Selecting the right costume is important as it serves as a first and lasting impression at a competition or test. When choosing the colour, style, and design, they should be appropriate for the age of the skater(s) and the music an choreography of the program.
Costumes should always be kept simple, especially for very young skaters.
The fit of the costume is very important. Prior to the first performance, have a test or competitive simulation to make sure that the costume will suffice. The outfit should not “ride up” on the skate. Female skaters should avoid wearing underwear, which may show under the panties of the dress and avoid acquiring a tan-line which may do the same.
The skate laces should be well tucked into the skate. White laces should be washed frequently.
If the skater chooses to purchase a ready-made costume, make sure that the design and colour are appropriate. The disadvantages of ready-made costumes can be high retail costs, limited selection and the need for alteration.
Many skaters, especially competitors, chose to have their costumes custom-made. This can be costly but it allows for custom fitting, creativity of design and a better quality.
Costumes made by the parent should be checked by and made under the supervision of the coach.
Skaters may use costumes from a previous season or purchase used costumes at a skate and dress exchange. Recycling costumes is definitely a money and time saving move, however, there are a few drawbacks. Old costumes may not fit properly without extensive alterations or they may be badly worn and be unable to last the season. The coach may also find that he/she is limited in choreography by the design and colour of the recycled costume. These factors must be taken into consideration and weighed against the financial savings.
Re-using costumes may be desirable for the recreational skater since the money saved can be put towards other basic expenses such as ice time.
Practice outfits are great because they help the skater look and feel better and the coach gets a better idea of the look of the program. Because costumes are so costly, they should be reserved exclusively for simulations, test days and practice sessions at competitions.