Two couples in the pro smooth at Yankee had essentially black gowns. I really have no idea how they danced, because I found them essentially unwatcheable. Maybe if there had been no one else in the room, but I found the black skirts to be just so far outside of my conception of dancing that any of the other couples would pull my attention away from them. Also, while black velvet has a nice texture that might work in some other settings, it really does not work next to a man in wool (or wool-like) evening wear. The velvet ends up looking luxuriously deep black, but that makes the suit look flat and even faded in constrast. I'm going to have to change my previous position: I don't care if you _are_ Karen Hilton, you still must not wear black. For the guys, I can't say I think the extra-long and Mandarin-style jackets really help things at all. With or without arms, they still have the problem that they are either tight over the hips so that they bunch up in the lower back, or vented in which case they flop around oddly. Don't wear tails if you don't want to - but realize that the primary reason why a tailsuit is such a practical garment for dancing is not the tails, but rather that the jacket itself is short enough that it doesn't get in the way. I find it kind of odd that in the style which insists it needs more freedom of movement, we're now seeing clothing that is even more restrictive than that worn in the stuffy conservative style.