One ongoing factor related to both of our daughters being figure skaters is making sure they have proper outfits to wear on the ice. While there are times (such as ice shows) when the outfits are pre-determined, we often have to properly dress them both for practices and competitions.
The type of outfit admittedly does change depending on the specific situation. However, whether it is something casual for their weekly lessons or something a bit more formal for a judged competition, we use the same four main criteria when we do our shopping.
The first is price. This one is actually a somewhat obvious one because figure skating can be pretty expensive even before we shop for clothes. Not to mention, my daughters are still growing and I really don’t want to spend $300 on an outfit they will outgrow in a matter of months. This is why we keep practice outfits relatively simple (usually sweatpants and sweaters) and, unless my wife decides to buy the material and sew them, will buy competition dresses second-hand.
The second thing we look at is comfort. It can get pretty cold on that ice and, from experience; we know our daughters won’t do as well if they are too cold. This is why we look for items that are going to keep them as warm as possible. This includes the dresses they wear to competitions even though, admittedly, that isn’t anywhere as easy as it might sound (it’s a good thing they get to wear stockings).
Another thing that is considered is durability. You wouldn’t think it, but the ice they skate on is actually somewhat rough, at least after it starts getting some use. Our daughters have both come home with skinned elbows and knees and, just as important; we have seen some of their clothes get torn from a fall/slide. This is why we look for clothing that can take a little more punishment, at least during practice sessions.
The last thing we look for is flexibility. Figure skating involves some pretty complex movement and those movements are much more complicated if the outfits don’t allow for some wiggle room. In other words, you won’t see our daughters on the ice wearing blue jeans. This is why (along with the whole comfort thing) they have a wide variety of sweat pants to choose from and, at times, we have even let them practice wearing a pair of comfortable pajamas.
Figure skating is a great sport and, like most sports, the clothes our daughters wear do make a difference. By sticking to these criteria, we are able to dress them properly without spending a fortune.