Ballroom Dance > Standard Dresses

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by tanya_the_dancer, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    We have a thread on smooth dresses (, what about one on standard dresses?

    Specifically, what kind of skirt is acceptable for standard?

    Is it OK to wear a smooth dress with a slitted skirt for standard?

    I wore my smooth black/mint green dress for standard at OSB this year (upon request), and a friend of mine pointed out after watching my video that I was the only person on the floor who had a skirt with a slit. We spend some time pondering if it is acceptable to have a slitted skirt for standard, but didn't come to any conclusion.
  2. hereKittyKitty

    hereKittyKitty Administrator Staff Member

    I had a black standard dress with a slit on the side as well as cut outs on the front. I never had any trouble with it. Claudia Khoeler had a dress with a few slits on it you can see it around 9:41 of this video.
  3. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I was just having this conversation with my mother last night. (I was trying to explain to her why I do need a new dress for smooth because the dress for standard just won't do. She didn't seem to get it)

    Besides floats, one of the biggest things that identifies a standard dress are the qualities of the skirt. Standard skirts have a lot of volume and movement to them. They accentuate and expand the movements you make to make them look even more graceful and smooth.

    Standard dresses are more "princess-y" than smooth dresses, imo. They tend to have more fullness and underskirts to support that. Another important feature of a standard gown is also an interesting back, since you don't break hold.

    I don't particularly like a slit in a standard gown, though I don't know if it would be considered a "faux pas" or not.
  4. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I think my issue with very full skirts with lots of underskirts is that they are not usually flattering on a shorter person, like myself. So I think I would rather have a lighter skirt which moves well.
  5. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with Mindputtee, a major difference with standard and smooth dress is the volume of the skirt, fuller volume, more layers of underskirts than smooth dress. Current fashion is A line skirt with 3 to 5 layers of underskirts with horsehair (crinoline) hemmed skirt for fullness. Horsehair helps to keep the A shape of the skirt; Usually Satin chiffon or Georgette skirts moves very well. Also standard skirts have lot more elaborated decorations on skirts, ruffles or feathers, you name it.

    If you don't like very full skirt, you can reduce the # of underskirt, instead of using 4 to 5 layer, you could use 3 layers.

    Another important difference are almost all standard competition dresses have some kind of floats; can be large floats (attached to dress or not attached to dress) or streamer floats attached to gloves, currently feathers attached to floats are pretty much in fashion.

    In general, standard dresses are more covered than smooth dresses, fuller skirts, more fabrics for floats, etc. like Mindputte said, quite "pricess-y" look. As far as slit, I personally don't like a slit for standard dresses, some standard dress have some design with slit but not showing the leg, but showing an underskirt with a contrast color which is cool, that's the design, a while ago Chrisanne website has some sample like that, very interesting. Slit showing the leg is quite sexy smooth look IMHO.
  6. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Fashions change - remember when everyone had shoes dyed to match their dress?

    So I asked a designer who has been in the business 30+ years and she told me that Standard dresses should always provide more coverage since the men are in tails and the overall look is more formal. In Smooth you can be sexier and jazzier and have slits that show the leg, lower backs, cut-outs, some small amount of cleavage sometimes. Standard dresses have the necklines designed higher, there isn't a slit to show leg or really much need for slits to provide leg room for kicks etc. and the more layers and volume in a skirt (horsehair binding, crinoline trim) the better in order to show the movement in closed dance position. You could definitely have splits around the skirt if there was an underskirt in a contrasting color. It's not the split that makes it less formal -it is the leg showing underneath. Personally, I like unusual backs on a Standard dress like all lace or heavily stoned patterns and a full skirt with godets and feathers.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    actually, in pro am fewer and fewer pros are wearing tails....nonetheless, I don't like the look of a slit for standard, same with hair down...just doesn't work for me...
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    for that matter, I would prefer a pro, unles he is dancing with a zillion ladies, wear tails as well...but that part isn't up to me :)
  9. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I think also with a shorter person, really round skirts with a waist cutting off the line from top to bottom instead of a continuous shoulder-to-floor seam really truncate the look, too. It's like watching a shorter, curvier woman wear a 'ballgown' type wedding dress--just because a style is fashionable doesn't mean it's a good idea on YOU. It just makes us short people look shorter and wider. Like even if I had been doing enough standard to warrant a Standard-only dress, and even if a few dress designers hadn't warned me off (saying it was a fad and resale value was going to be limited) I wouldn't have gone for the froofy cupcake gowns--I'd have looked like one of those doll cakes with a doll torso stuck in a mountain of frosting. Not elegant at all.
  10. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Would a dress with an open back look wrong for Standard?
    I saw a dress I'd like to get for Standard- it has floats, and no slits for the leg, or any cutouts, but has an open back.
  11. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I've seen many such standard dresses. Go for it!
  12. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    Mine has a huge open back, from the neck all the way down to the butt practically. I would say it's totally fine.
  13. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Looked up Blackpool finals from the past half decade. I saw quite a few open backs, some very open, so I don't see a problem. Assuming, of course, that an open back looks flattering on you / your dancing.
  14. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Both of my standard dresses are backless, with no sleeves. It's perfectly acceptable, provided you have a nice back (toned and with decent skin)... but heads-up that tanning is not optional if you go with this style.
    Sania, Miss Silly, stash and 2 others like this.
  15. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to get used to my new standard dress which has very full skirt with crinoline. My previous dress had more of a flowy skirt. I like my dress because I have a small frame and makes my waist look tiny. But getting used to the skirts with the layers is a challenge.I have seen some of the pro dancers wearing very full skirts. What is the current trend? Can the underlayers be removed/decreased if I decide I don't like it after my next comp?
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Snip, snip!
    jiwinco likes this.
  17. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    IMO.... I think you should wear what looks good on you, regardless of 'in style'. If you really uncomfortable it will be a distraction. Personally if it is a distraction, I can't be bothered.
    Just my $.02
  18. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have any pictures of Standard dresses with pom pom floats- where puffy feather 'floats' that look like pom poms are attached by a string to a wrist or arm band. I'm trying to change the floats on my current dress and this is what I would like, but I need some pictures to show the designer what I want
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  19. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    highlight video of the Blackpool final:
    couple 131
    hereKittyKitty and raindance like this.
  20. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    No pix, but I've seen them. They look somewhat odd to me, but it's not *my* dress. LOL.

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