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For the First Time, Again: Prom Season is Back, And So Are Tuxedo Fittings

There are only a few occasions when someone needs to rent a tuxedo, and most of those special events — proms and weddings — were cancelled last year. For the stores that rent tuxedos and formal wear, that was financially crushing. But now, those shops are getting back in the business of making teenagers look presentable — for the first time, again.

We want to hear from you: What are you excited to do for the first time, again? Let us know at voices@nhpr.org.

There weren’t too many patent leather shoes on the dance floor last year, or too many teenagers struggling to put on cufflinks for the first time.

“Last year was pretty much non-existent in our business,” says Pam Guedoura, owner of Tuxedos and Suits With Style, in Dover.

Troy Nelson, a student at York High School, inspects the fit of his suit as Pam Guedoroua, owner of Tuxedos and Suits With Style in Dover, looks on.
Credit Todd Bookman, NHPR
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Troy Nelson, a student at York High School, inspects the fit of his suit as Pam Guedoroua, owner of Tuxedos and Suits With Style in Dover, looks on.

The three-decade old shop limped along, dressing a handful of groomsmen last summer before the second wave of COVID-19 arrived, largely ending formal events. But this spring, with cases down and vaccinations up, Guedoura is once again measuring, hemming and dressing customers.

“I went black on black, with a royal blue vest and tie,” says Andrew Diamant, a senior at Spaulding High School in Rochester, who stopped by Tuxedos With Style last week for a fitting. “I’m pretty excited for it. It looks really good.”

Spaulding, like lots of school districts, made a last minute decision to host an outdoor event.

“There’s like 170 of us going, which is pretty good,” says Diamant.

Along with the rush of hastily arranged proms, the summer wedding season is also shaping up to be busy for Guedoura, as nuptials cancelled last year look to finally cross the threshold.

“I’m hoping that it will be a good year,” she says. “Everything is looking up. It’s looking like we are coming back to life.”

If you're planning to do something for the first time again, we'd love to help share your story. Send an email about your plans to voices@nhpr.org, or leave us a voicemail at 603-513-7790. Click here for more details on how to participate.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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