Ballroom Dance > Black Gowns (and other ways to shoot yourself in the foot)

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Chris Stratton, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. Angelo

    Angelo Member

    Its funny that this topic should come up as I seem to have a sort of fetish for black ballgowns. If a lady is wearing one I will tend to watch her much more often than the other ladies even if she is not the best dancer on the floor. The black gowns didn't seem to hamper anyone's results on saturday night, as the couples who had ladies in black gowns placed first and second, if I remember the results correctly.


    My above fetish not withsatnding, I find that the costuming is a low prority in who I tend to watch and is a minor determinant in the couples placings. I'm sure everyone can recall some hideous outfits (just about anything with feathers) on championship dancers in every style.
     
  2. robin

    robin New Member

    Tony Bailey of Brackley's is a former Savile Row tailor, and makes very nice tailsuits, but they don't cost $5000... Prices range from 600 pounds to 900 pounds depending on fabric (about 1100 to 1700 US $).

    Arthur Ashmore is the other big name I can think of for dancesport tailors in the UK.

    I think dancing tails have to be made to measure and really need the tailor to take measurements himself and have a fitting to make final adjustments. Tailsuits are always expensive and 600 pounds is the most i've ever spent on any item of clothing, but wearing a properly fitting tailor-made tail-suit is just fantastic ;).
     
  3. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I have a black gown. It's pretty heavily stoned and fits me quite well. I wouldn't have preferred to buy a black gown, but finances dictated. This was a good purchase. I agree that I seemed to "blend" a little with my instructor, but it didn't reflect in the scores since I won my heats, but I will say that a nicely fit black gown looks better than someone wearing bright yellow who shouldn't be, due to age/body type, etc.
     
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That's what I was getting at with my question about the "lines" of the garment itself. A la "What not to wear." Surely a gown that's a darker color and cut to flatter someone's figure must be better than a bright colored gown that shows every flaw. Is that wrong? :? *shrug*
     
  5. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I agree, Jenn. I guess it all depends on *how* you want to stand out?? The "eeeek" effect is going to get you noticed, but probably with a few blanched faces!

    I'd love to get a color/dress that is just perfect for me and draws the eye of the judges as soon as I get on the floor, but I'll just have to work on other ways of doing that. Like maybe toilet paper hanging out the bottom *LOL*
     
  6. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    I'd argue the same is true for non-dance jackets. People complain about having to wear business suits because they're 'uncomfortable', but what they don't realize is that they're uncomfortable not because they're business suits, but because they're cut to fit some generic body that very few people actually match.

    But yes, they're expensive, and to conveniently get the measurements and fitting with the tailor, one has to use a local tailor. That's really limiting in cities with only one or two tailors.
     
  7. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of that Nicholas Cotton/Maria Hansen comic showdance routine at Ohio star a few years ago.
     
    j_alexandra likes this.
  8. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Oh, did someone already beat me to it??? Always a day late and a dollar short!
     
  9. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth New Member

    Just my $0.02 on black gowns.

    Black is not automatically slimming. Read the guys post about the new cut of tailsuits and how they are making guys who arch there backs look fat, and remember that tailsuits are almost always black.

    I've seen heavier women look good in gowns that were pale pink, pale yellow, champagne, teal blue, cobalt blue, bright red and even white. The things these dresses had in common were that they were cut well, with nice full skirts. I'd say that the key thing for anyone is to pick a dress that is cut in a way that will flatter your body type, an just pick colors that work with your coloring and will stand out on the floor and compliment your dancing.

    No dress is going to fool anyone into thinking you're a size four when you're a size eight, or a size eight when you're a size twelve, or a size twelve when you're a size sixteen. Anyone who says differently is selling dresses.
     
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Just for the record, many of the more ethical dress vendors would say this exact same thing as well.
     
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Good points, Elizabeth. Though, from time to time, one may see a heavier woman looking like a fuchsia sausage. :shock: :wink: In some instances, I have seen use of color shave a perceived dress size or two, but, as a rule, you're right. I think the cut of the garment is just as important as the color.

    The other piece of it, though, is the self confidence. If a heavier woman feels more confident in a royal blue gown than, say, a canary yellow one, I vote for royal all the way.

    Incidentally, I think cobalt blue is a nice compromise color. It's on the darker side, so you get that slimming effect if the cut is right. But it's fairly eye catching. It's also one of my favorite colors. LOL. It's a toss-up whether I'll go for cobalt or fuchsia for my next gown. Both look good on me, but I'll probably go with fuchsia. IF I lose an in or two off the hips by then. :wink: :lol:
     
  12. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Well, the other factor is that there are people who are (....thinking of the most delicate way to state this...) color and fashion challenged. Some people may see a dress that they love, but it doesn't necessarily love them back. I notice this a lot with older women trying to wear things they just can't pull off. And believe me, at 41, it kills me that there are things I could wear just 5 years ago that I can't really wear now (unless I want to slave away at the gym every single day, and I just can't...so I have to trade off). For instance, in my last comp, there was a woman in her late 40's who was in "okay" shape, but chose a dress that was REALLY low cut in the back and it just didn't flatter her. Also, a woman wore a short latin number that was a leopard print. That's a tough one even for someone younger and in good shape. So, personally, I think it's always best to try to get an honest opinion or two, even if you may not like the answers you get.
     
  13. LilSammie89

    LilSammie89 New Member

    ok, so what about beginners? I'm told that if I dance in the next comp coming up (in 6 weeks!) I'm only allowed to wear a plain black dress... with no bling or anything, supposiedly because beginners aren't "worthy". But if all beginners are made to wear black, then it's the dancing and how you use the space that will get you noticed, so surely a better thing to learn? In other words we shouldn't rely on the dresses to get us noticed, but the routine instead. Of course I may be chatting nonsence, are we just talking about better dancers coz I'll be quiet then =)
     
  14. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I finally get to wear a black gown to a comp this weekend :!: :!: :!: can't wait. I've been waiting for this for quite a while. Finally found one I liked too. Very excited :D :D :D

    (True, it has some white on the sleaves and the hem but as far as I am concerned, I get to wear a black gown)
     
  15. Angelo

    Angelo Member


    Don't worry. This whole thread was started last year and was based upon one person's opinion. It is by no means any kind of rule that one should not wear a black ballgown in competition. Others have worn them successfully in the past and I'm sure others will do so in the future. Possibly KatherineH or yourself for instance!
     
  16. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I will try my best to wear the black dress well... (I will be changing into my orange one for the final or semis.. unless we don't make it, and then I can blame it on the dress :D )

    Honestly though, I think black gowns can be really nice, and are worn pretty frequently. You can probably assume that most judges have eyes that are good enough to see the dancing, and not the gown. I think what you choose to wear is for yourself, and perhaps for the audience, not the judges. You match your look with how you want to express the dance. Although being well groomed and creating a right look might influence results a slightest bit...

    Nothing can pull of an elegant look better than a black gown... IMHO.
     
  17. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    <bump>
    This old thread; have opinions changed? I know mine has not. I love black, on me; it's extremely flattering to my skin and hair. I love my black Smooth gown, which is heavily stoned with Crystal AB, so even though it's black, it's full of light.

    But.

    I cannot understand why Standard ladies wear black. Was watching the pro-am Standard at Empire this past weekend, and the one dancer I really wanted to watch wore a black gown, and was almost invisible against her partner; a face and two hands, and some hair, but nothing else. I was frustrated! Annoyed! I wanted to see how she does that magical stuff she does -- and couldn't see a thing.

    Granted, she won everything anyway. I think. But. SO FRUSTRATING
     
  18. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    It does seem like it would have to be pretty heavily stoned in order to not just blend in. Especially if the lady got a bit carried away with the fake tan...
     
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  19. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I really dislike that dress on her. Don't feel like it shows her off to advantage at all! But since I sometimes dance against her, I'm cool with that :p

    I do have a (mostly) black dress - but it is completely backless, doesn't have sleeves, and has a coloured underskirt so I don't feel like I blend at all. I'm not sure I would have chosen it had a designed from scratch, but it served it's OMG-none-of-my-dresses-fit need well.

    Generally, I think that to wear black in standard, you either need to be good enough to pull the attention and focus with your dancing, or have a very detailed dress with texture, stones or colour to help.
     
    j_alexandra likes this.
  20. Miss Silly

    Miss Silly Well-Known Member

    I have a black gown and for my situation it actual works really well since i blend more into the gentleman....so it's harder to notice that i'm bigger than him (LOL).

    I love black gowns but I totally get it that they don't always stand out on the floor.
     

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