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Tux Rentals Are Getting Back To Business

After an off year, tuxedos wait for their big night out at Suits in Style in Dover, New Hampshire.
Todd Bookman
After an off year, tuxedos wait for their big night out at Suits in Style in Dover, New Hampshire.

No patent leather shoes on the dance floor. No 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, New Hampshire.

Most proms and weddings were cancelled last year due to COVID-19, which was financially crushing to stores that rent tuxedos and formal wear. But as states lift restrictions and cases of the coronavirus decline, those shops are getting back in the business of making teenagers look good.

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

Spaulding High School, like lots of school districts, made a last minute decision to host an outdoor event. Along with high schoolers, Guedoura is also fitting a steady stream of groomsmen ahead of a busy wedding season.

"We have had some people that had three different dates, and finally they said we are going to have this wedding no matter what. You can only do that to a bride so many times," she says.

Guedoura and her husband Fred have run the shop for more than thirty years. When Troy Nelson walks in and asks if they carry any pink ties to match his date's dress, Guedoura grabs just the right shade.

"Our school actually wouldn't do a prom for us," says Nelson, a senior at York High School in Maine. " Our parents set it up, and we got it all good to go, and so we are excited."

Copyright 2021 New Hampshire Public Radio

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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.