New Challenges In Finding A Prom Dress Arise Due To COVID-19

By J1 Reporter Haley Hoffman

Prom season is a stressful time for everyone. The pressure of finding a dress, date, somewhere to eat, and all other other aspects that go into one of the best nights of your life can be overwhelming. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, prom is more challenging than ever. 

Being at an all girls school, a major prom topic is finding the perfect dress. This year, finding the dress has created nothing but anxiety for many juniors and seniors. 

Online shopping has been a great resource for those who don’t want to go out and try on dresses in-store or who aren’t able to, but it comes with its upsets. Online shopping, shipping, returns, time deadlines, and inability to truly know what you’re ordering have a huge impact on buying dresses. It also doesn’t help when different brands follow various sizing patterns and measurements. At a particular store, a girl would be a size small, but may end up fitting into an extra small or a medium at another store. 

“It’s a risk to take… Don’t always trust reviews, order ahead of time, and see if making returns is available before purchasing” junior Lily Hacker said. “Just because the model looks good in it doesn’t always mean you will.” 

For the girls who have been going into stores and trying dresses on, COVID has made it difficult because of limited capacity, limited dresses, and sanitation. Many of the usual go-to shops for prom dresses have a limited selection because of the continued prom cancellations. Many schools aren’t even having prom, so stores haven’t ordered the merchandise as usual. Some girls have resorted to trying on bridesmaid dresses instead.

And what continues to be a struggle to find a dress is Marian’s formal dress guidelines (See Marian Student-Parent Handbook Sec. 5-2). Finding a dress is hard enough, and strict guidelines of what is and is not acceptable doesn’t help the stress. These guidelines go as in detail as “Backless dresses must not go lower than the bottom of the last rib or about 1 inch above the waist.”

“Since the rules are very restrictive, it was difficult to find something I would feel comfortable in,” junior Hannah Tate said. A majority of the current dress styles include plunging necklines, high slits, and bare midriff, and are automatically discarded when it comes to trying things on.

Though the major struggle in finding a prom dress this year, Marian is lucky to be one of the schools in Omaha that is having prom. Prom is a night to never forget, and though difficult, finding a dress is one of the best parts about it. 

Have an opinion on this story? Contact the reporter: 22.haley.hoffman@omahamarian.org

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