Ingenious Ingenues: Prom Dresses Gone Rogue

Doritos Bag Prom Dress
by Maura Pozek

Cynthia:  Did you see this? Girls are going rogue at proms all over the United States lately! Instead of wearing regular dresses they are crafting cool concoctions out of everything from Doritos bags (above) to soda pull tabs (below)…

Brie Fainblit creating her pull tab prom dress
Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times
Pull Tab Prom Dress
by Maura Pozek

Cynthia:   …duct tape…

Duct Tape prom wear
source unknown

Cynthia:  …newspaper…

Newspaper Prom Dress
source unknown

Cynthia:  …coffee filters…

Coffee Filter Prom Dress
source unknown

Cynthia:  …or even gender bending it and wearing tuxedos a la Janelle Monae.

Janelle Monae

Cynthia:  I think this is so fantastically individualist and inspiring. I wish I would have been more creative and unique when I was a teen. Alas, I had to have the big noisy Cinderella-type taffeta prom dress that at least five other girls wore in varying colors.

Cynthia and her date for prom, 1987

Marcy:  Good grief.

Cynthia:  Well, it was 1987. You either got your prom dress from one of the two department stores in town or the local bridal shop.

Marcy:  Good grief.

Cynthia:  Such were the times, Marcy. Such were the times.


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  • Reply GnomeLover May 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    That is so cool. The coffee filters are my favorite. The dress is beautiful. I just hope it didn't rain. I tried to be creative with my dress and have it made to look like Marisa Tomei's dress in that movie in "Only You" with the cutouts, but the seamstress simply cut two giant triangles out of the front. It was crazy!!! I love looking at your prom picture. You choose a pretty color. I remember when poofy dresses were all the rage. You look so sweet and cute.


    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch May 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Awww… thank you, Jenni! I would love to see your prom dress. How awesome of you to create something different!!

  • Reply Anonymous May 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Aww love Cynthia's prom pic!!! After that the Doritos bag dress is my favorite. I want one!!

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch May 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      The Doritos bag dress is my favorite too! I would wear it in a heartbeat!

  • Reply Merrie K. May 14, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Awwww…look at Cindy as a blonde! And with curly hair! You look very cute, but I never would've guessed that was you :). I really wish they would show Bre's dress (the soda can tab one)…she seems real sweet and her "fabric" looks really cool.

  • Reply Merrie K. May 14, 2014 at 3:38 am

    BTW…I get it…one of my GFs recently posted our prom pictures on FB and I was shocked! I wore really dark brown lipstick from MAC and had "mall bangs"…oh my goodness…I'm gonna blame it on the photo though…it was the flash he used 🙂

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch May 14, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Isn't it funny how lipstick can get dated? For us girls in the '80's it was a bright pink Revlon lipstick called Pink In The Afternoon. I think they still make it. Also, frosted lipstick was big too!
      Brie's story is really sweet and got major press here in Los Angeles. The reason she made the dress is because her family fell on hard times and she couldn't afford to buy one. Here is the link to the finished dress that was published a couple of weeks later.

  • Reply Freddy May 14, 2014 at 7:15 am

    The only thing that would improve your prom dress photo is if you were standing next to me!

    <3 <3 <3

  • Reply Anonymous May 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Aaawww…Freddy's comment made me all teary-eyed.

  • Reply Whimsical Preppy May 18, 2014 at 3:26 am

    I love the creative dresses that people create. I once saw a dress made of C and H sugar packaging and a dress made of the plastic that your newspaper comes in on rainy days. I think it's great that these kids made their own Prom dresses in a unique way.
    I actually think your Prom picture is very cute and the dress is pretty. It's such a nice color. We would not wear that dress now but it is in no way a bad dress. My daughter saw it and she said that she would wear it if she was a teenager going to Prom. Are you still in contact with your date? He looks like a nice guy. I love old pictures.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch May 21, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Hi Stacey! I would love to see those dresses you mentioned! So cool!
      Tell your daughter thank you from me! It will be fun to see what she will choose to wear when she is a teenager! I wonder what the styles will be then! I am not in contact with my date anymore. He was a really nice guy. I love old pictures too although it still freaks me out a little that my own teenage pics are now old. Ha ha – time sure does fly on by.

  • Reply withwonderandwhimsy May 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I love this sort of thing! Thanks for compiling this!

    I admire these ladies' creativity, innovation, and choice to upcycle rather than buy. The pull tabs dress is really gorgeous. It sparkles and looks like it would move beautifully. And the coffee filter dress looks like something BHLDN would sell. The ruffles are so flouncy and pretty.

    And your own prom photo is the best. Throwback photos are awesome because you can still see some of the person in the old photo, but it's amazing to see how much they have changed and how much their style has evolved! I wore a strapless powder blue gown, with ruching at the waist, and an all-over jacquard print. I felt very old Hollywood. The Shirley Temple curls helped, too. And of course I wore pearls. Even though I was told (and still am!) I was too young for them. Sorry sir, sophistication comes at any age. And these pearls are the only evidence I have that I'm sophisticated!

    <3 Liz

    • Reply MarcyVeryMuch May 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Ah, thanks, Liz!

      I really admire those girls. I do not have the patience for projects and am always so impressed with your DIY posts. The fact that you make such beautiful things is so wonderful!

      I would love to see your prom pic! Your dress and styling sounds so glamorous! I am wearing my stepmom's pearls in my prom photo. Pearls are classic and I don't believe that they are too old for someone young! Back in the good old '80's pearls were in style because of Madonna. She piled 'em on!

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