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Thread: At what level does costuming actually matter?

  1. #21
    Bona Fide Member narcissa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seren View Post
    Some of Michelle's later costumes were very simple in that they had no sparkles or embellishments but their design would still be timeless and stylish today.

    I think the best case scenario is that a costume inspire confidence in the skater. You like bling? Great! You feel better in simpler clothing? Also great! As long as a skater is confident in what they are wearing then they will look good wearing it. As for judging it shouldn't make a difference but it can make a difference for the skater wearing it.

    I am an adult skater and I have had 2 dresses in the past several years made for me- both of which I have used multiple times. I feel much more comfortable in them than any off the rack dress I bought that made me feel like I was playing dress up (while I am a smaller adult I am still not proportioned like a kid). The clothes don't make the skater but they can help the skater feel more confident.
    I'm an adult skater too and honestly the goal of wearing a pretty dress and spinning/skating on the ice is one of my main motivations! I can't wait to design/make my dresses lol (but I probably have to up my level a bit more). I think for many little girls (and boys) it's definitely one of the draws of the sport along with everything else, ofc. I don't think it should affect your scores one bit though, in theory.

  2. #22
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    I have 2 little skaters in beginner excel and no test. So far, I've bought a couple of dresses for $60-90 and blinged them out myself, 1 dress for $250 that was on sale, a few hand me down dresses that were about $20, and one dress off ebay for $75. Have the the prices had any association with their scores at that level? I don't think so. I can't see spending more than $250 until they're around pre-juv to juvenile. Most of the dresses at their levels look to be in around the same price range. Heck, my younger daughter is still skating in recreational Jackson Artistes with the stock blade that are hand me downs from her sister that we moved the blades for $15.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnybarista View Post
    If you're testing at a lower level, maybe in a large group/fleet (?), having a unique costume could help you stand out when the judges have seen dozens and dozens of similar programs and costumes.
    If you're testing, how you're dressed compared to others taking the same test doesn't matter; you're not being compared to anyone else during a test, only to the rulebook requirements and the quality standards that judges have developed in their minds for that test level.

    If you're competing, especially in an event judged under 6.0, then judges will compare your skating to the other skaters in your event and making a better impression can only help. But what you want is for the outfit to help to give judges a better impression of your skating, including your carriage. Which is why a costume that's too big or otherwise doesn't fit right or makes it look like your shoulders are riding up or hunched forward more than they really are would be a bad idea.

    Otherwise, I think the main conscious notice that judges take of the costumes is to keep track of which competitor was which, and maybe to play "Guess the music" during the warmup.

  4. #24
    Aspiring Adult Ice Dancer~ bunnybarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    If you're testing, how you're dressed compared to others taking the same test doesn't matter; you're not being compared to anyone else during a test, only to the rulebook requirements and the quality standards that judges have developed in their minds for that test level.

    If you're competing, especially in an event judged under 6.0, then judges will compare your skating to the other skaters in your event and making a better impression can only help. But what you want is for the outfit to help to give judges a better impression of your skating, including your carriage. Which is why a costume that's too big or otherwise doesn't fit right or makes it look like your shoulders are riding up or hunched forward more than they really are would be a bad idea.

    Otherwise, I think the main conscious notice that judges take of the costumes is to keep track of which competitor was which, and maybe to play "Guess the music" during the warmup.
    Yeah, I guess I should have said "competing" instead of "testing" - I just remember hearing stories of judges who forgot which skater was which ("one of the red dress girls" or something to that effect) and I wondered if having a flashier / more unique costume would catch the judges' eye. Hopefully this kind of judging rarely happens, and more so at lower levels where there are dozens of identical little girls.

    "Guess the music" is a lot of fun, even as a spectator

  5. #25
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    Some of the current trends in costumes is related to new fabrics that weren’t available back in the day. For instance, cotton used to be considered the best material for athletics but is no longer. Now we have lightweight synthetic fabrics that ‘wick away moisture’ for instance. And during Nadia Comăneci’s time they didn’t have four-way stretch fabric.

    Also in regards to Edea - the IceFly are the only high end synthetic boots that I know of. The trend is towards function (and for some skaters it’s about ethics). They’re lighter than other boots. It’s not just about the fact that ‘all the other skaters have them’; it’s that they are functionally different than all the other boots.

  6. #26
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    I sew mine and my daughter's dresses. I won't ever be buying a dress for myself. I've bought some used dresses for my daughter because I can get them for $30 which is about the same as the fabric for making them. I'll make her costume dresses and buy her testing/practice dresses until she fit an Adult S. That's when they get rare used.

    Frankly, as far as sewing goes, sewing with lycra is sooooooooo much easier than woven cotton my goodness. It's so easy to make a skating dress compared to a lot of other types of sewing.

    So it's cheaper and it a hobby for me. Fabric for a dress is anywhere from $25-$50. I can't even imagine dropping $1000 on a dress omg. I could maybe spend $100 on fabric if I went really crazy.

  7. #27
    Aspiring Adult Ice Dancer~ bunnybarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimyue View Post
    Frankly, as far as sewing goes, sewing with lycra is sooooooooo much easier than woven cotton my goodness. It's so easy to make a skating dress compared to a lot of other types of sewing.
    I am surprised to hear that - sewing with stretchy fabric seems like wizardry to me, whereas I am pretty decent at sewing with cotton / non-stretch fabric. Teach me your ways!! (Sorry that this is going slightly off-topic)

  8. #28
    Bona Fide Member narcissa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnybarista View Post
    I am surprised to hear that - sewing with stretchy fabric seems like wizardry to me, whereas I am pretty decent at sewing with cotton / non-stretch fabric. Teach me your ways!! (Sorry that this is going slightly off-topic)
    It depends on what you're used to!! Sewing stretch lycra is...easier on one hand because if you're like 1/2" off that's easy to fix, just stretch it a little. you can't do that with cotton. But a lot of skating dresses have weird shapes, low cut backs, and fit issues especially when you have to skate around in contorted positions, which are problems you usually don't have when you use cotton to make a dress.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning View Post
    Liza T won Lombardia's SP today wearing tight and white bf shirt. I don't believe at all on any connections of the spectacular dresses and the good results.

    I blame the crazy escalated spending for dresses and equipments on social media. Do we really care how much they spent for their dresses and skates? I don't think not many people do. It is kind of ridiculous to see new learner especially adult showing off their Icefly with Revolution blades.

    Many skaters manage to spend reasonable cost on memorable costumes. Kailani did make her owns and her dresses have always been a hit!
    I wear Ice Flies because they are the best boot for my foot, but because I'm a low level skater I worry that they have a negative impact on a judge who thinks I have chosen them for their appearance and I'm overbooted.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning View Post
    Liza T won Lombardia's SP today wearing tight and white bf shirt. I don't believe at all on any connections of the spectacular dresses and the good results.

    I blame the crazy escalated spending for dresses and equipments on social media. Do we really care how much they spent for their dresses and skates? I don't think not many people do. It is kind of ridiculous to see new learner especially adult showing off their Icefly with Revolution blades.

    Many skaters manage to spend reasonable cost on memorable costumes. Kailani did make her owns and her dresses have always been a hit!
    Quote Originally Posted by christy View Post
    I wear Ice Flies because they are the best boot for my foot, but because I'm a low level skater I worry that they have a negative impact on a judge who thinks I have chosen them for their appearance and I'm overbooted.
    That’s the last thing judges care about - there is so much else to look at and pay attention to. If it makes you feel any better, most high level judges are not current skaters so it’s unlikely they even know what model of boots each level of skater ‘should’ be wearing. You see ice flies these days from pre-pre comps to senior. Ideally they are clean and in good condition and do not detract from your general appearance.

    As far as other skaters go, for every skater that’s judgemental about adults, there are 10 who view you as an inspiration, so don’t let these stray opinions affect you.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnybarista View Post
    I am surprised to hear that - sewing with stretchy fabric seems like wizardry to me, whereas I am pretty decent at sewing with cotton / non-stretch fabric. Teach me your ways!! (Sorry that this is going slightly off-topic)
    For me at least, sewing them goes very quickly because you don't need to stop and press everything. Especially when you compare sewing a cotton dress with a liner and a skating dress with a liner. I also found the overcast stitches to be much easier to keep straight, you just line up the edge of the fabric with the foot.

    The most difficult thing is top stitching elastic. If you have elastic in the collar, you need to top stitch it nicely because everyone will see those stitches. I actually have an easier time with fold over elastic instead of using regular elastic and rolling it under.

    The main thing is that the fabric is stretchy so any little gaff you make while sewing doesn't matter much when you wear the dress. I don't have to sew fancy darts for my chest, the fabric just stretches.

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