The Oireachtas season is cranking up and the fur, feathers, and flowers are flying at dressmaker shops everywhere as they rush to finish and FedEx the latest and greatest fashions to dancers throughout the world who desperately want to avoid the most unpardonable, inexcusable, “Feis Fashion Faux Pas” imaginable:
Wearing the same solo dress at two consecutive majors!
“In with the new and out with old”, creates yet another dilemma as the financial burden of the new solo dress requires Feis moms to recoup the costs of last year’s dress in a used solo dress market that is once again glutted with thousands of dresses in every imaginable size, shape, and style. Folks everywhere watch in horror as prices plummet faster than their daughter can lace her ghillies.
To make matters worse, the dress they’re selling has a few, let’s call them, “imperfections” that may impact its market value.
On one hand, a Feis Mom wants to be ethical and honest about the quality and condition of the dress, but on the other she desperately needs to unload that puppy to help pay for its replacement.
It’s time to “put lipstick on a pig” in a market where virtually every dress is described as “stunning.” That’s where tried and true “Irish Dance Dress Marketing Euphemisms” come in handy. You’ve seen them before, but never knew what they really meant.
Here is a quick primer:
“Great for Pub Dancing!” – You’ll never get the cigarette smells out of it.
“Only Worn Five Times!” – Five Feiseanna without placing and we’re finally caving for a dress from a major designer.
“One of a Kind” – We were the only ones dim-witted enough to buy this model.
“Traditional Weight Fabric” – You’re gonna need two Wicklow Wedgies if you expect to leap in this thing!
“Eye Catching” – Hideous selection of fabrics and colors.
“Made for a Petite Frame” – Who knew her breasts would grow that fast?
“Incorporates Daring Innovative Design Concepts” – We lost the matching cape and bloomers.
“Strong Geometric Patterns” – Where was my head letting a seven year old design a two thousand dollar dress?
“Bold Artistic Statement” – Dada is back!
“Takes Your Breath Away” – Evokes a painful gag reflex.
“Great for a Novice Dancer” – Whose mother might be just novice enough to buy it.
“Leaves a Lasting Impression” – Sequins fall off on stage when dancing.
“Sure to Enhance Your Daughter’s Performance!” – Has Velcro and snap button carriage aids on the sleeves.
Here are two sent to me from a delightful dancer from Texas:
“Elegant Solo Perfect for an Adult Dancer” – So plain, even the Amish would approve.
“Dress Shows Some Normal Signs of Wear” – Only spilled Coke on it once or twice.
And last but not least,
“Previously Loved” – Used.