Likewise, in the past there was similar culture in the western aristocratic societies as well. 17-year-old girls are called as debutantes, and they would be, launched into society where they could meet eligible bachelors, between March to August. This was called as The Season and the occasion would be referred as Coming out Dance. The term debutante is pronounced as:
The term debutante is pronounced as:
Often they are just called as debs for short. Unlike Indian communities, it was quite surprising to know the planning and preparation required to become a deb! For starters, the girls were sent to Finishing Schools in France, London or Switzerland, depending on the family's financial status. Here, they learnt to dance, how to behave in society and write courteous notes. In short, all aspects of etiquette would be taught in the finishing schools.
At the Kensington Palace, The Last Debutantes section presents a clear picture of this culture. Here, I came across a deb's comment, on how they managed to fake their waists to look smaller:
We always wore petticoats under our dresses to make our waists look smaller - Judy Johnson
They were using the dress to show off their riches. The narrow waist dress shown in the above picture is studded with precious stones and rich thread work. Moreover, see this clipping to get an idea of how frivolous they have been:
Yet again, a similarity with the Indian custom is that, like the Indian brides, the debs eagerly used to anticipate the guests. Here is a classic photo where the debs are waiting for guests to arrive.
Besides the formal coming out, they were very fashion conscious in selecting the dresses and accessories for the whole season.
I guess they would have used these clothes to out with the chosen guys. Um, of course debs were always chaperoned.