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Dance Costumes: Buy Online, 'Off-the-Rack', or Custom Created

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Tue, Sep 03, 2019 @ 10:09 AM

We march forward with more and more options for online shopping. Traditional brick and mortar stores continue to fade away and disappear. Yes, many ‘big box’ stores are trying to hang on – some with success, some not. Unfortunately many small, mom-n-pop stores are going out of business, although some are surviving because of their internet presence.

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine, Ballroom Dancing

Everyone is a Designer These Days

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Mon, Jul 01, 2019 @ 11:07 AM

Everyone is “a designer”, whether a degree in design is involved, or having your Instagram account followed by thousands, with corporate sponsors… After all, you are a bona fide ‘influencer’, right?

Dancers start their own costume companies. Celebrities have their own clothing or makeup lines. They are “the designer”.  Models lend their name to clothing lines and may or may not have influence as to what is presented.

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine

Prepping for the Big Event!

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Mon, Jun 03, 2019 @ 10:06 AM

Your big ballroom dance competition is coming up…and you are checking your closet to see what you can wear for your social dancing and of course, what you can wear for your competition costume.

Maybe you want to refresh an ‘old’ dress or costume that you own, and have worn before? Maybe you are shopping in your dance studio’s closet or Online? Maybe you have already purchased a dress or costume from another dancer or from a ballroom retailer?

  • Ladies: Maybe you want more rhinestones (who doesn’t, right)? Or more feathers? Or you need a tweak to take in, let out, shorten or another alteration to gain perfection?
  • Guys: Maybe you have invested in a ‘certified’ ballroom outfit, but you need a tweak to make it perfect? Or dusted off your togs and it needs ‘a little something’?
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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine

Social vs Competition Dance Dresses

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Thu, May 02, 2019 @ 15:05 PM

Satin Stitches creates both social and competition dance dresses. But what is the difference between the two?

Social dance dresses are dresses that you wear when you want to dance. They should suit your individuality. Your social dance dress should flatter your personal style, your body shape, your personality, your age, along with your skin and hair coloring and your mood. Your social dancing dress should be ‘danceable’ (allowing for all of your dancing moves).

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine

Dance Costume Spring Cleaning

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Wed, Apr 03, 2019 @ 13:04 PM

We all do it! We buy new clothes and then we just keep accumulating. We hate to throw things out, so our closet becomes overcrowded, making it difficult to see what we actually have. The outfits that we don’t wear become harder to find and, in turn, don’t stand a chance to ever be worn again.

What we should do when clothing begins to pile up, is what all experts suggest: if we haven’t worn something in the past year, we most likely will never wear it again and should purge it from our closets. The same holds true for dance costumes.  If you haven’t worn a particular costume in the past year, it’s time to send it packing.

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Tags: Custom Performance Costumes, Minnesota Dancer Magazine

Traveling Safely With Your Dance Costume

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Tue, Mar 05, 2019 @ 12:03 PM

February this year has been the snowiest February since 1962 – the year my baby brother was born during another huge snowstorm, the first week of March! Traveling can be problematic with the many flight delays and cancellations, plus difficulty with car travel. Securing your competition dance costumes may be farther down on your list of concerns. BUT, don’t lose track of your costumes!

If you haven’t had a problem with lost luggage or having forgotten to pack a particular outfit or travel item, then you are a very lucky person! Lost luggage can be a nightmare. Will you ever see your favorite pair of sandals again? Or your favorite jeans? Or – horror of horrors – your beautiful, custom, competition dance costume? It is much easier to replay a pair of sandals, a swimsuit or your favorite pair of jeans than a CUSTOM competition dance costume.

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Tags: Custom Performance Costumes, Minnesota Dancer Magazine

40 Years of Ballroom Dance Costuming

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Tue, Feb 05, 2019 @ 13:02 PM

Over the years, I have worked with many local Twin Cities ballroom dancers (both amateur and professional), including Pam and Joe Krzyzaniak, Bea and Bill Beddor, Amy and Scott Anderson and Jennifer and Robert Foster. I have worked with many more, but I admit to recalling more about their costumes and gowns, rather than recalling their names.

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Tags: Custom Performance Costumes, Minnesota Dancer Magazine, Ballroom Dancing

Working With Appliques

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Wed, Jan 02, 2019 @ 13:01 PM

Using appliques for decorating ballroom dance costumes has always been a major design option. And currently, appliques are also being used on all other types of dance costumes and evening apparel. Appliques are very much on trend, and should be for years, as all trimming trends last until the next trimming trend comes along!

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Tags: Custom Performance Costumes, Minnesota Dancer Magazine

“Holly Dazzle” Your Clothing and Costumes for the Holidays!

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Wed, Dec 05, 2018 @ 06:12 AM

With all the showcase events around town, and with many of our social dancers on a limited budget, how about advice about how to enhance evening wear to “glam” it up for a ballroom showcase performance?  Ideas such as putting rhinestones on belts, or adding fur or feathers to sleeve or dress hems come to mind.

‘Tis the season for attending holiday parties and presenting holiday dance performances. And unless you plan on purchasing entirely new outfits for these upcoming, festive events, you can bedazzle and be-deck your current clothing and costumes with holiday cheer and save some cash!

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Tags: Costume Budgeting Tips, Minnesota Dancer Magazine

The Overuse of Nude Straps on Skimpy Dance Costumes

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Mon, Nov 05, 2018 @ 13:11 PM


What is one of my most often mentioned pet peeves when I critique “Dancing with the Stars” costumes? …It is the overuse of “nude” elastic straps on dance costumes.

Why do I dislike “nude” elastic straps? Because, to be frank, they are a lazy way to deal with the physics of creating wearable women’s dance costumes. It shows a lack of well thought-out, strategic designs and, often, they aren’t as “nude” as they should be. Just as mismatched or poorly crafted straps can destroy the look of a classy costume, straps made of thin elastic strips that supposedly “match” the dancer’s skin can have the same negative effect. And the clear plastic elastic isn’t any better, as these straps are extremely shiny, and are very noticeable. They are not ‘invisible’.

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Tags: Costume Fit & Size Tips, Minnesota Dancer Magazine


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