Forum: General / Jazz / Jazz - General

The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume (karma: 3)
By dance_dance14
On Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:11 AM
Made sticky by Theresa (28613) on 2008-03-01 21:18:34

A lot of people do not know places to get their dance costumes and how to choose one that goes with their song. Here, I'm going to explain what goes in to the costume choosing process. If anyone needs help choosing a costume they should ask here!

First, know what song you are using.
There is no point in picking a costume first, because even though the costume might be pretty, the main focus is the dance. If you pick the costume first, you will end up settling with a dance that may not be that good just to go with the costume.

Second, see what the song is about.
This is probably the hardest part for everyone. Consider the song title. Also, it might be good to watch the music video of the song because it might help you get to realize what the song is about more. Feel free to also look up the lyrics! This usually is most helpful! This is confusing so I am going to give 2 examples.

example 1
song-"Big Spender"
"idea of the song"- the song has a sexy feel. If you look up the lyrics you see "Hey big spender, spend a little time on me." That is a key line to tell you the main idea of the song.
example 2
song-"Enough is Enough"{its by Donna Summers"
"idea" of song- this song is disco-ish. {Which should be pretty obvious if you actually listen to the song}

Third, match the song with a costume.
Now that you know the feel this is the fun part! Go on websites and look in magazines for a costume that matches the "idea" for the song. There are things to consider when doing this:
-age of the dancers Mostly all costumes are shown on models on the websites/magazines so you see the costume on someone. If the costume is shown on a girl significantly younger than your dancers, don't get it. Many people disagree with this theory because they feel the model dosen't matter, but I feel if the costume is shown on a 10 year old, it is shaped for a 10 year old, not 15 year olds with curves. Use your common sense to see if things are age appropriate.
-colors Bright colors are great for shows. Stay away from black unless its really sparkly,or has an interesting pattern or cut. A plain black outfit will bore an audiance. Also stay away from tan, because it will dry your dancers out on stage. Keep in mind skin tones of your dancers. If you live in a cold place, and the show is in the winter where no one is tan, stay away from pale colors. Etc.
-modestyI know this is very contriversial[sp] between dancers, but there is some sense to it. If your studio is known for its reaveling costumes{meaning the parents know about belly tops and are ok with it} go for it. If your studio has never even had someone dance in shorts pick something covered. Keep in mind to keep things age-appropriate. In my opinion, dancers younger than 12/13ish should not be wearing belly shirts. I cannot really answer this question for you. You should figure this out according to your studio, dancers, and your own values.
body typesI know this is embarassing for some dancers to talk about but it has to be adressed. If you have dancers who are a little chubby, it is not a good idea to wear very tight costumes. You get the idea. Just make sure the costume will flatter the dancers in real life, not just the models.
remember our examples?
Big Spender
sexy feel.
lets say 16 year old dancers. . . .
broadway bound in red has a sexy feel, and will look cute on stage.
enough is enough
disco feel.
12 year old dancers. . . .
this costume in the pants version in gold has a disco feel, but no so much that the girls will hate it.
Final Touches
-if you are a teacher show the costume to your dancers. Make sure to stand your ground even if they dislike it.
-USE THE RIGHT SIZE CHART! Measure all dancers all make sure you are using the correct size chart for the brand.
-Make guidelines for hair and makeup.
-of course, don't forget to order it :P
One last note:
IF YOU HAVE A BOY DANCER IN THE DANCE: pick a costume that has a boy version. If you pick a girl costume and boy costume and try to put them together, you will be destined for it to look weird. They could be the same colors, but they might be completly different shades! Just play it safe!

I hope everyone thinks my guide was helpful. Here I've also included good dance costume websites that I know along with descriptions. Anyone else feel free to add more! - this website has a lot of glitter and sparkle. They also have a lot of sexy costumes. - yes, the same leo that makes shoes and leotards. They have a nice selection of costumes and also have accesories! They also give sugestions for songs for each costumes. - good selection, also very nicely sorted and organized on the website so you can find what you need faster. - costumes are sorted by types {dresses, unitards etc.} so if you know what you want its easy. I also think that compared to others, they have cheaper prices. - smaller selection, but have a lot of costumes for younger dancers. They also have older costumes too though.

Hope this helped everyone!

9 Replies to The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume

re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
By KangarooPawmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 05, 2008 06:36 PM
good job on this thread. very informative.
However, I find it hard to agree with the statement that as a teacher you should stand your ground even if the dancers dislike their costume. After all, they have to wear it, they should at least like it enough to be willing to deal with wearing it! :)

and another couple of websites to add to the list:
Stagewear LA- all of my costumes came from them this year. They make great quality costumes that all have some sort of accessory that comes along with it, whether you decide to use it or not. I would recommend for dancers 13+, although there are a few cute costumes for younger dancers as well.
Revolution Dancewear- they are a new company with a small selection. We found a few costumes we ordered from them, but as it turns out they weren't able to ship them to us in time, so we canceled our order and went through another company for those costumes.
A Wish Come True- great for kids especially. Almost all of our kids' costumes came from them this year. They are made with good quality and come completely ready to wear. They also include accessories. They also have a pretty good selection for teens and so forth- I actually modeled for their catalog in 2005.
Dancso/Fina- these are two sister companies. They have decent selection but not a lot. We did end up getting a few costumes from their companies this year, but they were mostly for duets and our adult tap group.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
By Jazzy_Audrey87
On Fri May 30, 2008 06:09 PM
bravo!!! This should be posted in every board!
re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
By behappy_dancemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:29 PM
Great Job! I had some sutff to add but I forgot what it was...
re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
By cutedancer96
On Sun Oct 12, 2008 06:26 PM
That was really helpful! I've seen some teachers at my old studio pick out a costume and try to find a song that matches but it just doesnt work that way. I pick out a song and then a costume just comes to you and you know it will be perfect.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
By isiscloud
On Sun Apr 19, 2009 08:15 PM
I agree. We all did not like our ballet costumes, but made suggestions and brought the teacher around to our thinking by being unified and getting her input.

In ballet, we're a little busty so we need more support and the outfit we wore ( . . .) had to have some sort of thicker straps, but we suggested to the teacher that we needed something to perk it up and make it less sheer when we did passes and turns.

Of course, it is the teacher's vision and should respect his/her thoughts.
re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
On Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:33 PM
This is a great :) Thanks I will need this this coming year!
re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
By KaptainKlancymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Aug 03, 2009 04:17 PM
Don't forget!

Comment #8430874 deleted

re: The Ultimate Guide to Chosing the Perfect Costume
By jnsdance
On Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:39 AM
I am choreographing a dance to the song "Feelin Good" by Escala. It has five people in it including me and I have no idea what to do for the costumes. I don't really want to buy anything but I will if I have to.

I am thinking that I will just do black jazz pants and some kind of shirt but I have no idea what! Does anyone have any ideas of what kind of costume I should use?


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