Choosing your new ballroom dance costume should be exciting and inspiring. That’s the way it should be. There is a lot to think about when getting a new ballroom dance costume, and a good amount of money on the line. With this the purchase can be pretty stressful. It is even worse if the stress starts after you have purchased and worn the costume, thinking that you made a mistake. I have never met a dancer who has never had even one regret about a costume.The best way to prevent this and keep things exciting and inspiring, is to understand the things that are most important for a great costume. These points will help.
Select a costume that is memorable in the best way
- When you are on the floor, assume that everyone will look great and attract attention. One way for you to stand out is to select a costume with one clearly memorable feature that shows the best of you and your dancing.
- Examples of this are an exceptionally high slit in the skirt. A design or opening in an unexpected location. An eye-catching mix of colours. Or a bit more crinoline than is typical in a skirt.
- An overall nice dress is fine for early stages of dancing. As your dancing becomes more interesting and your personal dance style becomes clearer, so should your costume.
If you are on a budget, you may need to set priorities among the 5 things that go into The Price.
The 5 things are:
o The complexity of the construction,
o The cost, quality and quantity of the material,
o The cost, quality and quantity of ornaments – in particular rhinestones,
o The quality and durability of the finishing,
o The approach to pricing used by the designer and dress maker.
- Quality and durability should be the most important to you.
- If you need to cut costs, talk to your designer, dress seller, coach or trusted advisor to help you make the best choices regarding the other factors that influence price.
- Make sure that you consider the purpose of the costume. If it is for a one time only show, you might be able to compromise a bit on quality and durability, as long as you are sure that you will not leave a weak impression, or risk a malfunction on the floor.
A good fit means more than looking and feeling good, when you put it on.
- You should be able to lift and move your arms to their maximum, bend in every way, and kick in any direction, without restrictions or interference from material or ornaments. Never take a dress home if there is even a small problem here. It will magnify 10 times on the floor.
- The costume should also never pucker, slide or in any way attract even the slightest unintentional attention. Again, never take it home if you see this.
- Designers that specialize in ballroom dresses, pay a lot of attention to this. Some dressmakers, however rarely understand fully that they are equipping an athlete.
Learn from the mistakes and successes of others, and be careful of trends.
- Pay attention to costume features and colours that look great on the floor, and those that look awful or disappear into the background. What you do not want should be very clear and will help you narrow down what you do want.
- Also pay attention to trends, but not in the way you think. If everyone has a certain feature in a particular year, how will copying them make you stand out? You need to look for costume, or work with your designer to develop a significant variation of the trend to keep you looking fresh, or take inspiration from current or vintage high end designer fashion and have it adapted to dancesport (By the way, a vintage style is at least 40 years old. Anything less that that is just an old style). With this approach you are not a trend follower, but you are also not stuck in the past. You will have feel of fresh fashion but will show personal style as a trend setter, which is much much better
Think like your buyer would when you are making decisions related to re-sale.
- Generally it is a mistake to select or design a costume based on what you think will attract the most buyers for re-sale. Choices that aim to please everyone, almost always please no one, or have way too many competing options to attract attention or a good price.
- Re-sale depends a lot on the cost, size, quality and the maintenance of the dress, but first and foremost is whether someone falls in love with the look and can not forget it. Make sure you make smart decisions so you will love the look and feel lucky to have the costume, and others will as well.