Oh, the Sleeves! The Sleeves!

My parents recently moved to our city, and in the process they cleaned out their attic.  They determined that since I am now a grown-up, it was time I kept up with my own high school keepsakes.  Like, whatEVer.

It’s been a hoot going through it all–if you’re all very nice and well-behaved, I might even print some excerpts from my senior-year diary.  Because OH MY WORD I don’t know who that girl was, but she wasn’t from this planet. 

The best keepsakes have been my big stash of formals and majorette uniforms.  I swear, they all still smell faintly of Final Net.  I’m not sure why I insisted my mom keep them.  I think I honestly expected that my future life would be so sophisticated that I would be in dire need of a great stash of formalwear.

First up is my prom formal from 11th grade.  Can we all just pause for a moment of silence at the memory of my waist actually being this size?  If I pulled this on today, it wouldn’t get up past my knees:


Next was my 9th-grade majorette uniform.  That flesh-colored elastic strap was on my uniform only, not the other girls’, thanks to my, um, lack of "endowment".  I wept many tears over that elastic strap:


Next was a dress I wore in the Miss Mayberry High School pageant, in which I was a runner-up not once, not twice, but a whopping three times.  Could you just die over the square rhinestone belt buckle?


This was my senior prom dress.  Now, let me just tell you that this dress was the creme de la creme of my high school experience.  My mom and I shopped and shopped for this most perfect garment in which to end my high school career.  From the looks of all the chiffon ruffles, clearly I went out with a bang:


Here, you have to see the back.  I clearly remember thinking that it was so beautiful, I might wear it again for my wedding.  Can you imagine?


But wait, there’s more!

This was my majorette uniform in 12th grade.  Now that I look at it, don’t those gold things kind of look like hands?  Kind of creepy:


Sleeves8_2 Last is the set of pompons the majorettes used my junior year.  Yes, majorettes with pompons.  There was a horrible uproar between the Mayberry High School majorettes and cheerleaders over this issue–horrible, let me tell you.  Oh, there were dirty looks and snide comments and nasty notes.   The very foundations of the earth trembled.   

Really, wasn’t high school such a fine preparation for the serious issues we would face later in life?

Thus concludes my little fashion jaunt down memory lane.  Thanks for coming along.  I have to go now, because I’m feeling the strangest urge to go tease my bangs.


Posted in: Fun

76 thoughts on “Oh, the Sleeves! The Sleeves!

  1. cardiogirl says:

    Oh, but I had so much fun taking the “Trip Through Rocks In My Dryer’s Past.” Might you have a rare photo of a teenage Shannon actually modeling one these fancy frocks?
    I must agree; the tribulations that ensue during one’s high school years are excellent preparation for life’s real issues.

  2. dcrmom says:

    What a hoot!!! And oh, the drama of high school PALES in comparison to the drama in my neighborhood. Seriously. It’s unbelievable. I didn’t know adults could be so immature and hateful. Sorry for the tangent.
    And oh that DOES look like hands on the majorette uniform. Weird.
    Well, that’s a fun jaunt down memory lane. I’d be terrified to post pix of my highschool formal wear. That would just be unkind.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I remember that 1st uniform! I believe I was on the FLAG LINE that year!! Being that I was ahead of you, though, (which sounds so much better than saying “older”) I do not remember the rift with the cheerleaders. Wow. Crossing those is Mayberry is, like, whoa… Ha.

  4. Tammy says:

    Could be worse – the 70’s!!
    I wonder what became of the cheerleaders who thought their lives were over because you had pom-poms as a majorette!!How could you!!

  5. peach says:

    Now Corrie will have the most fabulous box of dress up clothes in the neighborhood. Everyone will want to come to your house for such fine and fashionable choices for dress up.
    The hands feeling up your majorette uniform . . . definitely creepy.

  6. chocolatechic says:

    Save them. Your grand daughters will love to play dress up.
    Then you can show them pictures of you in said outfit, and produce fits of laughter and fun.
    First, we need to see the pictures.

  7. Jill says:

    I recently put all my old formals into DD’s dressup box – and her waist is nearly as big as mine was when I was a senior, and she is 8! Something about all the glitter that draws little girls in – every girl who comes over plays wedding or prom!
    The only thing missing from your collection is a jacket with monster shoulder pads! (or maybe a pair of parachute pants!)

  8. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

    I found my Senior Year journal last weekend and was thinking of publishing a few riveting exerpts to my blog, too. I show ’em mine if you show ’em yours! πŸ˜‰ And then we can run off to the bathroom giggling and talk about boys and tease our bangs. I have a little travel-sized Final Net in my purse for just such an occasion. Remember how that stuff used to make those cold-donut-glaze flakes on your scalp? Glargh!

  9. Jes says:

    These are great. I’ve only been out of high school for 7 years, at first i wanted to hang on to everything. I still had the majority of my notes from my friends- oh how I miss the note passing days. I had my prom dress, my cap and gown… all that stuff. Only problem was my mom moved around a lot, so I had to keep track of all of it. Yah I gave up. My notes were the first to go. Then my graduation gown, then my prom dress. Last but not least was my cap. I still have my tassel- but aren’t we supposed to keep those forever? oh and no, it’s not hanging from my rear view mirror. Seeing your post about all of your high school stuff makes me glad I got rid of mine πŸ™‚

  10. Rebecca says:

    Oh, you Americans. You crack me up πŸ˜‰ I had one ball dress, for when I was 18 and left 6th form. It was purple. I still wear the skirt. It’s beautiful, it has silver stuff all along the bottom.
    Please please PLEASE post extracts from your diary. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours….

  11. Jill says:

    This should be some sort of carnival. I still have my dresses too. I would love to surf the blogosphere looking at the skeletons in other’s fashion closets.

  12. carrie says:

    So Funny–thanks for sharing!
    For more fashion confessions, you should read the “Your Words” section in the September issue of Real Simple. I laughed so hard I was crying!

  13. Gail says:

    Save them! Your daughter and future granddaughters will have a ball playing dress up! My MIL made my SIL a black formal many many years ago, saved it and both of my daughters have actually WORN it to functions, so fun….just a long, basic black halter dress.

  14. Toblerone says:

    Love the back of your prom dress. I laughed out loud!
    I do like the idea of a Blog Prom, though I’ll seriously have my mom dig through their attic for that one…

  15. Irene says:

    You and I must have gone to high school during the same years because I have dresses that look like that. Actually, yours are a bit more tasteful than mine are. Imagine that!

  16. Shalee says:

    Well, I wept many a times over my lack of “endowment” and I didn’t have an elastic strap to spur me one. I did have the audacity to wear a STRAPLESS formal to my prom and I danced in it for many an hour. Please don’t ask me how it stayed on my skinny, no-boobs body. It was a miracle up there with feeding the 5,000…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I think I’m going to need to see pictures of the dresses on the night they were worn.:)

  18. ellen b says:

    L.O.L. “those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end” Thank goodness they did end (the fashion part) not the small waist part 😦

  19. Stacey says:

    Those clothes are like totally rad! I LOVE the bow on the back of your prom dress!
    Isn’t it funny to re-visit the fashions you once loved? Thanks for the giggles!

  20. Emily says:

    Oh Shannon, that was too funny! Now we should all guess how old you are based on your fashion statements in high school. πŸ™‚
    I never kept any of my old dresses or uniforms (the SHORT shorts in track were horrific enough at the time, I certainly didn’t want to keep them!) but now I’m almost wishing that I did, just for the laughs later!

  21. Darlene says:

    This is my first visit to your blog and wow, were we not just stylin’? I look back at my dresses with the big ol’ puffy sleeves and say “what was I thinking?”
    Thanks for sharing your walk down memory lane!

  22. Jenny from Chicago says:

    Love the Senior Prom dress almost as much as the sentiment, “I clearly remember thinking that it was so beautiful, I might wear it again for my wedding”. too. too. too. funny.

  23. mama2tlc says:

    You always make me laugh! Thanks. Now we all know where Goodwill gets those dresses. I always wondered if they’d just been sitting on the rack for the past 10-15 years.

  24. Mrs. U says:

    HAHHAAAA!!! First off, MY parents still have all MY old high school things, too!!! HAHAHAAA!!!!
    I think we must be about the same age. My prom dresses look similar. Sadly. I wasn’t a majorette, but I did cheer. I cannot FATHOM wearing those little tiny outfits in public now!!! I would SCARE people!!
    Mrs. U

  25. Christy says:

    I have a very similar box of items at my mothers house – drill team, cheerleading, every formal dress. I dread the day that she makes me store them at my house.

  26. Desi says:

    OH MY, my stomach hurts from laughing.
    and you are so right, there is no drama like high school drama. Must be why God had the sence of humor to give me 3 girls spaced 4 years apart, so you know… I got the drama thing for 12!!years straight. Aint God funny!?

  27. Kendra says:

    Wow! Honestly, the senior prom dress was probably breathtaking at the time. It really is beautiful (a bit over the top, but that’s how it was done back then). At this point I’m only 9 years out of high school so my dresses don’t look very dated. However, I cannot wait until my kids make fun of them πŸ™‚

  28. LeeAnn says:

    I chuckled over the note about your journal entries. I just read mine from after college and am convinced it was somebody else!!!

  29. boomama says:

    One time I wore a dress kind of like the one in the top picture – only it was navy blue and VELVET – and my date that night would introduce me to people and say, “Hey, this is my date, S., and these are her sleeves.”
    Good times.

  30. annabelle says:

    Oh those dresses! LOL My mom got rid of all of mine and my sisters’ dresses…she gave them to a drama team! Can you imagine? That was the best looking drama team out there! LOL

  31. Gena says:

    You had me cracking up. I was on the Drill Team and wore very similar sparkly uniforms and was very similarly un-endowed. Luckily, our uniforms had two shoulders in them or I would have been embarassed, too. (Actually, I was anyway.)
    I always tell my children – High School isn’t real life. You think it is, but it isn’t.
    P.S. My children are all homeschooled, so high school is, actually, real life. Who knew?

  32. Mommy, the Human Napkin says:

    My drill team uniforms have been cut up and downsized as play clothes for my daughter. I think we had about as many sequins as you had, only we had big poofy skirts to go with it. That was not a fun sewing project.
    My senior prom dress was short, white, and off-the-shoulder with really big white FEATHERS all the way around the top. My husband, who was my senior prom date, made fun of me all night long about those feathers. It’s a good thing I love him.
    One of these days, I’ll have to post pictures of mine. When I get braver, that is.

  33. Amy says:

    Wow! Officially had to come out of my lurking status to comment on this fantabulous entry! Love, love, love the trip down memory lane – I was laughing out loud!
    My own senior prom gown was turquoise and 100% sequins. It was a dream come true at the time…

  34. Janet (aka JT) says:

    I cannot believe you had the audacity to utilize pompoms!! The scandal! The outrage! Didn’t you guys have batons you coulda whopped a couple of those snotty cheerleader types with?
    My mom always made my formals (which I still have). My senior year, she said she was going to buy my dress and took me to a shop called “Billie’s Clothes Line.” There is no way I can adequately describe this store, which is where she also bought my (SKIRTED!) bathing suits, except to say that EVERY dressing room was equipped with wheelchair access.
    I cried for hours after she bought the ugliest purple dress I had ever laid eyes on. I think Valerie Bertinelli’s character may have worn it on “One Day At A Time.” (I was a senior in 1990, by the way.) But then my mom transformed it into a thing of beauty, ripping and resewing, and I soon realized I was way wrong to ever doubt her “vision.” Now if I can just figure out why every swimsuit she ever bought me was in a jungle print with a skirt…

  35. Diane says:

    Hi. I normally don’t post comments but I just had to thank you for such a really good, good, laugh! The pictures were great but the commentary was even better.
    Thanks for the laugh and sharing some of your fun memories!
    Your blog rocks!

  36. GC says:

    oh, my eyes
    have you considered ebay though–some of those would fetch a lot from kids who don’t remember them from the first time around

  37. Ladybug says:

    Oh that was the best!!! LOL I did not keep mine but will try and dig up some photos for a post soon. My senior prom was a turquoise big puffy dress with lots of lace…oh it was awful! HAHA!!

  38. pam says:

    I still have the black dress with the big polka dot sleeves!!!! If I could get one leg in that dress I would model it. You crack me up!!

  39. Loralee says:

    I wouldn’t have been able to get that dress over my knees IN high school. This probably explains why I only went to one dance, huh?

  40. The preacher's wife says:

    Okay, I didn’t read all the comments so maybe someone else made the comparison, but those sleeves? Totally Deb on Napoleon Dynamite. What’s more is that I have that dress in red.

  41. Jane says:

    Because my lovely friend Lisa had not only the black and white spotted number, but also the pink dress, there is a wee part of me that still thinks, “Pretty.” I’ll say one thing for those 80’s dresses, they were modest!

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