my high school. I looked ridiculously like a bride, which was not my goal.

  37. I bet I could dig out a picture of my first long dress. It was white with a blue sash. Very simple. My bouffant hair added that wow factor.

    I love, love love you in the braid.

    xo J

  38. 1978. I was a freshman in college. My first bridesmaid experience. Orange-red Quiana fabric AND a big floppy brimmed hat to match. That style hasn’t come back around thankfully.

  39. I was a true child of the 90s – I wore a skirt and blouse to homecoming because it was literally the dressiest thing I had in my closet of jeans and t-shirts, and a short swingy dress to prom too.

    So I really had to think about this and realized that the first “long dress” i ever wore was actually a green sequined sari, in a singing performance with a friend a year after college graduation. I was required to dance too, and somehow that didn’t go terribly.

  40. For the “traditional lady pose,” don’t forget Sargent’s Mme. X. No picture in the background, a table not a sofa, but unforgettable,

    Prof C.

  41. My first long dress was a neon pink, green floral halter wrap dress that my mother sewed for me for my grade 13 graduation. The year was 1973. I truly felt special. I wore my brown hair long– a la Kate Middleton style. I continued to wear that dress for my nursing school dance and then retired it. I pulled it out several years ago to wear to a 1970’s inspired birthday bash–still was able to wear it! I still have it. With fond memories. You look fantastic in all the dresses, loving your blog always.

  42. The first time I wore a long dress, I was going to prom my senior year of high school at a friend’s school. I wore a long champagne lace dress, with a boned bodice and spaghetti straps and a fuller skirt. I thought I looked fantastic. I had been very firm with the young man that we were going just “as friends”, but I think he hoped for more. He insisted we go out to dinner first, which we did, at the Macaroni Grille. After dinner, we went to the prom, where he refused to dance, other than slow dancing. We left after about an hour, and went driving and talking on the narrow and winding roads back to his house. He had to pull over the car at one point, and throw up his entire dinner, not because he had been drinking or anything, but because he was nervous about prom and had gotten carsick. He was mortified. I was horrified (but fairly glad he wasn’t going to try to kiss me later). We stayed friends for years afterwards and would laugh about it. It was about 10 years before I set foot in another Macaroni Grille, though.

  43. I have never in my life worn a long dress; I’m not even sure I’ve tried one on. I pretty much blew off prom and my wedding was in City Hall. And I have to admit, it was the cocktail dress that drew me in. Maybe I’ll try something new for my 20th wedding anniversary, which will be in 2015. We still haven’t thrown that big party we said we would after eloping…

  44. First long dress was lovingly made by my mom for my junior prom. Carolina blue (yes, we lived in NC), halter top, chiffon overlay…that project must have nearly sent her over the edge, but it was simple and lovely and all mine. I’m glad it never occurred to me to feel self-conscious in a homemade dress!

  45. Also non-US, but love hearing these reminisces, what a clever question.

    As an aside, please lord don’t let Jaeger be modernised. It will go the way of Burberry and Hunter and we’ll all be buggered.

  46. Lisa, You look marvelous in all the dresses. I’m not in for the drawing since gold does not suit me. I still love playing dress-up. I once found two lovely full length foral dresses at the local department store marked down to $17 each. At that I price I thought I could purchase them and hope for an occassion. That same year we were invited to a formal weeding. I had great fun wearing my navy silk with sequins on top and a long slit in the skirt.
    I felt beautiful that night.

  47. So beautiful! I get to go to the Marine Corps ball next year, and I’ve been dreaming of getting a gold dress just like that for it! Yes, dreaming already. It’s been 10 years since my wedding and my last long dress.

    Funny enough, my last long dress was a gold one too, for junior prom. It had a full satin skirt with a lace boned bodice, very princess. I went with friends and, introvert that I was, I had an ok time. Thankfully much of that wallflower-ness has worn off over time and I have since learned to dance. But the dress wasn’t a total loss! I had a much better time wearing it a few years later to a family Halloween party with a tiara and a red velvet curtain as a cape, dressed up as the Queen of England!

  48. The dresses are beautiful!

    I especially like the 40s inspired one. I may look into it for a wedding I’ll be attending later this year.

    My first (and only) long dress experience was my wedding gown.

    It was strapless, and just a smidge too loose in the bodice on my wedding day due to the five pounds I lost the week prior to the wedding. However, I’m happy to say I did manage to avert a Janet Jackson-esque wardrobe malfunction that day.

  49. Lisa! I actually gasped at the photo of you in the cocktail dress – perfect cut, color, drape, I don’t even know – so beautiful!

  50. The first time I wore a long dress (and perhaps the only time), was for a band performance in high school. I was so scared I was going to trip on the hem!

  51. My white wedding dress. It had long sleeves and a long train with my husband’s initials embroidered in beads. (They were “shh”). The petticoat started falling off during the reception so my maid of honor helped me get it off in a hallway and we returned to the party and dancing. I still have the dress in a box. My husband passed away eight years ago. Our wedding was also the last time I wore a long dress. With this splendid gold dress, however, I would be set for wearing a long dress for the second time at my second wedding.

  52. Ugh…bad memory. It was my senior year of high school and I had FINALLY been asked to go to a dance: The Winter Cotillion. I went shopping with my mom and found the dress of my dreams, a “Gunne Saxe” by Jessica something or other, (remember those?), floral print, lace-up front, boho style long frock that a hippie going to Woodstock would’ve worn, if it had been a formal occasion.

    A week before the dance, several of us girls were enthusiastically describing our dresses, when my heart sank as I realized that two other girls had I had enough pride that I wasn’t willing to walk into a small event (there were 90 kids in my senior class and only about a third of them attending the cotillion) looking like a humiliated triplet. So, I decided to put my sewing skills to use and made a grey wool plaid maxi with a matching shawl that I paired with a white turtleneck sweater. Trust me, no one else had on my ensemble. And I had to answer condescending questions about where I got my skirt all night.

    While I can now say, “Good for me for being an individual!” I seriously wish I had kept my dream dress. I still want to go to “prom” at age 53. Maybe this dress would replace a bad memory with a good one, yet to be determined.

  53. The first time I remember wearing a long dress was when I was around 10. My grandmother bought a navy and white polka dot halter dress with a sailor collar. She brushed my long hair til it shone, then took my brother and sister and me out to dinner in New Orleans. I felt like a princess!

  54. Having come of age in the era of the Maxi dress – it was not unusual to wear a long dress for everyday activities (or at least not super special events) – the first long dress that felt “special” probably was as a bridesmaid (that felt much more special than “prom” in HS with dates, but no love).

  55. The dresses are all beautiful.
    My first long dress was my Junior Dinner Dance Dress. It was white eyelet and with ribbons that crossed the bodice and came up to the shoulders as straps. I wore it with Capezio flats. Love’s Fresh Lemon cologne and Bonne Bell’s bright blue eye shadow finished off my very 70’s look!
    I was 5’9″ and my date was about 5’2″. My dad left a box out on our front stoop so my date could kiss me goodnight.

    1. @Siobhan Hill, Oh, I’m there right next to you in this reverie! This recollection describes my teen tears perfectly (as I wipe a tear from my eye).

  56. The first time I wore a long dress was prom. While most girls went for the ball gown, I found a beautiful long, slender black mermaid gown with white taffeta on the sides. It instantly reminded me of “My Fair Lady” and I insisted on wearing long white sleeveless gloves. Looking back, I still love that dress! It was and remains classic!

  57. I’m entering for my mom. She has NEVER worn a fancy long dress, and with my wedding coming up in August, this would be such a thrill for her. At all fancy events she has worn knee length dresses, including at her wedding and every other person’s wedding she has ever been to. I think she has always thought a long dress is too fancy for her, but really she is a fancy beautiful lady who would rock this dress! As much as my wedding is my day, it is also a really important day for her, and I want her to be stunning!

  58. The first time I wore a long dress was to kindergarten graduation. I was four. It was green with flowers, had white puffed sleeves, and had a bodice that laced up the front. I put it on that morning even though graduation wasn’t until late afternoon, and wouldn’t take it off. Not even to run through the sprinklers with my best friend Kim, an activity we usually did stark naked. The dress was still damp as I received my diploma.

  59. The first time I wore a long dress with at Trinity Ball in Dublin, Ireland.
    It was beautiful gold Lemay with spaghetti straps. I was sitting down and kept leaning forward to hear the soft-spoken Irishman more clearly and inevitably showing off my cleavage pretty heavily! The dress ended the night in a Dublin workingman’s bar at 7am. I had such a wonderful time and felt do glamorous (and one really needs as much glamour as possible in a Dublin bar at 7am!)

  60. The first time I wore a long dress has to have been for my aunt and uncle’s wedding in 1996, when I walked as a Jr. Bridesmaid. I remember feeling so grown-up (I was about 11 or 12) because it was the same style that all the older ladies were wearing (a coral two-piece ensemble with a pencil skirt and an off-the-shoulder top…very 90’s lol). I remember the skirt was so tight that I ended up ripping it up the seam during the night while I was dancing. Of course I wanted to wear it over and over again after the wedding, but sadly a 12 year-old doesn’t usually have too many fancy parties to go to! By the time I had my next formal party to go to the dress was of course too small (and kind of out of style). I would love to win this for my aunt, who is fronting the money for my 17-year-old cousin to be in my wedding in October and most likely won’t have the opportunity to buy something for herself – I feel it would be wonderful for her to feel just as glamorous as the rest of my bridesmaids will on my wedding day :)

  61. I was invited to the prom (as a tenth grader!). I loved going shopping with my mom to pick out a dress. She bought me a poofy one (of course) with black satin-y smooth material draped diagonally over white tulle. I got tons of compliments from the teachers while trying to avoid my date (who I’d realized *liked* liked me when I didn’t feel the same).

    The gold dress would look wonderful on my mom!

  62. The first long dress I remember wearing was an ivory flowy thing I bought for a formal dance when I was 18. It was really beautiful. It still is, actually – it’s still in my closet, after 15 years, even if I haven’t worn it anymore. Being ivory, it’s not suitable for weddings which are the only occasions I would have had to wear it.
    It’s the first elegant dress I ever saw that had pockets. Since then, I firmly believe that every dress and every skirt should have pockets. I’m having them added to my wedding dress, actually.
    And my mom would look stunning in gold next to me ;)

  63. The first time I wore a long dress it was too prom and it was HIDEOUS! It was electric blue and clingy in all the wrong places. I grew up in a smallish town with not a lot of options for busty girls like me so I settled for sure! I’m so glad that I live in a big city now with plenty of options so I never have to settle again!

  64. You look beautiful in the silver gown. Well in all of them really, but the silver really shines.

    The first time I wore a long dress was when I was initiated as a Rainbow Girl when I was 12. It was a beautiful white cotton dress, empire line, sleeveless, with a flared skirt that just floated in a graceful way when I walked. I remember how proud I was when one of the older ladies complimented me on how gracefully I walked in a long dress. That was my favorite dress from my Rainbow Girl years, and I never followed up and followed in my mom’s footsteps to join Eastern Star. I still love dressing up though and have been lucky enough to have opportunities in my lifetime.

  65. The world inside my mother’s walk-in closet was a dreamland. Filled with long elegant dresses I dreamed of wearing. The first full length dress I ever wore, I tried on illicitly in that closet dreamland, surrounded by taffeta, silk, and chiffon. The faux Asian style of the dress fascinated me. The silk covered buttons, the high collar, the white trim on the elegant black–I loved them all. I walked around that closet admiring myself in the mirror until I heard my mom calling me for dinner. Years later when my mom gave the dress away I was horrified, even though it was horrendously out-of-date and no where near as pretty as the above dresses.

  66. Junior prom! It had a black bodice, piped in turquoise. Skirt was tulip shaped, and the finest turquoise metallic fabric the mid 1980’s could muster. If only my ceiling high bangs did not take away from the drama (!) of that dress.

  67. My sophomore year in high school I got a call on the afternoon of the Spring Prom asking if I would go on a double date to the prom. My “date” would be Mark, an impossibly cool fellow with long hair, aviator glasses and a blue/gray Army surplus overcoat that I had a secret crush on.

    My mother, thinking this was not a befitting invitation suggested that I shouldn’t go on such short notice, but I wouldn’t hear of it.

    She relented and lent me her new dress, never mind that the dress was a size 6 and I was an 11/12. It was sleeveless column style, with a high mandarin neck, in a red, white and black print with a border around the hem in a stretchy 70s-era polyester knit. I must have worn shoes and carried a bag, but the details dissolved in my excitement over this out-of-the-blue dream date.

    The date memorable. Eileen, the other girl, gave me the evil eye when I didn’t order the least expensive entrée at dinner and once we got to the dance all three –Tim, Mark and Eileen- disappeared to the parking lot to do something that probably wasn’t legal. I ended up dancing the night away to “American Pie” and “Bang a Gong” with friend Gail, who oddly had been the only person I’d told of my secret crush.

    The experience cemented in me a “build it and they will come” attitude towards my wardrobe. If you wait until you have an event to get something to wear you’ll end up wearing a too-small polyester print dress on your dream date.

  68. The first time wore a long dress… The first memory that comes to mind is definitely my parents’ wedding, when I was three years old. My mother had purchased a soft pink silk ballgown, exactly my teeny-tiny baby size, and embellished it with lace and rosettes, and matching gloves (I was insistent on the gloves, because “princesses wore gloves!” This same insistence also assured that my first-ever ice skating adventure the following year was experienced in just tights, a pink tutu, and a cardigan, because “Kristi Yamaguchi doesn’t wear a coat, Mama!”)
    At some point, after the ceremony and in the middle of the posed-on-church-steps photo series, my eldest brother (ten years my senior) picked me up and held me at his waist, my little feet dangling below in slippers that matched my gloves- obviously. He was wearing a tuxedo with a burgundy bowtie, and I remember noticing that his bowtie was a little crooked, so I reached over and straightened it, pulling it tight on each side. The photographer asked me what I did, and I told him I fixed my brother’s tie, and he asked me to do it again. The photo of the two of us is still my mother’s favorite from that day, and it’s the first time I remember wearing a long dress. That photo was taken 20-some years ago, and it’s still a favorite of mine, too.

  69. Oh my goodness you look beautiful in these gorgeous dresses. These are quite exquisite in their detail and splendor. I can tell you like them?

    The first time I wore a long dress was junior prom in a small town high school in Iowa. My class consisted of 18 young men and women right off the farm. Trust me a ball gown was about as far away as the thought of getting on a plane to Paris.

    My parents had just lost our farm during “the farm crisis” in the 70’s so they absolutely had no money for a dress or just about anything else. I loved sewing, a neighbor lady and my grandmother cobbled together an education on how to use the machine and I made a dress.

    I made an vogue designer dress, the hardest dress to construct possible, which I wore later to my college graduation. It was in whisper pink with a long multi layered skirt and camisole with a wide pleated comberbun at the waist. Topped off with a hand tailored tuxedo jacket in the same pale hue. I loved this dress and would wear it today. I don’t remember my date but I sure do remember the dress. Sewing my dress was so much more memorable an any dress I could have purchased.

    blue hue wonderland

  70. I love that gold dress! My first long dress was gold like this, but strapless. I wore it to prom and felt beautiful, since gold accentuates my pale skin and red hair. Great giveaway!

  71. Lisa,

    You look fabulous in that dress. I recently helped a friend choose a Mother of the Groom dress long distance. Many of her choices were Teri Jon. I eloped for both of my weddings and wore short dresses for my son’s two weddings. So
    I guess my first long dress was for a medical party in Boston in the 60’s. My husband was a resident, and we had zero funds. I rented a long green chiffon column halter dress. I wore it with the whitey pinky beige lipstick of the day. I look back on that as one of my finest evening dresses. I absolutely adored it.
    I think I had about 5 or 6 pieces in my wardrobe at the time. Best days of my life. Now I long for the simplicity of less…but am grateful for all that i have. How lovely that such a deserving candidate won that stunning dress.

  72. My first long dress was for a senior prom at a Jesuit Boy’s high school in 1968. It had an empire waist, a square neckline, and was sleeveless. The bodice was forest green covered with cotton lace. The skirt and detached back panel were white silk satin. My hair, which had started out as an undo, ended up being brushed out and styled in a flip with bangs, a la Marlo Thomas in “That Girl”. The dress served me well that year at another prom at my own high school. My date was the recent ex-boyfriend of a good friend. He invited me to make her jealous. She wanted me to go to keep an eye on him. It was a very awkward and unhappy evening. As it happened, during dinner before the prom, I had swept the back panel onto my lap so as not to wrinkle it by sitting on it. We had lobster and in reaching for my white napkin to dab the butter from my greedy little lips I grabbed the silk panel instead. The butter stain never did come out and I never wore the dress again.

  73. I wore my first long gown, like many others, during the 70s when it was de rigeur to wear them for many occasions from weddings to the symphony. My grandmother made my first one at 8 of silver brocade as a “wedding gown” for my dress-up trunk but that doesn’t quite count as one I chose for myself. I THINK my first may have been a hand-me-down 60s turquoise square-collared, short-sleeved, Empire-waisted number with a center inverted pleat. The square-cut back was low and anchored with a self-fabric tailored bow. To take it out of bridesmaid-mode, I bought a yellow & turquoise embroidered chain-flower trim with green leaves which I sewed on the front of the dress on the bodice. I wore no jewelry save small 6-7mm cultured pearl studs. I wore it to the Banquet of a national convention of a Ukrainian Orthodox youth league to which I was a delegate from my church parish.

  74. you look amazing. my dress – another gunnie sax – Jessica Mclintok. white, lace, more lace, ruffles, lace, high neck…I loved it. I was going to a senior prom at a fancy boys school on Long Island. with a very wealthy boy in a very fancy car. He was sweet and I loved the dress but I remember feeling out of place – I think I was only a sophmore and most girls were seniors wearing much more revealing strappy items. I don’t know what happened to that dress….and just saw a photo from my senior prom in a fabulous rasberry colored dress – halter (a favorite – wedding dress too) – understated with some ruffles around the top, simple long skirt. Still love that color. I am glad you picked the mom to win the dress.

  75. I love the silver dress. I am looking for a dress for my daughter’s wedding. My problem has been that most dresses are too tight around the “belly”. Did this dress have room in that area?

Comments are closed.