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Duct Tape Prom

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Every year, Duck brand duct tape sponsors a contest called Stuck at Prom, in which high school students design and create their own prom attire using duct tape. Who wants to wear duct tape to their prom? Anyone who wants to win scholarship money! The couple who wins first prize gets a $3,000 scholarship each, plus their school gets another $3,000. Second and third places pay well also.

The first competition was in 2001. Sarah Silva and Mitch Houseman of Arroyo Grande, California wore this lovely coordinated ensemble made of yellow and black duct tape. They said it took 40 $hours to make these outfits; I would have guessed it took much longer. The couple split $5,000 in scholarship money.

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Duct tape fashion, or even formal wear, is not limited to the prom. Even when no prize is on the line, people love to make things out of it. Walter Chang has made quite a few coats and accessories out of duct tape. He made this ensemble for himself and his date for the Class of 2002/2003 Winter Semi-Formal. He models other duct tape creations at his website.

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Joyce Lotta and Kevin Thomas were married in clothing made of duct tape in 2001. Fashion designer Brian McKinney used 48 rolls of duct tape for the bridal dress and the groom's jacket. Sculptor Todd Scott made accessories and flowers from duct tape. The wedding was sponsored by Duck brand duct tape. See more pictures in this gallery.
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The Duct Tape Guys have a blog devoted to America's favorite sticky tape. They posted the top ten reasons why you should wear duct tape to the prom, but the list grew to 18 reasons. I like this one:

Duct tape two cars together to make a limo.

I suppose that would look something like the above picture.
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Katy and her friends made these dresses for the 2000 Freshman Formal Dance and sent the pictures to the Duct Tape Guys. You'll find tips on making prom clothing here and here.
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The rules for the Stuck at Prom contest don't require you to dress yourself entirely in duct tape, but you can see what kind of clothing wins. If you just want to accessorize with duct tape, you can still enter. Start with something simple, like making a wallet out of duct tape. You'll find instructions at WikiHow.
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There are several ways to make your own duct tape shoes, from simple flip flops to these colorful slippers.
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It's prom after all, so you're going to need a corsage. Instructables will show you how to make a floral corsage that will last forever from duct tape. They'll also show you how to make a tie.
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For the Duck brand contest, you are supposed to make your own outfits and/or accessories. But if you aren't competing, you can buy ready-made accessories made of duct tape from Duct Tape Fashion, including these purses.
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Last year's Stuck on Prom winners were Sharon Dranko  and Joshua Humm who attended the prom at Center Area High School in Monaca, Pennsylvania. They initially came in second in internet voting, but were declared winners after it was determined that the first-place couple received a huge number of votes from invalid email addresses. Dranko's dress weighed 50 pounds and took over 140 hours to construct!
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The entry period for the 2009 Stuck on Prom competition begins on March 2nd. See the complete rules here. For inspiration, see the gallery of past entrants. Of course, if you decide to do this, please send us pictures!

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Target
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This Just In
Target Expands Its Clothing Options to Fit Kids With Special Needs
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Target

For kids with disabilities and their parents, shopping for clothing isn’t always as easy as picking out cute outfits. Comfort and adaptability often take precedence over style, but with new inclusive clothing options, Target wants to make it so families don’t have to choose one over the other.

As PopSugar reports, the adaptive apparel is part of Target’s existing Cat & Jack clothing line. The collection already includes items made without uncomfortable tags and seams for kids prone to sensory overload. The latest additions to the lineup will be geared toward wearers whose disabilities affect them physically.

Among the 40 new pieces are leggings, hoodies, t-shirts, bodysuits, and winter jackets. To make them easier to wear, Target added features like diaper openings for bigger children, zip-off sleeves, and hidden snap and zip seams near the back, front, and sides. With more ways to put the clothes on and take them off, the hope is that kids and parents will have a less stressful time getting ready in the morning than they would with conventionally tailored apparel.

The new clothing will retail for $5 to $40 when it debuts exclusively online on October 22. You can get a sneak peek at some of the items below.

Adaptive jacket from Target.
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Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

[h/t PopSugar]

All images courtesy of Target.

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iStock
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Big Questions
Why Do Shorts Cost as Much as Pants?
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iStock

Shorts may feel nice and breezy on your legs on a warm summer’s day, but they’re not so gentle on your wallet. In general, a pair of shorts isn’t any cheaper than a pair of pants, despite one obviously using less fabric than the other. So what gives?

It turns out clothing retailers aren’t trying to rip you off; they’re just pricing shorts according to what it costs to produce them. Extra material does go into a full pair of pants but not as much as you may think. As Esquire explains, shorts that don’t fall past your knees may contain just a fifth less fabric than ankle-length trousers. This is because most of the cloth in these items is sewn into the top half.

Those same details that end up accounting for most of the material—flies, pockets, belt loops, waist bands—also require the most human labor to make. This is where the true cost of a garment is determined. The physical cotton in blue jeans accounts for just a small fraction of its price tag. Most of that money goes to pay the people stitching it together, and they put in roughly the same amount of time whether they’re working on a pair of boot cut jeans or some Daisy Dukes.

This price trend crops up across the fashion spectrum, but it’s most apparent in pants and shorts. For example, short-sleeved shirts cost roughly the same as long-sleeved shirts, but complicated stitching in shirt cuffs that you don’t see in pant legs can throw this dynamic off. There are also numerous invisible factors that make some shorts more expensive than nearly identical pairs, like where they were made, marketing costs, and the brand on the label. If that doesn’t make spending $40 on something that covers just a sliver of leg any easier to swallow, maybe check to see what you have in your closet before going on your next shopping spree.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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