Here are some guidelines on the Irish Dance Costumes. For help with finding or ordering Inishfree school costumes and accessories, please contact Jeannie Brown at email@example.com.
Girls wear white blouses, green skorts, and poodle socks. Where possible, the school “loans” beginner costumes to dancers with the understanding that they will be cleaned and returned when the dancer outgrows them.
If you want to order your own beginner costume, we have a full sample set so you can find the right size before ordering. Here are the Inishfree skorts and blouses:
Boys wear black dress pants, a white long-sleeved dress shirt and a green tie, if possible. The French Toast brand is a good option.
Hair – Beginners/Advanced Beginners can wear their hair down (or curled) with a green sparkle headband ($2 – available from Jeannie Brown).
Socks – The socks Irish Dancers wear are called “Poodle Socks.” Poodle socks should reach just to the bottom of the calf muscle, and can be purchased at Dance This Way in Concord, Capezio in Wellesley, at a feis, or from Mary Devlin or other Irish Dance suppliers. Socks should always be as white as possible, so take care of them!
School dresses are intended for dancers who compete in the Advanced Beginner and Novice levels, as well as for all dancers who participate in céilís (team dances) and school performances.
We have a number of used dresses at a set cost (approximately $200 for smaller sizes, $350 for tween/teen sizes). If there is not a pre-owned dress to fit you or if you prefer to have a new dress made, you can contact Shamrock Stitchery to order a dress. Please allow yourself at least 3 months for a new school dress, and expect to pay $600 or more.
Boys who are competing at the Advanced Beginner and Novice levels continue to wear black dress pants, a white long-sleeved dress shirt and a green tie.
Hair – Girls who are in a school dress should order a bun wig ($26) and a hair bow ($10). Please contact Jeannie Brown to match your hair to a sample and to order the correct bun wig. Dancers who wear a big wig with the school dress should also have a “crown.” We have a limited number of gently worn crowns for $10 or we can order a new crown for $26.
Once a dancer achieves the level of Prizewinner, she or he is eligible to wear a solo dress or a vest.
The most important thing to know about getting a solo dress/vest is that Meghan Allen Danaher must approve the dress/vest. Talk to Meghan before you begin the process to understand what styles and colors will work best for your dancer. Then, once you’ve decided on a dress or a designer, confirm with Meghan. Please note – Meghan will also help your dancer determine which wig is right for her overall look and when your dancer is ready to add buckles to her shoes! Your dancer’s entire look must be approved by Meghan.
Now the fun begins! There are many, many options for solo costumes at a variety of price points. A used dress or vest is likely the best option for a new prizewinner dancer and you can start to look by asking what’s available within the school. You can also search for used dresses/vests at a feis, on any number of Facebook dress sale sites, or sites such as Used Solo Dresses, Feis Dresses, Dance Again, and Get That Dress.
If your dancer is ready for a custom-made solo dress, you can go directly to the dressmaker. Inishfree dancers have had luck working with the following designers:
- Eire Designs
- Elevation Design
- Elite Dance Designs
- Jean Ollson (local)
- Mary Skotnicki
- Rising Star
- Shamrock Stitchery
- Siopa Rince
- Taylor of Belfast
These are just a few of the designers that make custom dresses and there are many more out there if you want to find them!
Because there is a large second-hand market for both school and solo dresses, getting your dancer’s dress altered to ensure the proper fit is critical. Many of our families work with Elizabeth Broughton of Worcester to have dresses altered. Her contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-736-1007.
We have a number of gently worn soft and hard shoes in a variety of sizes that are appropriate for younger dancers and can save you a lot of money! Please contact Jeannie Brown at email@example.com if your dancer needs a new pair of shoes and she will arrange for a fitting.
Once a dancer achieves the novice or prizewinner level, or competes at Oireachtas, he or she may become more particular about the type of shoes he or she wants to wear. The best option is to go to a feis and be fitted there. Alternatively, you can contact Mary Devlin directly to schedule a fitting.