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Ice Skating

What to wear for figure skating

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How to dress for figure skating practice

Dressing properly helps figure skaters perform better.  It is important to look nice and neat when your child steps into the rink for skating practice.  Form fitting clothes that stretch are best because they will not hinder movement. The instructor needs to see the skater's body alignment.  This allows them to give proper feedback to the skater to help improve their technique.  In addition,  loose clothing could cause injury if something gets caught on the skate.

Girls should wear skating dresses and figure skating tights for practice. It is important to keep skate boots clean and polished so boot covers or over-the-boot tights are used to protect the boot’s finish.   Plain color gloves or mittens are also recommended.  Girl's skates should be white or tan.  It is important that you tie back your daughter's hair away from her face. A ponytail, braid or bun is highly recommended.  You do not want your daughter distracted by her hair when she does spins and jumps.

Boys should wear figure skating pants  and a neat, plain-colored, shirt.   A nice sweater can be worn for practice to keep warm.  Plain color gloves or mittens are also recommended.  Boys skating boots should be black.  Most boys' hair is short enough that little has to be done to change their hair for figure skating. A good rule of thumb is to cut a boy's hair often, especially before figure skating competitions. Most figure skating judges like short hair.

How to dress for figure skating competition?

Girls should wear a beautiful skating dress that is beautiful and that makes your child shine and dazzle.   Boots should be polished or over-the-boot tights can be worn.  Make sure  tights are beige and are new.  Your daughter's hair should be put up or pulled back and curled. Decorative ribbons or clips can be worn, and hair can be sprayed. If your coach allows a sweater and gloves for warm-up, make sure they match your child’s outfit. Wearing make-up is also important

Boys should wear skating pants and a shirt; the shirt can be decorated especially for competition. Boots should be polished or over-the-boot tights can be worn.  Boys’ hair should be neat.

Where to purchase figure skating clothing?

Figure skating dresses can range in cost from about $100- $300 and many people spend more than that depending upon how much beading is done on the dress.  Boys shirts will cost approximately $100 and pants will run on the average around $90.

You will find clothing for competitions at local skate shops, or if you plan to purchase a custom made then you can often find referrals at your local skating rink. There are usually two or three known dressmakers who can easily put together a figure skating outfit that fits well.  This will assure you that you are using a knowledgeable, dependable dressmaker.  

In addition, skating rink pro shops often sell figure skating outfits and dresses. The Internet is a great source where many companies as well as custom dressmakers advertise.  The yellow pages in your local telephone directory can provide you with shops that are devoted to figure skating.  Remember that store bought outfits are usually machine made and may not fit as well as a custom-made outfit.

If a dress is advertised as "new" always check to make sure the manufacture (paper) hang tags are attached to the garment.  In addition, check the inside label to make sure it is crispy, white with no break down to it.  Avoid dresses with the inside tag removed or manufacture tag missing.  These are signs that the dress has been worn and/or washed and may not be new.

Purchasing a second hand figure skating dresses...

There is always the alternative of buying a second hand figure skating dress which will be half the price of a new one.  The first thing that you want to look for is a dress with a lining.  Lined dresses will not stretch out of shape, are warmer and give more support. In addition, seamstresses that line their dresses take the time and materials to make sure the dress is made correctly. If the dress has crystals make sure they are Swarovski crystals.  If sequins are used make sure they are anchored individually to prevent them from falling off if you break a thread.   Remember buyer beware so be sure to check for stains, rips, pilling, crooked sewing, and worn marks. Check for a 4 way stretch not a 2 way stretch and be sure the seams do not  pucker or stick out.

The best places to find second hand skating dresses are listed below:

  • Figure skating competitions provide an opportunity for past skaters to sell figure skating dresses and new skaters to acquire them.  It gives you the opportunity to try on different style dresses before making a final selection. 

  • Most people and companies that make custom skating dresses will normally have several used custom made dresses available for sale. 

  • Search the internet.

  • Check bulletin boards at the ice rink.

  • Talk to other parents.