Dancewear. You may see it as a perk of having a dancer in the house — or the worst part of having a daughter in dance. Many parents ask what they should buy, and the answer — much to their frustration — is that it depends. There is no “best brand,” but rather different brands for different purposes. Like anything, quality and price point are typically connected, and there’s a variety of options at every level, ranging from economy to luxury.
As you might expect, economy brands usually offer lesser quality than the other categories, but they’re a helpful option for young children who will outgrow items before they have a chance to wear them out — or for those trying dance for a short time. If you’re shopping for a costume that won’t be worn more than a handful of times, these companies are a good place to start:
From any of those companies, you can expect a limited selection of simple styles.
This is the category mid-way between economy and luxury levels and describes the majority of items you’ll find at the typical dancewear retailer — and they’ll meet the needs of most dancers for the majority of their career. Most of these companies offer a fairly wide variety of styles as well as price points. Many of these brands include a line of “basics” including simply designed leotards, shoes, and tights, that might be categorized as “economy dancewear.” Often, they also include a “fashion” line with more stylish items at higher price points, inching a little closer to the luxury dancewear category.
Brands to look for in this category include these:
• Body Wrappers
• So Danca
Most luxury dancewear is made in countries other than the USA. You can expect high-quality fabrics and highly fashionable styles — along with price points to match. For those who want luxury but still prefer brands made in the USA, Eleve and Gaynor Minden are ones to look for. If you require specialty sizes or desire a self-design option, check out Eleve Dancewear or Yumiko; those two brands are also the most high-fashion ones respected within the world of professional dance. Including those already mentioned, here are the luxury dancewear brands to consider:
• Freed of London
• Gaynor Minden
• Wear Moi
Of course, you can also check out your local dancewear retailer or shop around for used items on sites like ebay.com. One way to save money from any online retailer is to coordinate with another dance parent and place your order together, allowing you to split shipping costs.