Shakespeare may have written the book (literally) on tragedies and love – but he didn’t have the experience of shopping for the perfect outfit in the midst of a world-wide pandemic! Between local lockdowns and shops and boutiques closing, not to mention schools and local authorities cancelling events, prom dress shopping has had better days. Here are a few tips on shopping for a prom dress during a pandemic that might make your adventures a little bit easier and a little less dramatic.
Look Around and Book In
While there are several dress shops that have closed their doors, many have just reduced their hours to appointment only. Being able to just ‘pop in’ and have a look isn’t really a possibility – so let your fingers do the walking and get in touch via social media or call the location directly. Avoid disappointment, and wasting petrol, by reaching out and speaking with the shops personally first. Also, in addition to the high demand, there is also less availability as shops have extra guidelines to follow, so more time is needed. So it’s important to book in as soon as possible.
The internet is your friend – and being able to look at various styles and colours without leaving home is a bonus. If it’s a certain brand or style that you’ve found, look up which shops stock them, or check your local shop to see if they can get one in. Try to give them more than 2 days notice, as they’ll have to scout around and get it to their location. You may be pleasantly surprised, several shops network with other dress shops and could get one in for you to try on. Do as much 'research' as possible online, so you can make the most out of your dress appointment.
Remember, bookings are limited and right now are in high-demand. Prom 2021 still has a bit to go, and even if schools are cancelling, other venues are finding ways to adhere to local guidelines and still proceed – so prom is still on. If you have a need to cancel, let the shop know so someone else can try on their dress. Some shops charge a refundable deposit to book in, so if you find one that doesn’t – be respectful of their time and let them know in advance if you can’t attend. Arrive on time, if not a few minutes early. Find out who may attend with you and what you need to wear and be prepared to follow the guidance that their establishment has set forth so you may continue shopping for a prom dress during a pandemic. Whatever your stance on masks vs. no masks or group sizes, remember that as a business, they don’t have a choice if they want to remain in operation. Working together makes it possible for shops to remain open and work with their customers.
Sign on the Line
Much like a wedding dress, a prom dress is a big deal. Some shops offer exclusivity to the style and colour sold and won’t sell more than one to the same school. This takes that dress ‘off the market’ to other shoppers once you’ve committed to it, and if alterations are made, makes it a custom dress and virtually unsellable to anyone other than you. Once your deposit is placed, a contract is drawn up, confirming this is the dress you’ve chosen and whatever payment arrangements are made. Bear in mind, that in our current climate, a shop has no control over lockdown or event cancellations. Contracts and payment plans are still valid. While some shops offer insurance, not all do. Check with the shop you’re purchasing your dress from and find out everything you need to know once you’ve made your choice.
Last, But Not Least
Enjoy yourself, take note of any advice the dress shop offers (they see girls of all shapes and sizes day in and day out), choose the dress that makes you feel WOW and most all, be kind to yourself and others.