8 Frequently Asked Questions about Dance Costumes

  1. How do I choose the best style & color for me?

Choosing a competition dance dress can be overwhelming; especially if you’ve just started to dance. There is a wide range of dresses available on the market and custom dresses create a limitless selection. It can be quite the challenge to narrow it down to that one perfect dress just for you

To pick the right design, I suggest you answer these three questions:

  1. Does the design work for my body type and can I easily move in it?
  2. Does the color harmonizes well with my natural coloring and is suitable for the dance floor?
  3. Does the style bring out my personality and suit my personal expression?

If you are unsure how to answer any of those questions, you are always welcome to contact me for personal Color, Style and PSE (Personal Style Expression)  Consultation.


  1. What is the best color to choose for a dance dress?

In the dance world, most competition dance costumes bright and clear tones of colors. But it’s not the rule! If you are not comfortable in fluorescent green or pink, there are definitely options that are equally eye catching. Safe colors that suit most dancers include: True Red, Navy Blue, True Blue, Periwinkle, Teal, Turquoise, Aqua and Violet.

Be cautious for black. Even though it is definitely suitable and an elegant color for the dance floor, you don’t want to get visually lost in a crowded dance heat. If you select a black dress, make sure the dress is well decorated; exquisite decoration can help you stand out even in a muted color

If you want to pinpoint your exact color compliment, you can also consider Color Analysis. I use a “Color Alliance” which is a technology assisted system that helps identify the perfect personal color palette that best compliments your skin tone, eye and hair color.


  1. How many crystals should I have on a costume?

Crystals are a big part of the dance attire and also a big factor when it comes to price…but more is not always better. Design, fit and color are more important than an over-decorated dress that doesn’t fit well. Additionally, too much decoration can be a turn off for judges. Be careful about choosing very bright sequence fabrics along with decorative mirrors and too many crystals, the effect can be a bit blinding and uncomfortable for judges and audience to look at. It’s all about the balance.

On the other hand, a simple dress with only few crystals might look basic and drab, next to a well decorated costume. If you have limited budget and need to cut the crystal count, the solution is to rely on creative design that will look great with less embellishments. 


  1. Am I too old to wear pastel or bright colors?

Definitely not!! You are not too old to wear any color, but make sure you are wearing the best shade of color for your skin tone!  Once again, if you need help pinpointing shades, I recommend Color Analysis. After receiving the service you will receive a personalized color palette that acts as a guide for your color selection for clothing, accessories, and makeup.  


  1. What kind of dresses do judges like?

Even though judges are predominantly grading your dancing skills, grooming and dress is factored into ballroom dance etiquette.  So while judges aren’t giving marks for their favorite color, they do notice overall appearance; polished and cohesive look always draws positive attention. A well designed competition dance dress will have also been designed for ease of movement; if a dress is uncomfortable or ill-fitting, it will reflect in your performance.


  1. Do I need to tan? And which should I use?

It’s not mandatory to have an artificial tan, but most dancers, particularly for Latin and Rhythm dances, find it more visually pleasing. If you choose to tan, I recommend a customizable air brush that dries overnight or an express tan (4hrs). You can also apply instant spray tan or bronzer afterwards.  But be aware that instant tan can stain dresses, so be very careful if you are planning to wear a lightly colored dress.


  1. How many dresses do I need per year?

This is totally up to you! But my recommendation is to have at least two dresses to chose from, and bring both of them to the event. Check the ballroom before getting dressed and make sure to choose the right dress for the ballroom. If the ballroom appears to be dark go with bright or light color and vice versa.


  1. Why are the dresses so expensive?

I agree that good quality competition dance costume can be costly. But there is a lot that goes into creating a one-of-a-kind custom dance dress from scratch. Both material and labor factor into the cost.

A custom process begins with a consultation: choosing the right design, material, and crystals. Each dress design is an original and so it takes time to develop the pattern and create that special and unique look.  There are also fittings, alterations, and adjustments to get a dress to fit & flow just perfectly. And finally, decorating and embellishing which is quite a lengthy process as each crystal, beads, fringes, and even feathers are meticulously hand-placed and attached one-by-one. Every well decorated dress has on average 3000- 5000 crystals which takes quite a bit of time to attach!

Dance costumes require material and crystals specifically manufactured for dancers; these materials are imported from Europe which means both the quality and price is higher.


  1. Do I need to get a custom dress made or can I buy “off the rack” ?

Already-made dresses are fast, easy, and generally cheaper. If you find a dress that fits your body well, you love the color and design, it’s perfectly fine to buy a premade dress. Just make sure the dress is still in an excellent condition and the style of the dress is current.

Custom dresses are for those who want the extra service. Sometimes they have a dream dress in mind, or they just want something truly unique and one-of-a-kind and want to collaborate with a professional dress tailor. 

But in the end, whether premade or custom, it goes back to the same three questions:

  1. Does the design work for my body type and can I easily move in it?
  2. Does the color harmonizes well with my natural coloring and is suitable for the dance floor?
  3. Does the style bring out my personality and suit my personal style expression?


Thank you for reading and happy dancing!