Friday, September 05, 2008

the search for a solo dress


There are various ways I'm trying to distract myself from my impending jury duty. I feel a lot of anxiety about it. I'm having trouble sleeping and that is making me irritable, forgetful, and sometimes even a little disoriented.

If you followed the link to Lidia's blog, you learned that she got another first place at an Irish dance competition and thus earned the right to wear a solo dress. I have posted photos here of Lidia performing with her dance school friends, many of whom already wear solo dresses. There have been comments about the gaudiness of the solo dresses. As Lidia says, "It's not like I would wear one to church or walking down the street, for goodness's sake! But it's fun to wear one for a competition or performance." When I first saw the solo dresses, I was like, "What?!" And then when I heard how much they cost, I was like, "Uh-uh."

Three years after becoming part of the Irish dance world, I've found that these outrageous solo dresses have grown on me. Yes, they are totally over-the-top. High-school age girls who would only wear the hippest, trendiest, devil-may-care duds to school or on a date, get all dolled up like sparkle princess wanna-bes when it's time to dance. It's crazy, I admit. But now I think it's also a lot of fun. Lidia has been looking forward to this for a long time and has worked very hard to achieve it. It's wasn't easy. Let the search begin!

Many advanced dancers have a dress made in Ireland or elsewhere and that is very expensive. Finding a good used dress is the best option for a first-time solo dress. The easiest is to find one through your school. Next easiest, find one you can try on from the used dress rack at a feis (competition). Lastly, you resort to the internet. Lidia and I have been checking out DanceAgain and Dancing Exchange. Last night Lidia tried on a dress a school friend has outgrown. Sadly, it did not fit. It seemed to fit through the shoulders, but the torso was too long. That may be the case for many dresses, as I've looked at the measurements on the internet. Lidia has her Mom's high waist.
The blue dress to the left is the dress Lid tried on. This isn't the best picture of it. It's a beautiful blue. The two above are my favorite dresses in our school. They are worn by sisters who are championship dancers. The little one in the gold and turquoise went to the World Championship. If I were making the perfect dress for Lidia, I would make it the same style and shape as the gold and turquoise, but with the sleeves and colors of the other one.

16 comments:

Karen ~ said...

My sister-in-law is Irish, and though she lives here in St. Paul, all her family is over there and someone or another is always going back and forth, so if you find something in Ireland I am more than happy to help you get it here.

How fun!!!!

Calandria said...

Thanks, Karen! You are so nice. Some of the dresses listed on those sites are from the UK, but hopefully we'll be able to find something from the good old USA.

ML said...

Is making it yourself an option?

Calandria said...

It's not an option for me personally. :-)

I have heard that there are patterns on the internet.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I can totally see how much fun this could be shopping for and then wearing a solo dress. The colors of that first one would really look good on Lidia.

Mama Ava said...

You really shouldn't worry about jury duty. It's quite boring, and the chances of you ever getting on an actual jury are really rare. People who are highly educated and/or hold strong religious convictions are almost never chosen. The closest I got was being called up to a courtroom where we filled out a questionnaire, sat for 40 minutes, then 8 of us were told to leave. 30 minutes later the rest of the people returned...case settled. Most cases never go to trial and atrorneys do not want people who hold very strong opinions about things. I'm thinking that describes you!

Mama Ava said...

...and I love the dresses. I hope you're able to find one without refinancing the house! They colors are all spectacular!

yesweareonmars said...

I have a friend in Portland who makes stuff and I'm sure there are people there who could as well. They can be cheaper then you think. Could you maybe find a larger dress and have it altered.

The dollar is low now so having one made in Ireland will be at least 46% more expensive just because of that. I can look here for one on European ebay. What is her size?

Ballerina Girl said...

I love the dresses pictured. It reminds me of my dancing days....
I am sure you will find the perfect one for her. Give it some time and enjoy the search!
BG

Ave said...

I used to think that the dresses were hidious, but now they are growing on me a little. For Lidi I think red or orange would look good, or even black. Do they make black ones?

Gabriela said...

Wow, lots of dancing lately! Those dresses are beautiful. I hope you find one that's perfect.

Jury duty? good luck with that. I've never had to do it (maybe because I don't live in the States?). My FIL was a judge and once I went to a jury selection-I thought it was pretty interesting.

ProMom said...

Oh man! I hope I didn't scare you when I talked about jury duty! The biggest thing to fear is fear itself. And being bored to tears. Bring a large book. Or knitting, do you knit?
Oh and did I mention my nieces in Vegas do Irish dance? They used to have to wear wigs! They are pretty good, they won stuff...Um, good stuff, um, ribbons, trophies..(Can't remember stuff...)

Calandria said...

Auntie, it's hard to say what Lid's size is. She is relatively broad-shouldered and high-waisted, which is why the blue dress didn't fit. Fauna will measure her soon and then we'll know what to look for.

Ave, I was thinking black would look good on Lidia too, but it doesn't show up as well on stage. She saw a dress she loved on a girl in Kansas City. It was white and black.

Mallory said...

I usually find that people with darker skin look GREAT in lighter colors. I have a friend from Pohnepei and she looks fantastic in light blue and white. Of course, she's a lot darker than Lidia, but I could see her in a pretty green dress. (Then again, I'm partial to green.)

ProMom said...

Well, that settles it then. She needs a black and green dress. I think I saw one before, come to think of it.

ProMom said...
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