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Irish - Dressmakers & Costumers
The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide (karma: 7)
By GanAinmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 585, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:03 PM
Edited by CSxo (186139) on 2008-04-06 12:05:03 fixing typos etc.
Made sticky by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2008-04-07 08:58:21 Great thread!

Are you confused about all the latest dress styles? Well, this guide should sort out all your problems!

Note: Champs That Wear Them are taken from the top three world and all ireland championship dancers in each age group, and various other well known dancers (not all are listed)

Pictures are taken from dance-again.com and worldirishdancing.com. If you do not want your photo on, please tell me.

Skirt Styles

1. Three Panelled
This style is the most traditional dress style, and is common amongst both class dresses and slightly older solo dresses.
Dresses can have three separate panels, and others can have joined, pleated panels.
Often pleated panels have kickpleats, a contrasting patch of material in the pleat that shows when a dancer leaps, kicks, cuts, hops, basically any move that involves upward movement of the leg.
Champs Who Wear Them: Many Younger Champs, and Formerly Older Ones!!
Image hotlink - 'http://i31.tinypic.com/15zqy6f.jpg'
dress with separate panels

Image hotlink - 'http://i26.tinypic.com/23igkf6.jpg'
dress with attached panels


2. Multi Panelled
This style became popular not very long ago, and is still widely used. It involves a skirt with more than three panels- similarly to three panelled dresses, they can also have separate or pleated panels. Sometimes the panels are completely separate, and therefore can bounce and move freely as the dancer dances. Others are slightly attached, and therefore still move, whilst not as much as the former. Others are pleated, and similarly to the three panelled dresses, have kickpleats.
Another form of multi panelled dresses actually only has three panels- there are normally two panels at each side that are real panels, whilst the middle panel has a pattern that makes it look like two panels. These are usually called faux panelled dresses.
Champs Who Wear Them: Ciara Sexton, Lauren Early, Siobhan Casey, Donna Griffin

Image hotlink - 'http://i25.tinypic.com/1688yyt.jpg'
five panelled dress


3. One Panelled
These are an incredibly recent style of dress. The skirt has one panel- usually similar to the attached multi panelled dresses, except even more attached (if that makes sense!), and slightly shorter. Underneath this panel is a “soft skirt”, a sort of petticoat, usually made of either lace or ruffled material.
Champs Who Wear Them: Fiona Dargan, Mary McEvoy Morgan, Naimh Taylor, Ashley Smith

Image hotlink - 'http://i31.tinypic.com/wsv4lg.jpg'
one panelled dress

4. Soft Skirts
Soft skirts are a huge up and coming trend. It involves NO panels, and usually had 2-3 layers of fabric, the smaller usually on the top, in different colours, on top of each other.
It’s a very hard style to explain- take a look at the photos.
Champs Who Wear Them: Shannon Daly, Zoe Baines, Jillian Oury

elevation-design.co.uk . . .
due to the site design, I cannot simply copy the photos, therefore, please click the link!

Image hotlink - 'http://i28.tinypic.com/2e5oco6.jpg'
far right- soft skirted dress (this one's gorgeous!)


5. Puffball Skirts
Puffball skirts are a style made famous by the dressmaker Siopa Rince. The dress is made up of many soft panels, usually with a pattern on each one. When in motion, these panels “puff” up, and give almost a mushroom like effect.
Champs Who Wear Them: Katherine Vincent, Tara Stone, Ann Marie Melia

Image hotlink - 'http://i28.tinypic.com/ruoh6p.jpg'
puffball skirt dress

6. Wrap Skirts
These skirts became very popular a few years ago. They were considered unique and different, and every so now and then, a twist on the style appears. There are two main forms of wrap skirt- centre (curtain) and side. Centre wraps have two “leafs” that meet in the middle, and have either a soft or hard backing in the space. Side wraps are similar, but meet off centre. Again, these can have a soft or hard backing. There are various twists on the standard wrap skirt- some have no backing, and the panels overlap enough over each other that there is no skin seen through the gap.
Champs who wear them: Maggie Darlington, Jessie Baffa

Image hotlink - 'http://i26.tinypic.com/5c0ntl.jpg'
centre wrap dress

Image hotlink - 'http://i30.tinypic.com/2cr7uj8.jpg'
side wrap dress

Bodices

There are no actual “names” for bodice patterns, but dancers/dressmakers tend to describe them in similar ways.

1. Corsets
Corset style bodices are common throughout all age groups. These resemble corsets, although are usually part of the bodice itself. This style can be completely plain or have pattern on it, but usually any pattern involved isn’t very complex. Often the sleeves are a contrasting shade, and this is where the pattern is. Sometimes there are buttons down the centre, and recently “straps” have been added.
Champs Who Wear Them: Shauna Ryan, Mary McEvoy Morgan, Donna Griffin

Image hotlink - 'http://i31.tinypic.com/29ngemw.jpg'
corseted dress



2. Jackets
This is a fairly popular style amongst senior dancers, although younger girls also wear them. There are buttons running up the middle of the “jacket”, and sometimes there is a pattern around the neck. This style is often a two piece dress, although it still usually opens down the back, rather than with the buttons at the front.
Champs Who Wear Them: Jessie Baffa, Many Senior Non-World Champs

worldirishdancing.com . . .
page copyrighted, so please click the link. various jacketed dresses- jessie baffa, 2nd place in over 21 ladies.
3. Necklaced
This style was incredibly popular at the worlds. The bodice is usually completely plain, with only a small amount of “necklace” around the neck. Also, lace collars have become more popular.
Champs Who Wear Them: Loretta Callanan, Niamh Taylor, Therese Corless

Image hotlink - 'http://i31.tinypic.com/2wghk47.jpg'
Niamh Taylor in her necklaced dress

4. Other
There is a huge range of bodice types. There are rarely two the same, therefore it is impossible to list them all. Some just have traditional patterns in the centre, others have patterns down the middle.
Champs Who Wear Them: Tara Stone, Lauren Early, Katherine Vincent

for pics, see basically everywhere!


If you have any better pictures, please post them!

Please feel free to comment, add info and ask questions.

51 Replies to The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide

re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By GanAinmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 585, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Mon Apr 07, 2008 04:04 AM
Oh, and if anyone sees any typos, tell me too!!
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By dancer_1234 Comments: 46, member since Fri Jun 29, 2007
On Mon Apr 07, 2008 06:54 AM
Brilliant Post, but i'd say zoe baines dress is more of a one panel with like frills underneath rather than a soft skrit, i might be rong?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By irishdancer3435 Comments: 624, member since Sat Oct 22, 2005
On Mon Apr 07, 2008 07:23 AM
what a great post! looks like you put alot of effort into it and its very helpful. What i love about irish dancing right now is how diverse all the costumes are and how many choices we have.

oh and i pretty sure that JO's dress is more of a one panelled but it does look close to a soft skirt.
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By siobhan157 Comments: 239, member since Thu Apr 03, 2008
On Mon Apr 07, 2008 09:29 AM
what about posting a picture of the newer 3 panel dresses instead of that old one?
elevation designs are making beautiful ones.
but great job with this!
i was just thinking about which design i should use for my new dance dress and this way i can see them all in one page.
talk about making my life easier. lol
thanks again!

here's the link to the page on their website-
www.elevation-design.co.uk . . .
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By reeldancer11 Comments: 65, member since Sun Apr 20, 2008
On Sun Apr 27, 2008 03:25 PM
On #4 (soft skirt) who is the girl with red hair on the left in the blue/white/orange dress?? and does anyone know who made that dress?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By irishdancer3435 Comments: 624, member since Sat Oct 22, 2005
On Sun Apr 27, 2008 07:45 PM
One of our own DDNers,Feisanne, made the green, orange, and white dress for her daughter Rhiannon.

if your interested, shes selling rhiannons last dress
www.dance.net . . .
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By IDsoloseller Comments: 61, member since Thu Dec 22, 2005
On Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:48 AM
Oh my goodness, I'm the "corseted dress" example! Thanks, I'm honored!
Trish
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By GanAinmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 585, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Mon Apr 28, 2008 01:04 AM
^^
Haha, that's cool.

It's a beautiful dress!
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By xoIrishDancexo Comments: 6, member since Sun Dec 16, 2007
On Mon Jun 16, 2008 05:08 PM
does anyone know who made the dress under soft skirts that has turqiose and white and orange? i luv it!!!
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By Sakura_Efreet Comments: 707, member since Fri May 02, 2008
On Sat Jul 19, 2008 09:26 PM
Her screen name on here is Feisanne. Yes, the dress is very pretty!
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By tighnamara Comments: 263, member since Mon May 12, 2008
On Fri Aug 01, 2008 07:39 AM
I love the soft-skirt style look. I was wondering what dancers who actually wear them think of the dress style. I hear it is much lighter to dance in. How does it compare to the previously popular stiffened styles?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By DayDreamer389 Comments: 1, member since Tue Sep 09, 2008
On Tue Sep 09, 2008 05:23 PM
this is an awesome post! i love this pics and the full detail description on everything!
awesome job..
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By jig_jig22 Comments: 59, member since Fri Aug 03, 2007
On Sun Oct 19, 2008 04:29 PM
Really nice! so cute! i love all the new dresses coming out!



i think that JO actually has a one panel, up close it looks like a five panel, far away it looks like a soft skirt haha
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By ann999 Comments: 21, member since Tue Oct 07, 2008
On Sat Oct 25, 2008 08:37 AM
I really enjoyed seeing the different styles spelled out. Nice Job. thanks!
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By IDDMAMA Comments: 27, member since Thu Nov 06, 2008
On Thu Nov 06, 2008 09:59 AM
Does any one know if there is a pattern out there for the soft skirt style dress? Maybe the Mom who made the Teal orange and white one could suggest something..maybe someone would know how to contact this Mom?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By irish_4_life Comments: 1094, member since Tue Jul 11, 2006
On Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:06 AM
she's feisanne on here :)
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By tracymc40 Comments: 149, member since Mon Sep 22, 2008
On Thu Nov 06, 2008 07:49 PM
Love the "irish" soft skirt dress I was wondering if any one has a base pattern exactly like this would love to have a go at making this style myself.
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By greendress07 Comments: 27, member since Sun Mar 18, 2007
On Sun Feb 01, 2009 09:21 AM
yet again another post that is very uselful in helping decide what style of dress to go for

Thanks to all for there input
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By jimzdancer Comments: 182, member since Tue Sep 04, 2007
On Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:24 PM
Thank you for such detailed information! One thing I have noticed with panel dresses is the skirts sometimes hang off center. I have not had this happen with my daughters but we will soon be looking for a larger dress. Does this just happen with the dress aging or has the owner done something wrong?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By irishdancer102member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 275, member since Fri May 29, 2009
On Sat Jun 20, 2009 03:13 PM
Woah, this is really helpful! Thank you so much for posting!
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By claddaghgirl1 Comments: 78, member since Sat Sep 05, 2009
On Sat Sep 05, 2009 09:28 AM
This is a really cool post. But I've noticed that since the NANs and British Nationals, a lot of newer styles are coming through. Has anyone got any pictures of the newer styles getting made?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By GGOidancer Comments: 22, member since Thu Sep 03, 2009
On Sun Sep 06, 2009 06:42 PM
what type of dress do you think will be best for a novice/prizewinner teen dancer?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By GGOidancer Comments: 22, member since Thu Sep 03, 2009
On Sun Sep 06, 2009 06:43 PM
what type of dress do you think will be best for a novice/prizewinner teen dancer?
re: The Ultimate Irish Dance Dress Style Guide
By sixinthenest Comments: 23, member since Sun Sep 06, 2009
On Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:59 AM
I love this informative post. We are relatively new to the Irish Dance world and have so much to learn....
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