April 11, 2019

drinking the Kool-Aid

This is one of our favorites.  We
bought it used from someone in
 Belfast.  I think I held my breath for
weeks until it arrived and it literally fit
 perfectly.  Such a relief!  Now, I
cannot sell it and it is
 beautiful and still current.

While I am a fan of the used dress circuit when it comes to purchasing a dress for my Irish dancer, I folded in July and ordered a custom made dress for Curly from Belfast. Coach had one thing to say to me when I told him (while cringing) that I was ordering her a new dress. 'That's it then. You are drinking the Kool-Aid.'

Buying a new dress has its perks. For starters, when selling a used dress the buyer wants to know if you had the dress made or if you are already the second owner. If you bought it used, then this is the equivalent to admitting that the dress is nearing antique status. (Irish dancing dress styles change in the blink of an eye and no one wants last year's beauty. Unfortunately). So, I can buy a pricey dress brand new and have an easier time selling it (let's hope - this is my first time), OR I can buy a still-pretty-pricey dress and have a really tough time unloading it. Now my ‘bargain’ dress is not such a great deal, as I am stuck with it. Thus, the bargain dresses that we bought used, loved, and then tried to sell that are still taking up real estate in my closet despite numerous price drops.

Mini's last dress before she retired.
  Still own this one too. 
I have lowered the prices
on these dresses.
It is more economical to fork over some serious coin upfront and get something back later vs paying slightly less for a used dress that might need alterations, and when it is time to sell being stuck holding the bag, or in this case the dress.  Follow? (insert sound of Coach pouring me Kool-Aid here).

This one - oh my.  Mini's first dress
 as a 7 year old, I think.  It is a
relic that will never be worn again
unless as a Halloween costume.  Shortly
after I bought this used dress they changed
the rules so that young girls could
not wear sparkles in our region.
 Can you say 'stuck'! 
Curly’s new dress arrived from Belfast a few short weeks before she competed at regional championships back in November.  It fit her. Barely. The dress maker measured her in July when we were in Orlando for that nightmare trip, remember - when I lost the important dance bag?  Well, guess what? Curly grew a lot between July and November. That’s what 10 year olds specialize in. Some dress makers will take a second set of measurements before they finalize the dress.  Not this guy.

I was not thrilled about paying for a new dress that would not fit for very long.  Truth be told, at the level that Curly dances at her teacher will not allow her to wear the same dress for too long. Top dancers must stay current. Puke. Can I have some popcorn with my Kool-Aid?

Preparing for World Championships
in North Carolina.  Wig.  check.  Sprakle socks.  check.
  Fancy headpiece.  check.  Can you say:  DRESS?!
I emailed the dress guy (let’s call him DG) to let him know that the dress barely fit her.  I asked him if he would be able to meet me at the November competition, and take the dress back with him to Belfast. Lots of dress makers have booths set up at these competitions to showcase their wares. He wasn’t coming in town for regionals. Damn.

Then it fell off my radar.  Did you know that I used to have 5 of my 6 kids in Irish dancing?  Now I am down to one. Life is busy with other things and lots of older kids’ activities.  So an Irish dancing dress that won’t be needed until World Championships in April was not a huge priority in early December.  Until - um, she tried the dress on in early March. The teacher was like, ‘Well, maybe it is OK that it is so short on her, but it is really, really short.’  Crap.
I know you know this, but: 

If I had my way, only dancers at the top level would be allowed to order new dresses. Then the other dancers are forced to buy repeat dresses. Great idea, right? The teachers would never go for it. Too hard to police, and they do not want to tick off the dress makers who would be practically out of business. You would not believe the number of dresses people like me lug to competitions to toss on a used sales rack and hope for the best. It is maddening.

Anyway, tune in next time to read about the panic that ensued when Curly's dress was not delivered.


Beth (A Moms Life) said...

I guess you are in NC now for the championships! Sorry for the all the rain. I hope Curly has a great weekend!

A girl on Peter's track team is an Irish dancer. Last year she went to Scotland when you guys were there. I guess this will be like a home meet for her. :)

Ernie said...

Yes, we left Chicago at 4:25 am. Arrived at 5 pm local time. The RAIN! Ugh. I checked the weather earlier this week and Saturday, our chill out/ pick up her packet/ get the lay of the land day, looked great! I figured I could squeeze a little time in the sun. Then the rain- forcasted for all three days we are here. Boo!

Yes a girl who dances in North Carolina got very lucky this year! Hell, it feels like a home event to me. No major time or money difference. Next tear: Dublin.