Deciding to commission a custom dress is thrilling…but can also be overwhelming. Where do you even start? What style should you choose? There are so many options when it comes to creating a dancewear from scratch.
The first step is to gather inspiration. Look at photos of dresses and possibly even trying on a few. Trying on dresses is especially important if you’ve never competed before. Dance dresses are a unique type of clothing, and it might take time for you to feel comfortable wearing a dance dress.
You may have found a picture or video of a dress on professional dancer, but designing a custom dress isn’t about copying someone else’s look… it’s about find the best look for YOU. Here are some of the key points to consider in your dress design:
1. Your body type and silhouette.
These are 4 basic body shapes, and each one is flattered by a different kind of dress. Our eyes are naturally drawn to balance. The Hourglass silhouette is the most basic balanced shape, but that doesn’t mean you are trying to only replicate those proportions. Height and weight also matters when it comes to creating the perfect dress.
If you have a rectangular silhouette where your shoulders, waist, and hips are about the same width, you’ll want your dress to emphasize the waist to break up the rectangle.
A pear-shaped silhouette is when the hips are wider than the bust and the waist is defined. You’ll want to make sure you have a customized dance dress that will emphasize the waist and add more volume to your upper body.
You have an inverted-triangle body shape if your bust is wider than your hips. To balance your silhouette you’ll want to emphasize your waist and add more volume to the lower body.
Like an hourglass, the body type has a bust and hips that are similar width with a narrow waist. In this case, you’ll want your dress to emphasize the waist and keep the upper and lower body balanced.
2. Your personal style.
Personal style expression is not only about the style of dress you’re wearing, but also what style of dresses looks good on you! You might like bold and bright design with geometric patterns, but your petite body type will look drowned in such style. There are 6 basic personal styles, but most of the times we are a combination of two:
Bold, striking, unique and unconventional designs
Bold and vivid, high contrast fabrics, geometric pattern, large accessories, asymmetric designs
Simple lines, comfortable, relaxed and casual style
Smaller print, abstract print in softer colors, minimal details and accessories
Timeless, refined, polished and sophisticated style
Solids, elegant patterns, symmetrical designs, simple accessories
Gentle, feminine, soft and romantic style
Floral fabrics, ruffles, feminine prints and colors
In fashion, edgy style
Trendy fabrics, irregular patterns, modern colors
Magnetic, attractive, seductive, sensual style
Plunging necklines, sheer fabrics, shorter hems, lace, bold lines
3. Your best colors.
There are few things that come into play when talking about proper Color Analysis. To keep it simple for these tips, let’s focus on just the skin undertone as a deciding factor whether to choose warm, cool or neutral colors for your performance attire.
Simply put, if you have a blue undertone your will look best in cool colors. If you have a yellow undertone you will look great in warm colors. How can you easily discover your skin’s undertone?
Simple Skin Color Test 1
Without any artificial or natural tan, look at the veins on the inside of your forearm in the daylight. If your veins appear blue or purple you have a cool undertone. If your veins look more green or olive tone, you have a warm undertone. If it’s hard to determine you may be neutral or should try this second test….Simple Skin Color Test 2
In natural daylight, hold up a piece of gold and silver jewelry next to your face. Try to determine which metal makes your skin look healthier and vibrant. If it’s silver you have a cool undertone and if it’s gold you have warm undertone. If you look great in both, you might be neutral.
When you’re designing a custom dress, remember this simple three step formula! It will help you decide on the best design, style and color for your next dance dress. For your own personal consultation regarding the silhouette, style and color analysis, please feel free to contact me directly and I will be happy to help!
Thank you for reading and happy dancing!