SHERIDAN — “I think it’s the one time a girl can get that red carpet dress,” said Barb Sondgeroth. “There are very few occasions in life when you get to dress up like that.”
Sondgeroth owns One Step Closer Boutique and helps outfit Sheridan County’s youth for that special night each spring…prom.
The store rents tuxedos for guys and dresses for ladies. She estimates more than 200 area youth will come to rent or buy formal wear from the store.
“After school we have 30 to 40 guys lined up to get fitted (for tuxedos),” she said.
Sondgeroth said she is seeing some unusual trends this year. For instance, she said approximately 50 percent of guys are going with bow ties, rather than standard ties with their tuxedos. In most years, she said only 10 percent of people request bow ties. In addition, she said there are fewer guys renting colored or patterned vests and ties which match their dates’ dresses and are instead opting for the traditional black and white.
“It has kind of gone back more traditional where the coat matches the vest,” she said. “That hasn’t been done in about 20 years. I think ‘The Great Gatsby’ had a lot to do with it. People want that classic look. People are getting a little more conservative with their look.”
She is also seeing more guys wearing suits rather than tuxedos.
“We have a lot of kids who have a nice black suit and just come in and rent or buy a vest or tie to match their date’s dress,” she said, noting that some of the only differences between suits and tuxedos are the satin fabric on the lapel and on the pants. “I would say we have 20 to 30 boys doing that this year.”
Sondgeroth said she usually attends the Grand March at the opening of prom to watch all the couples come in, many of whom she has helped prepare for the big day with fittings, alternations, special orders, choosing of accessories and more.
“It is way fun,” she said. “There are cameras going and it really is like they are on the runway. They are all dressed up and they are all beautiful and it is a special time for them, maybe the only time in their life they will get that. Sometimes in life, it is nice to fantasize, even if it is just for the weekend.”