Promgoers and parents all know about the behind-the-scenes stress and drama that come with the territory. You’ve got to hunt for the perfect outfit, spend cash on dinner, manage the photography, and deal with the miscellaneous issues that pop up.
Some mothers and daughters seem to have gotten wise, though—they’re making use of gowns that are already in the family!
“Wore my mama’s dress to prom,” this young woman tweeted in 2015. Both mother and daughter looked great in this gown that features gold detail along the straps, a plunging neckline, and an ultra dramatic slit up the leg.
We’ll give you a spoiler alert right now: Many of the dresses in this roundup are black, leaving us to suspect that it might be the single most timeless and gorgeous color for formalwear.
1970s Style That Looks So Modern
The 1970s were the era of mod, but that doesn’t mean that every style actually held its own in the following decades (looking at you, men’s flared pantsuits).
That’s not true for this look, though. “Since I was wearing my mom’s senior prom dress from the ’70s, we had to recreate this gem,” this young woman wrote. That strap detail across the chest looks like something you’d see in a store window today!
Wearing Mom’s Dress For Tacky Prom
This young woman’s mother, pictured at left, originally wore this bold pattern to a prom in 1986. Her daughter managed to rock the same item in 2014 by wearing it to her school’s “tacky prom.”
Tacky proms are school dances that mimic the same setup as a prom but trade the formality for a bit of weirdness. Students are encouraged to dress wildly for a night of dancing to goofy throwback tracks from decades past.
Killing It In The Best Way Possible
It looks like this mother was able to gift her daughter with more than just genetics: Confidence, taste, and one of the most amazing prom dresses ever. The pattern, cutout, and belly straps come together for a gown that is the very definition of slay.
(Also, this young woman is lucky to not attend one of the many schools enacting supremely strict dress codes for prom these days. There are so many high schools creating strict standards for young women’s gowns. What gives?)
This Pink Gown Made It Through Three Generations
This baby pink ballgown made it through three generations. At top left, it’s pictured in 1962; the top right and bottom left photos are her two daughters wearing it to their school dances. It was last worn in 2013 by her granddaughter.
It looks like the dress has lost a bit of volume over the years—that could be due to long-term storage in a closet, or perhaps the ultra-fluffy petticoat was tailored out to give the wearer some more room to move.
Playing A Little Dress Up
“Look what we found at my mom’s!” this mom posted on Facebook. She explained that they’d dug up her senior prom dress that she’d last worn 26 years ago. Both the dress and shoes fit her daughter perfectly.
It’s definitely an ultra-unique dress with its peach sheen, tiered fabric, and sequined bodice. The entire outfit is so 1980s that it’s practically a photograph right off the pages of a catalog.
When All Else Fails, Raid Someone Else’s Closet
“My daughter ordered a pretty gown online for her senior prom this year, and when it arrived, it wasn’t what she had hoped,” wrote this mom on Facebook. “Four days away from prom, she decided to raid my closet while I was at work.”
Her daughter was able to take the dress in for tailoring, turning it something seriously awesome.
“Who knew that my USMC ball dress from 1995 would see the light of day again?” her mom wrote.
Striking The Same Pose, Too
Suuuch a Kodak moment. This daughter struck the same pose as her mom while wearing her gown for prom. Her mother actually made the dress in 1987 when she was 17 years old! Red satin with a white lace overlay looks romantic and glamorous.
It’s so awesome to see that these dresses were properly stored and held up over the years. This has a lot in common with the other handmade gown on our list that has been passed down through generations.
A Chic, Black, Floor-Length Hand-Me-Down
This black floor-length gown looked great at mom’s prom as well as her daughter’s. It’s even sleek enough that it could be worn for many other events, too. If you think about it, wearing a vintage dress is a super smart choice. It reduces your prom expenses by hundreds of dollars—some promgoers end up spending the most money on their gown, after all, so this cuts out a major cost.
Nineties Style Managed To Survive
This young lady managed to make her mom’s prom dress work again 25 years later. She wore the dress for her 2016 prom, while her mom, pictured at left, originally wore it in 1991.
Not only is black the most timeless of colors, as we’ll prove again in more upcoming photos, but the tea length silhouette is just such a tried and true classic. Both of these girls really brought the glam by wearing this dress.
A Little Mesh And Beading Goes A Long Way
“1989 is like, super in right now,” this daughter joked when she posted this photo.
“I can hardly find the words,” her mom added in a followup comment. “Yes, this vintage dress came from my closet—right out of 1989, my senior prom!” She explained that it was a last-minute decision made by her daughter. That was definitely a good call on her part, and that transparent mesh and beading look fantastic on both of them.
This Red Satin Gown Was Sewn By Grandmother
Mom tweeted this photo and captioned it “prom 1980-something, prom 2016.” She added that the gown was sewn with love by her own mother, making it all the more sweet and sentimental.
By the way, how lucky are all these ladies that they’re close enough to one another’s dress size across all of their generations?! Imagine how happy you’d be if your mother or grandmother’s dress fit just right for your dance.
Proof That Black Is Best For Formalwear
Proving that black is best, here’s another mother and daughter who both opted for drama with a dark floor-length gown featuring beaded detailing. The mom, pictured at left, wore this dress for her sister-in-law’s wedding. 20 years later, her daughter wore the same classic gown for a friend’s senior prom.
There are a few more dresses on the list that pulled double duty, proving you don’t need to wear your prom dress just once in your life!
Turning Up The Volume With A Different Style
Mom, pictured at left, originally wore this black collared gown for prom in 1996. Her daughter, pictured on the right, wore it for her 2016 prom.
Both ladies looked great and each of their unique styles managed to bring out different looks of the gown. Mom wore it in a classic formal style with an updo and corsage, while her daughter gave the look a serious punk edge with her bold hair color and jewelry.
Wedding Dress Turns Into A Perfect Prom Piece
This young woman was able to wear her mother’s red wedding dress for her own prom in a shade of bright red that looked great on each of them.
Did you know that wedding dresses weren’t always white? Queen Victoria seems to have set the standard with her 1840 marriage to Prince Albert. Before that, wedding dresses were typically designed in whatever color was fashionable and stylish at the moment. Red was actually a popular choice.