Imagine that you just received your ballroom dress ordered from the internet, and the quality is NOT as promised,  the dress DOESN’T fit you, and  it  DOESN’T even look like the one on the picture?.  Worst of all – you  CAN’T RETURN  it.



Most  of us get really excited when shopping for a new  ballroom dress, make an EMOTIONAL decision and FORGET to check basic things like:

  • GUARANTEE that the dress will FIT you
  • QUALITY of the fabrics and stones

It’s so easy to make a mistake that can cost you a lot of MONEY and  turn  your ballroom dance competition into big DISAPPOINTMENT.

To make sure it DOESN’T happen to you, avoid  these 6 MISTAKES most women make.

Mistake #1:  Buying not having Enough information about  the dress company


Before you buy your ballroom dress you should always get all the NECESSARY information.  If you can’t find it on the dressmaker website, write an email and ASK.

Here are the QUESTIONS you should ASK, that can save you hundreds of dollars:

QUESTION ONE:  How EXPERIENCED are you, and  HOW LONG have you been selling dresses on Internet?

TIP: If dressmaker DOESN’T provide this information on the website, you can check it yourself ( it takes 5 seconds). Just visit following LINK and type dressmaker domain name:


For example if you type  BALLROOMDRESSES-SHOP.COM  ( you don’t have to type www),  you will see the following information:

Domain Created on: March 05 2001
Domain age (approximately): 10 Years, 7 Months, 5 days.

TIP: Choose the company that has been  on Internet for at least five years. If they  have survived that long,  it means they  probably make good quality dresses and provide good service.


QUESTION TWO: Are you making  your own dresses,  or do you RESELL?

TIP: Buy directly from a dressmaker to save at least 20 to 30%

QUESTION THREE: Does anyone in the company has dance experience ?
You can’t expect professional advice or assistance from someone who does not know anything about dancing or ballroom dresses.
Unfortunately there are companies that sell hundreds of dresses, but they don’t have ANY knowledge or experience in that field.

You should especially check if the designer or the person taking your order,  is knowledgeable in ballroom dancing costumes.


QUESTION FOUR: Are you making dresses for a specific customers, like the European, Asian, North American,  or do you take international orders too?

There is a big difference  between  ballroom dancers from USA and Japan for example. Their mentality, expectations, body type and style of performance are very different.

Make sure your dressmaker has experience in making dresses for YOUR  market.


QUESTION FIVE: Are you experienced in making dresses for ONLINE customers ?

These days almost every dressmaker owns a website.  But many of them focus on local dancers, that come for a  fitting.  Usually it takes 2 to 3  visits to make sure the dress fits well. So when they take an ONLINE order, for the customer that is on other side of the world they might struggle  getting the dress properly fitted, as they  are not used to working with size chart and mannequin alone.

TIP: Once you get all those QUESTIONS  answered it should be very easy to choose a RIGHT dressmaker.


Mistake #2:  Buying with no guarantee

That is probably the biggest mistake you  are likely to make.

It is in your best interest to check the following:

1. Does the company/ dressmaker guarantees  the QUALITY of its work, fabrics  and stones?

2. Does the company/ dressmaker guarantees  that the dress SIZE will FIT you?


TIP: Buy your  ballroom dress only from a company that provides clear quality and fit guarantee and accepts returns, in case the dress doesn’t meet your expectations.


Mistake #3:  Choosing  the dress that looks good on someone else


Very often when we watch dance competition and see the dress that is absolutely breathtaking, we fall in love with it instantly. We just wanna HAVE IT…and that’s it. What we DON’T REALIZE is  that the strong impression we had was not JUST ABOUT the dress. It was actually COMBINATION of the DRESS, the DANCER( her body shape, skin color, hairstyle, make up) and the DANCING (her technical skills, speed, presentation). If you put the same dress on someone who has less attractive body and can’t move, you will have very DIFFERENT impression.

Also what you DON’T KNOW is that this dress has been probably very carefully design,  ESPECIALLY for that dancer, considering her body shape, dance style and technical skills.

What looks GREAT on her might actually look OFF on you.

NEVER buy dresses just because they look GREAT on other dancers, or just because they are in FASHION.

BUY ONLY  what looks good on YOU,  according to your YOUR body shape, hair and skin color and YOUR technical skills. And if possible get PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER to create dress ESPECIALLY for YOU.


Mistake #4:  Buying  cheap dresses ( read:  poor quality dresses)

Sorry to break the news to you,  but there is no such a thing as “good quality, cheap ballroom dress”.
It is YOUR decision whether to BUY one or NOT, but at least you should know WHAT you can expect wearing one.
LOW QUALITY: In order to compete on prices some companies are using poor quality fabrics unsuitable for dance costumes, mass producing same design in 100s or even 1000, using general sizes like S, M, L, XL, and hiring unexperienced dressmakers.

What became unfortunately very popular lately, is UPGRADING  poor quality dresses.  Many companies are buying cheap,  mass  produced dresses directly from Chinese factories,  and STYLIZING  them as high quality dance gowns. It’s done by sticking few laces on top, putting  some  sequins  and some stones and few pieces of fabric.  It may look good on the picture you see on Internet, but believe me – you  are going to be very DISAPPOINTED once you  put this kind of dress on.  You are not going to feel  glamorous and special wearing it for your dance competition.

HIGH QUALITY: To make a high quality stunning dress you have to use dance costume dedicated, high quality fabrics. They are highly stretchable, to let you move and dance comfortably, and do not wear as easily as regular fabrics to keep the fresh, stunning look for a long time. Dedicated fabric can be even 10 X more expensive then the regular materials. Next are the stones. If you wanna look gorgeous you have to go with famous Swarovski  stones. This Austrian company is a real legend and has been making stones for dance costumes for years. You simply can’t beat the sparkle, shine and attention that Swarovski stones draw on the dance floor. They are much more expansive then the other stones. Last but not least is the quality of WORK. Well and properly made dress will fit like a glove. And it will last ( its VERY important when you are going to SELL your dress, to get some money back to invest in your NEW dress)

Some women would spend thousands of dollars on lessons, entry fees, travel a long distance for dance COMPETITION and then…put on the CHEAP, low quality dress??? All these preparation, training,  hard work, time and effort and when it comes to the most IMPORTANT moment in their dancing, for some reason they decide that’s the time to save few hundred dollars???

How you look, and how you feel has a great impact on your performance. Make sure you get the best dress you can afford. Don’t miss your chance of winning by trying to save few bucks.

TIP: If you are really tight on budget follow BUYING TIPS at the end of this article.


Mistake #5:  Buying General size dresses


Many companies that mass produce dresses offer only  general sizes like: S, M, L, XL.  Those average sizes almost never match a real person measurements. Most women have either a few inches more or less in  different parts of the body compare to  general sizes.

Well fitted dress is very important. If it  is too loose or too tight it will completely disturb your dancing. You won’t be able to concentrate and enjoy your performance. Remember that you are not buying an evening dress, that you are going to walk or stand around. You are buying a ballroom dress or a Latin dress that you  are going to move, stretch, turn and twist.  It’s very important that you feel comfortable wearing it.

TIP:  Always buy a dress that is well fit to your body,  or spend some extra money on  tailor to get it adjusted to your body size and shape.


Mistake #6: Buying without professional advice and assistance

You might have a good taste for fashion and clothing, but it requires a real experience to choose DANCE DRESS  that makes you look really good.

Well chosen dress will bring attention to the parts of the body that you feel  most comfortable about. It will emphasize your strengths as a dancer, and  it will hide your weaknesses. For example  if you have a  strong technique and want to show your leg action in Latin or  Rhythm  you need  dress that will draw attention there. On the other hand if leg lines or foot action is not your strength, you want judges to look somewhere else, maybe  at your hands and beautiful smile.

TIP:  If possible find professional designer, that can work with you to create custom dance dress that is perfect for your body type and your dancing skills.

Put everything into one design ( 5 different ideas from different dresses)

Saving Tips

I hope this  short article has been helpful,  and that you feel well prepared and more confident to start looking for your ballroom dress now.

Let me just wrap up by giving you some great SAVING TIPS:

  • Buy DIRECTLY from  a dress maker not reseller (SAVE 20-40%)
  • Buy from ONLINE company that doesn’t have an expensive showroom ( showroom COST usually  makes your dress  20 – 30% more expensive)
  • Find company that doesn’t charge extra for custom-made dresses and made to measure dresses (SAVE 15-30%)



Mark Kamerton