New custom made vs secondhand Irish dance costume. - Celtic Dress Design

I write this article thanks to my followers who shared their observations and experience in my survey about purchasing new custom-made and second-hand Irish dance costumes. Based on their answers and my knowledge, I describe all the pros and cons below.

It is an exciting time when your child, thanks to its hard work and your support, move on to the next level of Irish dancing and wear a solo costume on feis for the first time. It is also the time when you are looking for the costume of your Irish dancer’s dreams, and research offers about new custom-made and second-hand costumes. But how to choose between these options?

There are so many possibilities, so many great designers, both more and less known. All their designs are various and can make you dizzy. You don’t know what to choose. Trends change every year, and more unique costume patterns are created. Designers compete in creativity and make more beautiful masterpieces of art, decorated with crystals by Swarovski crystals, so dancers can shine on the stage during the feis competitions. 

But at the same time, the massive market for second-hand costumes is growing every year. 

Children overgrow up very fast, so the new costume is needed every year, and it happens more often. Many of us wonder how to pay for these costumes when it is so expensive? 

New costumes are made of the best materials with great care, attention to detail, and tailored to the dancer’s needs and figure. Costumes with crystals by Swarovski crystals can cost from 1000 to even 3000 euro. Often the best solution to start with is to buy second-hand costumes, which price is 20% to 60% lower than a new dress, depending on which year they were created.

There are pros and cons to each of these two options.

When choosing a custom-made costume:

• You receive a dress designed especially for you, including the best color for you.
• You get a unique design.
• You decide what the final costume cost will be by determining what budget you allocate for Swarovski crystals, or you can also give up Swarovski crystals and choose other crystals from a different brand at a lower price. In Celtic Dress Design, I prefer Swarovski crystals, but the decision is up to you.

 The only disadvantage of a custom-made costume is the price and the fact that if you don’t know an excellent dressmaker service, you will have to order another one soon because our dancers are growing fast and the costumes are getting too small.

Therefore, as I mentioned before, second-hand costumes are often the best solution to start research.

• their price is from 20% to even 60% depending on the year they made.
• Even if they do not fit correctly, it is possible to alter them using trusted dressmaker services.

There are so many costumes to choose from, so I believe you will find a beautiful costume for yourself or your child.

When deciding to buy a second-hand costume, remember to ask the seller if the costume can be enlarged and lengthened in future alteration services. Why is it important? Because often dresses are sold when these possibilities are no longer available, they want to sell because the child has grown out of the dress.

Choose wisely. If you cannot see the dress in person, ask for photos of how your costume looks like from the inside, what is the seam allowance, etc. 

You will think that since most costumes are sold when can not be enlarged, how are you supposed to look at the dimensions to buy the correct size? 

If for example, the seller says that the costume has 26 inches in the waist, your dancer should be about 24-25 inches so that the costume can be reduced and enlarged in the future, if necessary.

These are the realities, and I know them from my experience. I alter my client’s costumes until it is possible, and then they think about selling them. There is nothing wrong with that; it is a normal and logical thing when using the costumes. Often in the description, the sellers say that the costume has never been altered. It is okay if they were the first owner, but if not, you should check it. Ask the seller if there is any possibility of alteration.

I hope that this article content helped you at least a little in deciding which way of purchase to choose. If I did not mention something you are curious about, please share it with me in the comments below. I want all the essential information to reach the largest possible group of people interested in this topic.

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