Hot New Irish Dance Solo Dress Styles for 2012

Article featured in Diddlyi Magazine.
11.03.11

North American Irish Dancing Championships ~ Click for more photos

Solo dress designs are changing constantly. What everyone was wearing at a feis four years ago is very different from what dancers are wearing today. If you’re a beginner or novice dancer, styles are not really an issue, but once you start competing in championships, you’re going to have to seriously think about investing in a beautiful, original solo dress.

If you’re looking to buy your first championship Irish dance dress the most important thing to know is that, just like regular everyday clothing, styles change. If you don’t want to stand out in a bad way, find something with a current design. You will want an Irish dance costume that you can wear for a long time and not get strange looks from the other girls because your dress is ‘so two years ago’. In my experience a dress style has a life of about 2-3 years if you buy it just as the style is taking off.

If you’re new to the Irish dance world, you’re probably thinking, “This girl is nuts! Any dress will work as long as the style follows feis competition regulations.” That is true, but only to a point. The problem is, if you have a 2000 style dress and are competing with girls who are wearing 2011 style dresses you are going to stand out in a very negative way. To the judges, and everyone else at the feis, you will look like someone wearing stretchy bell-bottoms in 1990 (just asking for ridicule and maybe even a beating).

Most importantly, a judge might not take a dancer as seriously if she is wearing an old style to compete. Yes, you can purchase a solo dress in an old style cheaper, but doing so can give the judges the impression that you care very little about your presentation. No, not every judge is sure to react that way, but is it worth the risk? Besides, I’ve never seen a championship dancer win first place while wearing a solo dress that was not a current style.

So all that being said, and now that I have you all wondering what solo dress styles are in right now, let me give you a few recommendations to get you started. Here are a few brilliant designers who are creating hot new Irish solo dress styles for 2012.

Kimberly Duggan of KDSF Dresses is my favorite designer. She doesn’t have a website, but she does have a Flickr gallery full of the most beautiful modern solo dresses I’ve ever seen. I bought my latest solo dress from her and have never received so many compliments on a dancing costume. Her prices are amazing for the quality you receive and she is always coming up with brilliant new styles. I check her Flickr page often, excited to see what she comes up with next. Go to Flickr page >>

Shauna Shiels of Doire Dress Designs is a wonderful designer with rare talent. No two Diore dresses are alike; each features it’s own unique look with elegant style and brilliant colors. Go to website >>

Stacy Farley of Aunt Stacy’s Dressmaking is very skilled in keeping up with modern designs as well as maintaining her own unique style in every dress. Go to website >>

Do you recommend another designer for championship dancers shopping for a solo dress?

Article written by Shelly Allen
Photo by Shelly Allen Photography

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