Designing An Irish Dance Dress That Makes Me Look Like An Adult, Not A Kid

01.24.12

I've talked recently about just how ridiculous Irish dance costumes are and how much I hate wearing wigs. You can read the article I wrote about solo dresses and wigs in Diddlyi Magazine. As a follow up to that article, I'd hate to think I gave off the impression that I don't love to dress up! I love to wear lots of makeup and fix my hair fancy, wear stylish dresses. The only thing I object to is just how bad Irish dance dresses look on someone who's over 20 years old. Perhaps some girls like to wear princess dresses, but I don't particularly enjoy being mistaken for a teenager. I am a grown woman, so the idea of wearing something that's pink and puffy is very repugnant.

Over the years I've tried to find dresses and wigs that would be more suitable for my age, but somehow whenever I see a picture later, the style looks completely wrong on me. I don't have a round face with puffy pink cheeks, or short little legs. I don't have big barbie eyes. Perhaps when I was ten years old Irish solo dresses would have looked wonderful on me, but I'm not a kid anymore.

When I go shopping, I've learned to only buy clothes that accentuate my own personal beauty. So far, all the Irish dance dresses I've bought just don't do it. That's why I've decided to alter one of my older dresses to something that will actually work for me. A style that makes me look like a beautiful woman on stage, rather than a weird tall girl trying to pass off as a little kid. I've had ideas running through my mind all day and as soon as I get home I'm going to start trying them out.

Since Irish dance dress styles are always extreme I plan to do something bold and tough, a dress that makes me look more like a warrior than a pretty princess. The goal is to be able to walk on stage proud of what I'm wearing, feeling beautiful and strong. I found some really cool accessories at Hot Topic and Icing and I'll be putting up my hair in an elegant way. The trick is to be extravagant, so people don't even notice I'm not wearing a wig.

For the first time ever I'm excited to dress up for a feis! If all goes well, for the first time I won't to be mistaken for a teenager. I can look beautiful in an Irish dance dress too, I just need to create something that shows off my own natural beauty. Once I'm finished, I'll share some before and after photos of the altered dress. I can't wait to get home so I can get started!

UPDATE! See the before & after photos! Click Here

Article written by Shelly Allen
Photos by Shelly Allen Photography.

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