Ballroom Dance > Buying a tailsuit

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ACtenDance, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. dancinfool1970

    dancinfool1970 New Member

    Are there any rental places for tailsuits in CA ???

    I have been reading your conversations about tailsuits and it really seems to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. I have just signed up today for the Autumn Classic in San Francisco and it will be my first Pro/Am International Standard (Bronze) competition in the US. I can't really afford a new tailsuit right now and I also don't think I have enough time left, even if I could. So my question is: Can one actually rent dance tailsuits and how can I go about this ? Please help.

    Thanks in advance.

    Nico (36, 6'1, 215 lbs., pants 36, jacket 46L):confused::confused::confused:
  2. MrBroadway

    MrBroadway New Member

    I suppose it depends upon what you want to wear, and for what (Smooth? Standard?).

    I retired my tails quite a few years ago (I dance pro/am); I've since worn dance-tux, or black vest w/ tux shirt, or (more recently) formal black jacket with black shirt and color tie (color matching partner's dress). With this last combination, in a pinch I can just take off jacket & tie and open a few buttons and - voila - I'm ready for rhythm. (and shoe-change of course)

    Welcome to DF, dancinfool!
    And good luck & good dancin' at Autumn Classic.
  3. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Nico, are you dancing as the Pro or the Amateur? If you aren't the Pro, then you won't be expected to have a tail suit for your first few competitions. That will give you time to figure out if you even like doing competitions and to find a used tailsuit you can buy from someone, or get one made for you.

    Really, if you're entering as the student, don't sweat it this time! Autumn Dance Classic is a very friendly, low-key and laid back competition for Pro/Ams, it's a really great competition for "newbies." If you can find a tailsuit to borrow or rent then go for it, but don't sweat it if you can't find one.

    Heck, in my first Pro/Am competition with my 2nd teacher, not only did I not have a costume, but he didn't have a tail suit either!
  4. reb

    reb Active Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums!

    I agree with Laura.

    Wear a black vest, etc.

    I would not rent a tux, and even trying to borrow one will be a problem unless its from your twin brother - they look bad if done properly.

    As you move up, you'll have plenty of time to find out what, where, who, when, etc. While you're at the Autumn Classic, ask Laura WHO to watch and see what they do.

    Also, go to the USA Dance comp at the end of October in Northern California to see more - and to see what Amateur is about.
  5. IlyZislin

    IlyZislin Active Member

    I agree, shirt, tie, vest. I'd say having a pair of pants made would be more important. You can get one in NY (which is obviously not an option for you due to coast-to-coast distance) for $80-$90. I'm sure you can find someone to make you a pair out west.
  6. avab

    avab New Member

    For your first time, I wouldn't even bother with getting special pants made. Take a pair of black pants that fit you well and sew the pockets shut. You get the look of a pair of dance pants for the investment of about 5-10 minutes of your time!
  7. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    If you're still in the market, a california-based company named DancePants are close to you. They have made all my stuff and do a tremendous job. Search google for DancePants and check out the first link. They make great pants, and they do tails as well.
  8. rjcbear

    rjcbear New Member

    I will have to agree with Josh they do a great job everything I have for competitions is been made by Dance pants.
  9. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    With plunging value of US $, London suits could be a lot more expensive to Americans than they used to be.
  10. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    How about Nick Kosovich (West)?
  11. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    My partner just got a suit from Pure Class who was a tailor for Arthur Ashmore in England. Excellent suit and we are very happy with it. I believe he is going to be going to some of the top comps in Canada and the U.S.. The web site is www if you need information.

    [moderated by latingal - inactivated commercial link; sorry guys since thread is about buying tailsuits, I'm going to be on the safe side on the commercial links...have left url there - just paste in and delete the space!]
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Sure, I suppose. Admittedly, a sample size of one is not very large...but the only suit I ever knew was one of his, though, never fit the owner properly.
  13. operabob

    operabob New Member

    Great Forum! Great advice.

    I've got a slightly different problem.

    I'm not competing but do do demos with my wife and her friend. I don't want a tail suit but rather a classic tux style.

    Our community is somewhat isolated from the larger competitive world so to get to anyone with experience in tailoring dance suits for formal fittings is difficult and expensive. However, we are large enough to have a few tailors doing custom work.

    So I'd like to get a classic style with shoulders adjusted for dancing. I'm sure the local tailors will not be familiar with this. Any thoughts on how I might deal with them on that?

    Is it possible to take off the rack and have the shoulders adjusted properly?



    PS: I did read the thread but after awhile you start going over posts without seeing them so if I'm asking questions already answered then apologies all round.
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Not really. The arm holes are too large and there's fabric in the underarm part of the sleeve missing. Also the whole philosophy of how it works is different.

    A good dance tuxedo is going to come from the same place as a dance tailsuit.

    If you have a real bespoke tailor used to making (not altering) custom suits you could try the experiment of explaining what you need, showing them a dance suit, and hoping for the best. A friend has a sort of social dance tux made that way - not quite competitive, but more flexible than usual. But even then it may take multiple tries. And a tailor like that isn't cheap.

    Personally, having tried my hand several times at making both, I think the body-fit mechanics of a dance tuxedo are far more challenging than those of a dance tailsuit. The tailsuit project marginally worked, but I never got a tuxedo I felt like wearing a second time. Ultimately, Ive never seen a dance tuxedo, even good ones top pros wear for shows, that seemed to fit with as little stress as a good tailsuit should
  15. operabob

    operabob New Member

    Thanks Chris,

    I'm after something similar to what Christopher Hawkins is wearing here:

    There's a fellow tailoring tail suits in Vancouver but I'm on Vancouver Island so it's 4 hours each way and over $100 each time. I'm not sure of his quality though as many of the competitors seem to wait until the fellow comes out from England for Snowball. A friend had a tail suit made by him but eventually sent it back as he ended up looking like a reject from "A Christmas Carol". Then again another friend looks fine in his ($2,000).

    I just want something I can use for social and performance.

    Then again I'm a lot older and heavier than Hawkins so it might just be dressing up a pumpkin. ;)

  16. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    CHris beat me to it. I suspect your results will depend on the skill of the bespoke tailor in question. Unlikely ever to be as good a result as someone who knows dance tailoring, but may get close enough to be usable. COnsidered doing that here after I have a regular tux made (Between black tie dinners at dance comp and fact that I'm almost 28, decided it was time I grew up and bought myself a tux. :) )

    FWIW, I would probably search for a good made to measure operation that people are reporting good results for, as it may be better to go made to measure from someone who knows dance tailoring than to go bespoke with a great tailor, but one who doesn't know how to make a dance suit.
  17. operabob

    operabob New Member


  18. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Because the dinner jacket has to fit all the way down to the hips or lower--difficult to do with all the shaping involved in dancing. The tails only have to fit to the waist. :)
  19. operabob

    operabob New Member

    Thanks All,

    Tried to post a thank you yesterday but it wouldn't upload.

    Yeah, fitting for me would be tough as I'm pear-shaped but I'd like to get something social that I can still do the occasional demo in. Too old and sciatic to compete now.

  20. amiko

    amiko New Member


    My partner is currently wearing a tailsuit made by Onik (on 6th Street, cross street Western in Los Angeles CA) Onik does great work!! However, when ordering, you need to work around Onik's schedule since he is currently making tails/suits for Dancing with the Stars. Best to catch him in between seasons. (best time of year November-February and June-August)

    I also highly recommend
    Alexandr Tailors (west coast)
    350 N Canon Dr Ste 23
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
    (310) 274-1925

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