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Project Prom: Teens Go for Classic Looks

  • Kali Mann, a senior at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, from left, Sophie Heyman, a senior at St. Paul Central High School, and Emilee Hassanzadeh, a senior at Bloomington Jefferson High School, don classic prom looks at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., March 4, 2014. (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

    Kali Mann, a senior at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, from left, Sophie Heyman, a senior at St. Paul Central High School, and Emilee Hassanzadeh, a senior at Bloomington Jefferson High School, don classic prom looks at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., March 4, 2014. (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)

  • Pamela Isaac and one of her three cats, Lucy, inside their apartment at a shelter for victims of domestic violence, Tuesday March 18, 2014 in New York.  The shelter is the city’s first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter, one in a fast-growing number of similar sanctuaries around the country that reflect growing awareness that animals can be both victims of family violence and key factors in their owners’ willingness to flee.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Pamela Isaac and one of her three cats, Lucy, inside their apartment at a shelter for victims of domestic violence, Tuesday March 18, 2014 in New York. The shelter is the city’s first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter, one in a fast-growing number of similar sanctuaries around the country that reflect growing awareness that animals can be both victims of family violence and key factors in their owners’ willingness to flee. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • Kali Mann, a senior at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, from left, Sophie Heyman, a senior at St. Paul Central High School, and Emilee Hassanzadeh, a senior at Bloomington Jefferson High School, don classic prom looks at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., March 4, 2014. (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
  • Pamela Isaac and one of her three cats, Lucy, inside their apartment at a shelter for victims of domestic violence, Tuesday March 18, 2014 in New York.  The shelter is the city’s first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter, one in a fast-growing number of similar sanctuaries around the country that reflect growing awareness that animals can be both victims of family violence and key factors in their owners’ willingness to flee.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Minneapolis — From ancient Grecian style all the way to the grunge of the ’90s, fashion trends of the past are making their way back to the high school prom.

Some teenagers are even digging out their parents’ old photos for inspiration and finding ways to give the looks a modern twist.

“My mother looked famously ’80s,” said Kali Mann, a senior at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. “She had blond, feathered hair. And she made her dress — it was baby blue.”

Bloomington Jefferson high school senior Emilee Hassanzadeh also did her homework on Mom’s prom-wear.

“Apparently, Gunne Sax dresses were all the rage in ’83, so that’s what (my mom) wore to prom,” she said. “Her date had a baby blue tux. Classy!”

Although trends come and go — and come back again — prom remains a defining moment of high school. Despite its changing styles, the evening provides a rare opportunity to dress like royalty, teens say.

Baby blue tuxedos and feathered hairdos might not get you crowned king and queen, but a peek into the past offers some insight to the trends of the moment. Tanning is out. The Roaring Twenties are in. Heels are optional, the ’50s rock ’n’ roll vibe is cool. And bohemian statement jewelry is a must.

These days, rather than fit in, however, most teens insist on self-expression, said Sara Rogers, trend specialist for the Mall of America. “Just about anything goes for prom-wear,” she said.

How to maintain individuality without ending up with an awkward prom photo? That’s the tricky part.

Mann’s advice? “Express yourself, but don’t dress in something that you’re going to look back at and cringe.”