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All wrapped up in fashion

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes, when my mind goes blank (and I have to admit that is quite often), I have to search headlines to come up with something to write about. So there I was, scouring the news Web sites when I came across this headline, "Iowan ready for prom with gum wrapper dress."

Needless to say that caught my eye. As an avid gum-chewer, I had never thought of collecting all of my gum wrappers to make clothing. With all the gum I've chewed in my life, I'm sure I could have a small wardrobe made of nothing but gum wrappers. But then I wouldn't know how to sew them, or wash them, so what good would it do?

This girl from Iowa started collecting gum wrappers last summer after seeing how someone made a prom dress out of duct tape. When she had collected enough, she made her dress -- and a matching vest for her date -- out of the white and blue wrappers.

You have to admire the young lady for being frugal with her dress choice. Many girls go dress hunting months before the big dance, trying to find the perfect attire that sometimes cost quite a bit. This young lady recognized that she needed a dress and that she liked to chew gum and decided to kill two birds with one stone.

However, my first question is how did she go about choosing the wrappers? That would be a tough choice because there are so many different options. There is Bubble Yum and Bubblicious and not to mention Bazooka with the cartoons on the wrappers. Now that would make a dress that would get you stared at for two reasons. There is also Big League Chew for the sturdier material, or the clear packaging used with gum balls for the "evening attire" if one desired.

As I read on in the story, I had my answer: Wrigley's "5 gum." Now if I'm not mistaken, that wrapper is made out of aluminum foil. If I was a parent, I wouldn't let my daughter out of the house wearing only aluminum foil. Seriously, one wrong move and she would be showing off more than her love for gum.

Now if I was her date, the choice of dress of would be a good one. Not only would there be a chance of a dress "mishap" but when choosing something to wear to the prom it would be made much easier. The thing I hated most about prom was the wearing of the idiotic tuxedo. If you are going with a girl dressed in a gum wrapper, the standards are lowered.

Maybe if she was wearing a dress made out of Skittles wrappers, there would be a higher standard, but aluminum foil gum wrappers would have me dressed in a T-shirt and shorts. Well, and of course a stupid-looking vest made out of gum wrappers.

My next question is how did she put the dress together? Did she sew each individual piece together? That seems like that would be a bit tiresome and I don't know if the foil would hold up. Did she just tape it together, or better yet, did she use her chewed gum to stick the pieces to one another? I myself like the latter approach, because it is sure better than swallowing it and having it reappear seven years later or even throwing it on the ground, where I undoubtedly would step on it.

However, I admire the young lady for going against the norm and choosing something different. Maybe more young ladies will follow her in the future. Instead of seeking out that perfect dress with the sequins and other fluffy stuff guys don't understand, maybe girls will seek out creative ways to make a dress. I've already suggested Skittles but there could be a toilet paper dress or even a wrapping paper dress. There are so many ideas, there could be a different style dress for each school dance.

I for one am already thinking ahead to the next time I am in a wedding. Instead of the stupid-looking tuxedo I am looking forward to making my own wardrobe out of the greatest thing on earth -- newspaper. I just have to learn how to sew and make sure not to have any stupid columns showing. I would hate to be stared at.



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David Jenkins
Sarcasm De Jour by David Jenkins