History

The debut of young girls has been in history for hundreds of years, for reasons that have formed traditions. The debutante ball season may vary from one country to another. However, pageantry, pomp, and formality have all been a part of the traditions since this custom began.

The traditions are variations of the debutante balls of Europe, where this custom of formally introducing eligible single women to"proper society" began. During the seventeenth and eighteenth century, English debutante parties and balls were originally limited to royalty and the aristocracy. The purpose of these "coming out" parties was to introduce young women to the royal court. It meant the young woman was eligible to marry, and part of the purpose was to display her to eligible bachelors and their families with a view to marriage within a select upper class circle.

 

Histoy Debutantes"It used to be that if you weren't at least engaged within the year following your debut you were embarrassed," said Letitia Baldrige, a recognized authority on etiquette who was Jacqueline Kennedy's White House social secretary. "Your family sent you abroad to get rid of you for a while."- NY Times

Today, debutantes are usually recommended by a distinguished committee or sponsored by an established member of elite society. Modern débutante balls are often charity events: the parents of the débutante donate a certain amount of money to the designated cause, and the invited guests pay for their tickets. These balls may be elaborate formal affairs. Modern debutantes are presented to society for social purposes and networking for future networking opportunities.


Debutante History

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