Everyone needs to wear something on the dance floor. And in competition what you wear and how you look matters. So here are some links about competition ballgowns. If getting a new gown is not financially feasible, consider a used gown, or even renting a gown. In today’s market there are many options. Just be careful, try it on before hand if possible, and be prepared for what you may find. Not all dancers are tall, slim, young women, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t look good. There are many options even for short, more mature women. Just a note, new custom gowns can cost in the thousands of dollars (think $3,000 and up). Used gowns are less, and renting gowns can be the most affordable. Have fun shopping.
Santos Designs Inc. This site appears to have custom ladies gowns for both American and International, and they have men’s clothes too.
Designs by Lyn has gowns and dresses. I got a chance to take a look at some of her outfits at a competition I went to. Nice stuff.
Chrisanne is in England but has beautiful gowns. This is a great site to look at if you are looking for dress ideas. They do make custom gowns. The US website has some ready to wear gowns (worth taking a look at). If you need fabric, stones, etc. for making a gown Chrisanne sells some of these items. Also the used Chrisanne gowns I’ve seen for sale are beautiful.
Designs by Randall make custom gowns (I’ve tried them on and they’re wonderful) and some ready to wear skirts, tops, and dresses. Take a look at their ready to wear collections. Also, these are people who do gowns for Dancing with the Stars.
Designs to Shine has gowns by Maria McGill and Summer Gray. Confession – I purchased a gown from Designs to Shine. It cost more than I had thought it would be, but its been over a decade since I’ve bought a gown. Expensive – yes, but I think worth it.
Dore Designs has gowns I’ve never had the chance to see these.
Farida Wong has more dresses, and I’ve never been here.
Designs by Paula has more dresses, and I’ve never been here.
DSI London is, as you may guess, based in London, UK. This is not a local place unless London is local to you. But they have gowns, men’s wear, children’s clothes, fabrics, rhinestones, shoes, accessories, etc.
Shall We Dance Designs has gowns for sale. These vary in price, some being more simple and inexpensive, to some more elaborate and costing a little bit more, but not terribly expensive. I can’t tell if they are new or used, but they have some interesting gowns. Again, I have never bought from them so I don’t know the quality of their gowns. But they also sell shoes, women’s gowns, men’s outfits, and a few items for girls. If you live in the area, they appear to have an office in NJ. They have a link for renting gowns, but I can’t tell which gowns are for rent.
Jeravae has some lovely gowns. I was able to see them at my competition in Oct 2016. I actually talked with them about getting a dress made. The woman there was helpful, had some great ideas, and was very willing to work within my budget. One other thing, she was able to take my measurement and give me some ideas about a gown design within a couple of hours. I’m excited to work with her. And she’s out of Nevada. One other note, she did have some consignment gowns available at the competition to purchase or try on.
If you are in need of an outfit for a competition and you would consider a used one, take a look at Ballroomdancers.com.
I’ve even seen ballgowns for sale on eBay Auctions. Just a note about the eBay auctions – there are some “eBay Stores” out of Hong Kong and China that are selling ballroom and latin outfits. I did a search on Ballroom dress and some results were obviously not gowns for ballroom dancing – they were prom and “cruise” dresses. But some were gently used ballroom gowns for competition. And there were new gowns for sale. The styles ranged from hideous to not bad to a few stunning gowns. You do need to check the size measurements for these dresses as they vary widely. But take a look at some of these dresses, many have pictures. It may be a good way to get started with a competition outfit. And of course the items for sale change constantly so you do need to keep a watch on items. And of course check the prices. The price range I saw was from about $50 for a latin outfit to gowns for $2,500. And I’m sure prices will continue to vary. Also be aware that what you see shown on the page may be the original gown but that’s not what they are selling. They make be selling their own version of it. It is very much buyer beware.
Rhinestone Dress Rentals is a site that rents gowns. If you need something, maybe just starting out, this might be an option. Also, this place is in Florida.
Ballroom Costumes – This site has new and previously owned latin dresses. Their prices look reasonable. I haven’t had to chance to check them out but they’ve got some interesting stuff.
DreamGown has used gowns for standard and latin. This place does not appear to be in the USA as their prices are in Euros. But they still might be worth checking out.
The Final Touch has used gowns for rent and some for sale. If you live close to them, they have an office in Issaquah, WA (near Seattle area).
Glamour Room is a site based in Canada. They have used gowns for sale, but also have new gowns. They do have some nice looking gowns. Also they carry both men’s and women’s outfits, and also have some children’s outfits. Some of their dresses appear to be rentable, which could make them another good option for those looking at trying something new.
Vanda Dance rents gowns, accessories like jewelry and hair items, sells gowns and also shoes. Many of the gowns I saw listed appear to be very nice looking, and well known designer dance gowns. They do allow you to sort by size, type, color, and designer. That makes it easier to find what you are looking for. It appears this store is in Southern California for anyone looking at their outfits.
EdanceMarket.com rents and sells pre-loved gowns. If you have something you want to sell, or if you are looking to rent a gown, this site has various options. Looking on the site I noticed they also carry men’s pants, shirts, and suits. They also carry some practice wear, such as skirts and tops. A few of the dresses they carry are for children – no stones on the dress. But it might be worth a look for someone starting out. But the prices range with the item so do read and be aware of what you’re interested in. Having said that they have a number of “brand” name dresses such as Jordy and Atelier Ella by Marek (both high end gowns).
Making your own gown
I attempted to make a latin outfit for a competition when I first started out years ago. After doing it, I really understand what it takes and why they cost what they do. If I were to do it today, I would check out the YouTube videos detailing this information.
Denver Fabrics carries fabric for fashion, dancewear, costumes, rug hooking, crafts and home decor. They carry many silk, wool, and linen designer fabrics. Prices say they are often at or below wholesale fabric pricing. Also sewing notions, trims, books and patterns at discount. I’ve never used them so I don’t know if the prices really are that good, or what their products are like.
I found these sites surfing the web. I’ve only bought from a couple so I make no guarantee.