LEWISTOWN - With senior prom only hours away, Michea Wolfley and his date, Paige Laughlin, are tied up with final preparations. Literally.
When he walks into Mifflin County High School this evening, Wolfley will be sporting a custom tuxedo made of recycled neck ties. Laughlin, he said, will have a matching clutch and hair piece.
Wolfley said the idea for their unique attire came last year in probability and statistics class. His teacher, Steven DeArment, had a tie collection he was selling. Wolfley asked DeArment whether he could have them.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Michea Wolfley, left, and his prom date Paige Laughlin will go to Mifflin County High School’s prom tonight wearing a unique style. Wolfley’s tuxedo is made entirely of neckties. Laughlin will have a clutch and other accessories also made of ties.
"He's like, 'You're going to prom next year ... why don't you just make your tux out of that?'" Wolfley recalled.
So he did.
Wolfley and his family began collecting additional neck ties from family, friends and their workplaces. His grandmother, Kim McKnight, said he ended up with more than 450 ties to choose from.
After selecting ties to be incorporated into the outfit, they had to be unstitched, opened and hand-pressed before they could be sewn together. Wolfley said his great grandmother and two great aunts have been doing a bulk of the sewing, which includes a jacket made entirely of neck ties and pants with a tie stripe down the side.
"Many people keep asking how it is going and saying they are anxious to see how it turns out," McKnight said.
Wolfley's tux is a flamboyant combination, featuring shades of every color and pattern - from paisley and stripes to tiny fish. His relatives, Fae McKnight, Barb McKnight and Nicole Shawver, used 50 or more ties and recycled buttons and materials to make the suit.
To complete the look, Wolfley invited a friend who shares the same unique taste to accompany him to the prom.
"It's our senior prom, so we might as well do something cool," Laughlin said.
Wolfley nodded in agreement saying, "you only have one senior year."