I am something of an expert on prom attire, having attended seven proms during my high school tenure*. One thing that has always mystified me, though, is how even very fashion-forward teenage girls sometimes make the tackiest prom apparel decisions this side of reality TV. While I would not consider my high school self "fashion forward" (my idea of edgy was to wear "BOYS SUCK" t-shirts purchased in the kids section of Target), I realize now how thoroughly I fell into this trap. Well, there was one notable exception, a one-off sale dress my mother insisted I get because it was "very Nicole Kidman," and I rolled my eyes but got it anyway and in retrospect it was amazing and I actually wore it to a wedding last year, so thanks mom for saving me from myself one time.

More to the point: as a newly minted bridesmaid, I've been on Pinterest a lot lately looking for cute potential dresses. Searching "dresses," I quickly realized that a lot of high school girls are using the site to save up prom ideas. On a hunch, I searched "prom dresses," and thus fell into a taffeta and rhinestone vortex from which I have yet to escape. So today, I present my findings. And may god have mercy on our souls (because seriously, I'm starting to want to wear some of them).

Important note: these dresses were originally found on Pinterest, tagged for prom. The key thing here isn't that they're being made, it's that in some cases HUNDREDS of people actually pinned these.

Let's start simple, subtle, and awkward. I'm pretty sure this kind of dress is supposed to be whimsical, like you're a little mermaid perched lovely on the rocks. But mostly it looks like your dress got caught in the car door. Please note the random hanging part hidden by the model's legs — too awkward even for a prom dress photo. Also a good demonstration of how good models can literally make anything look wearable. FRIENDS: THIS TOOK ME YEARS OF ONLINE ORDERING TO FIGURE OUT.


Let's just take a minute to appreciate this one. Okay, I cheated, this one is posted under "homecoming dresses." BUT STILL. It terrifies me because I'm starting to like it. I've always wanted butt-wings, after all. GET IT AWAY.

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The time has come to talk about the mullet dress:

This one is somewhat inoffensive. Hilariously, the tag on Pinterest reads, "I don't think I have any complaints about this dress!" Well then.

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Okay, you know, by itself? Maybe not the worst! Maybe not bad on its own. But once you accept one mullet dress, you have to let them all in, and suddenly we get this (with extra rhinestones obviously):

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And much like fear leads to anger and ultimately to the dark side, eventually we wind up with this. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW????

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This dress is $500, so basically I have lost all hope. Also, bejeweled bodices with short fluffy skirts seem to be really in right now. I picked this one because it reminds me of the little guy in Mario Kart who rides around on a cloud and tells you when you're going the wrong direction.

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Finally, lest you think we peaked, I present my favorite finding by far. I believe this is supposd to be a peacock dress, but I am too busy freaking out over the GIANT FUCKING SPIDER CLIMBING OVER THE SHOULDER. (Actually, if this is a way to sneakily wear a giant invertebrate to prom, I'm pretty into it.) ETA: Replacing the picture of the dress with the "collage" photo. This is important because 1) integrity wise, this is actually how the dress is represented on Pinterest; 2) SHOES.

ETA 2: It has come to my attention that some of you are seeing the spider and some of you are wrong. Spider dress 4eva.

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Look, I say these things and point to these delightfully abominable dresses out of love. Do most teenage girls wear immensely regrettable things to prom? Yes. But prom is kind of your time to be as over-the-top outlandish as you can be, isn’t it? That’s not something that’s allowed very much to teen girls. So the hell with it. Wear the leopard print ruffle tiered mullet dress with the rhinestone lined rib cutout. You do you – do it for yourself, and for all of us.

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I’ll be there, wearing one of these:

*Yes, seven. I went to an all-girls high school and there was a lot of socializing with mostly all-boys high schools, so reciprocal dudefriend prom arrangements were common.

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Post your favorite prom dresses below!