Ghetto Prom Dresses

Image from

Image from "Stuff Ghetto People Like."

Ghetto prom dresses are garish, tacky, usually handmade dresses worn to high school prom. Gauche accessories, sports- or cartoon-themed accessories can also turn a risque prom dress ghetto.

These dresses are associated with black teenagers from American ghettos; hence the name. However, the epithet says more about the outfit than the social class of the wearer.

Exposed skin, especially an exposed belly button, any kind of "themed" fabric (e.g. a sports team, Barbie, Spongebob Squarepants) and combining gym shoes with formalwear all make for a ghetto prom outfit.

These dresses look both cheap and ridiculous. They meld high fashion with the overexposed "video girl" aesthetic. Some ghetto prom dresses look like they're made for a stripper or a prostitute, not a formal occasion; others simply make no sense. There's an undeniable undertone of classism to some commentary, especially when people sneer at obviously homemade outfits that imitate red carpet, upper-class fashions.

A trashy prom dress.

A few people project their issues with teenagers, black people, America, the underclass, and so on, onto these extremely unfortunate fashion choices. Others, of course, just get a sort of schadenfreude from fashion disasters, perhaps remembering their own lack of judgment as a teenager.

At least one young girl was arrested for wearing a ghetto prom dress. When the teacher refused to allow her to cover up, or to give her her money back, the police were called, and escorted her out in handcuffs. As horrible as the outfit is, it wasn't worth being arrested for. (At worst, the fashion police might issue a "dire warning.")

Two ghetto prom outfits.

In the above photo, both the young man and woman have made outfits out of Rasheed Wallace's jersey. The lines of jewels going down the young woman's back, as well as the athletic wristbands pushed up her arm, and the large, overstuffed sneakers, complete the effect. I have to assume they think they look good, or else this is part of a performance art piece.

Sometimes, the difference between elegant and a ghetto dress is in the details. A passably embarrassing tuxedo can become just sad when paired with a "pimp" cane (especially when it's wielded by a 17-year-old boy). Similarly, the outfit below is a perfectly acceptable cut...only, the see-through midriff, and the vomit-colored fuschia make it look tacky and cheap, however much it cost.

Ghetto Prom Dresses - Gallery

An ugly fuschia prom dress.

Two girls in

A group wears matching outfits at prom. Source unknown.

A couple at prom.

Another couple at prom.

Another ghettofabulous prom dress. Source unknown.

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This article is part of our Dresses section.

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