Thinking of investing in a new costume for your dancer?
Please follow these pointers!
This policy applied to both boys & girls. If the word dress/costume is used it also applies to waistcoats!
Brand New costumes:-
If a dancer & his/her family wish to invest in a brand new solo costume there are certain steps we would advise you to take:-
- Check with teachers if a new costume is necessary or has been earned by the dancer. A new costume is often a great incentive for dancers to work harder. Getting a new costume without having put the work in is sending the dancer the wrong message. “Working hard” does not mean that the dancer is constantly bouncing about the house but means that they’re actually doing what teachers ask of them.
We have many dancers in the school who say that they practise but they are still not doing what teachers ask. It may be an idea to hold off on new costumes until such time as teachers say the dancer has earned it.
It’s common for parents to want the new costume more than the dancer – please trust the teachers (as they are also adjudicators remember!) when they say that whilst presentation is important, the DANCING will always take precedence over the costume.
- Once teachers have given the go-ahead for a new costume, the dancer and their family need to do some research.
- Find a dressmaker & a fitting date that works with their schedule.
- Whilst some dressmakers may seem cheaper than others, you generally get what you pay for by going with the ‘cheaper’ option.
- Find colours that suit the dancer. Is there a specific colour that when the dancer wears it, people comment?
- Look at photography websites such as feispix.com or www.shamrockphotography.com to see most recent presentations from feiseanna and majors. This will demonstrate what the most successful dancers are wearing. This is not to say that these are the nicest costumes but may provide some inspiration.
- Put together a file with ideas that you like from dresses you’ve seen but please bear in mind the following:-
-Your dancer’s colouring
-Your dancer’s shape. Whilst all our dancers are perfect we must put a new dress together that most flatters their natural attributes. Whether they have a short neck, boyish shape, generous bust etc – this must all be taken into account.
– Does the dancer have faults that need to be disguised (should sleeves be a little wider?)
-Are there other dancers in the school (particularly in the same age-group) with a similar dress/colour?
-Diamonds/stones are currently very popular and many dresses rely heavily on them for effect. Please bear in mind that stones are very expensive!
– what shapes/colours/designs look good from a distance – remember the dancer will rarely be seen up very close – costumes are usually looked at from a distance. What colours/themes look good up close can look very different on stage.
-File should include image of dancer in previous costume.
-File should also include what you ‘DONT LIKE’. If there is a specific style you don’t like or colour palette, speak up at the beginning rather than halfway through design stage.
- Feel free to run file by teachers prior to going to dressmaker so they can give their thoughts.
- This should all be done ahead of MEASUREMENT stage so as to avoid last -minute panic.
- When dancers go to be measured, they can request samples of fabrics and speak to designers regarding ideas etc.
- Computer generated images of costume can, again, be run by teachers for feedback but teachers will not be involved in design of costume.
It can often be the case that a used dress is preferable to a new one. With used dresses, you know exactly what you’re paying for in advance- there is no anxiety as to whether or not the dress will be perfect as you’ve had the opportunity to try it on. We’ve had some huge successes in our class with dancers wearing used dresses.
Please follow these procedures when looking for a second- hand dress:-
- Speak with teachers to see if dancer is in need of a dress.
- Once given the go-ahead – measure the dancer.
- Be conscious of what is current/up to date and what is dated. Remember you would like to re-sell the costume when your dancer is finished with it. If the dress is already dated when you buy it, it is unlikely to sell again.
- Be aware of what dresses cost brand new and what alterations cost should dress need to be altered. The Mona Ni Rodaigh parents & friends FB page may be a useful tool for new parents to suss out what things cost.
- Social media appears to be the most common marketplace for used dresses. Please make sure you have access to social media and have signed up to all available pages.
- These include
Irish Dance Dresses/Waistcoats for sale
Irish Dance Stuff for Sale
Another turn – Danicing dresses
Secondhand Irish dance wear for sale
Irish Dancing for sale shop
Glixty Irish Dance costumes & accessories
Irish Dance Costumes for sale
Irish Dance Solo Costumes for Sale
There are also lots on DoneDeal and other websites so keep eyes peeled.
Whilst teachers can keep an eye out on social media we are not in a position to find dresses for our dancers or get involved in negotiations.