Oak Cliff Prom: As Tacky as it Gets is a party at the Texas Theatre Saturday, Sept. 24 from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Tickets are $25-$50, with discounts for couples. And it’s a fundraiser for the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League.

The party promises “Crepe-paper streamers, ice sculptures, chocolate fountains, photo booths, balloon arches, spiked punch, dirty dancing, bad up-dos, chicken cutlets, pageant dresses, Olive Garden pre-prom dinners, prom queens, popular kids and a Whitney Houston theme song.”

Sounds like fun. But what to wear to such a fashion event? Tacky formal wear is all around you, if you just know where to look. Here are some sources of style inspiration.

1. “Dynasty” Three words: Joan Freaking Collins. Shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, birdcage veils, turbans, purple eyeshadow and major, major ‘tude.

2. “Beverly Hills 90210” Three words: Donna Martin Graduates! Remember when Kelly and Brenda wore the same dress to prom? Two ladies wearing the same dress is a big yes for tacky prom.

3. “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” If you haven’t witnessed this show about Irish Travelers on TLC, originally a serial documentary for Chanel 4 in the UK, you are missing a very entertaining sociology lesson. Their formal dress follows one of two basic guidelines: The bigger the better, or the skimpier the better.


4. “The Lawrence Welk Show” Find a three-piece suit in this particular shade of Grey Poupon, and you might win a prize.



5. Elvis from the ’70s. This was his jumpsuit-karate-fat period. Please wear a karate uniform with sideburns, somebody.


6. Your actual prom or wedding. Alternatively, get out your mom’s prom or wedding pictures for inspiration.

7. Actual current prom dresses.  Prom is just as tacky in 2011 as it ever was. Check out Don’t Steal My Prom Dress for proof, or check out the quinceañera shops on Jefferson for inspiration.