The Washington Post

Prom season arrives, as do stories about unusual dresses

“Stuck at Prom” winners from 2008. (Courtesy of “Stuck at Prom”)

This morning’s “Today” show featured a girl who crafted her prom dress out of candy wrappers, while CNN ran an affiliate story Tuesday about an Ohio teen who used duct tape to create her dress. And thus begins this prom season’s glut of stories about the unique — and by unique, I mean fairly common — practice of crafting dresses out of weird materials.

The first “Stuck at Prom” winners from 2001. (Courtesy of “Stuck at Prom”)

The first duct tape-sporting promgoers mentioned by name in The Post were Shaelyn Benson and David Daniels in a 2002 Associated Press story, “Prom Fashions Put Couple in a Bind”: “The Wisconsin high school students crafted Renaissance-style formals out of duct tape, and say they spent only about $20 each.”

Tara Frey poses in her dress made of Starburst candy wrappers for her high school prom, which this year has a "Candy Land" theme, in River Falls, Wis. (Gina Marrow/Associated Press)

The trend has moved from duct tape to all sorts of unusual materials, including candy wrappers, chip bags and pop tabs. Although the “Today” show may have found Tara Frey’s Starburst-wrapper dress unusual, it’s been done before. Here’s a 2004 AP story about a Maine senior crafting her prom dress with the same material. This teen in Iowa, who cited duct tape dresses as an inspiration, created a blue gum-wrapper dress in 2010. Here’s a recent story about a Missouri teen’s tabs and lace dress.

So be alert this prom season, dear reader. More of the usual unusual prom dress stories are sure to come.

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