Prom dresses, a.k.a. formal dance attire for high school students, date back to the early 20th century in the United States.
At first, proms were simple events held in school gymnasiums or auditoriums, with students wearing their best clothing rather than formal attire. However, as proms became more popular and glamorous in the mid-20th century, formal wear became the norm.
This included the prom dress, a special dress that girls would wear to the prom. In the 1950s, prom dresses were typically tea-length or ballerina-length, with full skirts and fitted bodices. In the 1960s, shorter hemlines and more streamlined silhouettes became popular.