My favorite part about any school dance was always picking out what dress I would wear. I loved going to the store with my mom and trying on a bunch of dresses until I found the one that suits me. The one that immediately makes me say, “This is the one.” Very few times in my life will I have a reason to get all dolled up. The other time will probably be my wedding which is years away in the future. 

I did not have a prom during my junior or senior year of high school because of COVID-19. I didn’t even have a homecoming dance during my senior year, but I did have a homecoming dance during my freshman, sophomore and junior years.

Anyway, back to the dress, I knew it was the one when I saw myself in it. It was burgundy and had a corset back and jewels around the pocket. You heard that right, pockets! The pockets were deep, and I could put my phone in them and not worry about it falling out while dancing. The pockets were a lot deeper than standard jean pockets. The dress hit just above my knees. The best part of it was a petticoat built into the dress, making it poofy, and I could twirl in it. I was living my Disney princess dreams. I had a faux leather jacket that I picked up a day earlier at Charlotte Russe to give my dress some extra flare and because it was cool for the night. The shoes were silver and sparkly, strappy kitten heels but very uncomfortable. I remember all the girls dancing barefoot by the end of the night. High heels were scattered everywhere on the Heymann Center ballroom floor. 

The dress fit my personality perfectly. It was colorful but still understated. I did not want anything too loud, you know? I was not trying to impress anyone; I only wanted to make myself happy. And I did make myself happy. 

I wore this dress for the first time at my sophomore year homecoming. At my freshman homecoming, I wore the dress from my eighth-grade dance. This will become a recurring pattern for me because I would wear the burgundy dress at my junior year homecoming again. And yes, I still wore the very uncomfortable silver kitten heels. People are right when they say “beauty is pain” sometimes. I firmly believe it is okay to wear the same dress, especially if you feel confident. In my experience, no one will notice you are wearing the same dress. They will still compliment you on it. 

My dress was the perfect outfit. The burgundy dress is just a very versatile garment. It can be worn at weddings and parties, or maybe you just want to wear the dress around the house because sometimes you want to feel fancy for no reason. The dress would make its third appearance at a close friend of mine’s graduation party. The dress code for the celebration was formal. But do not worry, the silver kitten heels did not get invited to this event. This time I wore black block-strappy heels. They were a little more bearable to wear. 

My school dances might have disappeared because of a global pandemic, but I still cherish my memories. The burgundy dress is a tangible reminder of all the good times, and I can’t wait to discover what the future may hold.