Ms. Greenwell is always open to discuss fashion choices, and the team has received suit donations from a few former competitors in the past. Purchasing a suit should not be a barrier to competition. If price is a problem, we will find a way to make it work and make you look fantastic.
A student wearing “acceptable” attire would be a competitor at their first tournament and/or in their first year of competition. I would describe it as “visiting grandma” or “church” clothing. It’s not fully formal, but it doesn’t look out of place at a tournament, especially for middle school students and freshmen.
Shoes: Closed-toe Flats or Heels
The minimal shoe allowed. No sneakers or tennis shoes. Panty-hose are encouraged. Remember: your belt matches your shoes, not your dress (jewelry usually matches your shoes, as well).
Mono-chromatic and simple are usually better. Darker colors play well. Avoid too much frill. A simple belt to separate top and bottom is fine.
Pants: Khakis (w/ a belt that matches shoe color)
Pleated or non-pleated aren’t an issue. Try to keep the pants to simple color choices: traditional khaki, navy, grey, or black. No jeans.
Shirt: Long-Sleeve Button Down or Blouse
Err on the side of caution with shirts, especially in the first year of competition. Simple, plain colors. I’d recommend monochromatic or simple-patterned shirts and ties.
Nothing on the wrists. One ring maximum. Earrings should be small loops or studs. A necklace is nice but not necessary. Keep it simple.
A student wearing “advanced” attire would be well-suited for competition in the local area. They don’t look like a novice but aren’t as put together as the preferred category. I call this the “Homecoming” clothing. The single biggest difference is the addition of the sports coat.
Shoes: Closed-toe Flats or Heels with (Usually Dark) Panty-Hose
The minimal shoe allowed. No nude panty-hose.
Pants: Pleated Khakis (w/ a belt that matches shoe color)
Color choices remain simple: khakis, greys, dark blues, black, etc. Belt matches shoes.
Shirt and Sports Coat: Long-Sleeve Button Down or Blouse under a Dark Sports Coat
Blouse / shell preferred over a shirt, but the top can be light or dark, usually monochromatic. Simple knots (Single or Double Windsor are most common but not necessary).
Sleeves should be slightly sticking out (no more than a 1/2 inch).
Sports coat is usually darker than shirt and pants and usually navy blue or a dark grey. Lighter sports coats are fine, within reason. Avoid patterned coats.
Preferred dress is professional. Students at the national level of competition will be wearing clothing along these lines whether they compete in middle school, high school, or college.
Out of the face is key. Style and color are nice, but try to stay within natural hair tones. Tame frizz and stray strands. Wash your hair before going to tournaments. If you have a lot of movement in your performance (HI / DUO), plan for it.
This one is tricky. It needs to be simple enough not to draw attention away form your performance, but this is a performance event. Make-up ISN’T necessary but it is recommended. Especially consider blush (this is the big one), lip stick, eye shadow, and eye liner. Foundation and cover-up isn’t a bad idea, either.
Shoes: Closed-toe 2-3” heels or Flats* (w/ non-flesh toned pantyhose)
Heels should work with the suit and shell. Patterned or one-color, loud or mute, etc. are entirely up to the performer (within reason). Avoid bows or cutesy adornments. The point is to look and be treated like an adult.
Always bring an extra pair of flats if you decide to wear heels.
Panty-hose should be darker than skin tone (and often darker than suit tone). No nude pantyhose.
Suit: Skirt / Dress Suit that Hits or Passes Knees or Pant Suit*
Length depends on the person and the performance. If there’s a lot of movement (anyone doing HI), avoid anything too short or tight. I’ve seen ladies in hijabs with dress suits that cover their shoes. I’ve seen ladies with skirt suits that hit the knee. The goal is to look professional and to stay true to one’s self and sense of identity.
Sleeves should be at least 3/4 length on the arm. 1/2 sometimes works, but it’s rare. To the wrist is fine, too.
Shell: Simple & Silk (Usually Monochromatic)
Usually one color and with no collar. The shell is the easiest opportunity women have to match their duo partners. Avoid anything super low cut.
Jewelry: Simple Necklace, Stud Earrings or Very Small Hoops
No jewelry is ever required, but if the performer enjoys it, following are guidelines.
For earrings: studs or small hoops. Avoid anything that would make sound or cause a lot of motion when moving one’s head.
For a necklace: a strand of pearls, simple gold chain, a tiny pendant.
Nothing on the wrists (bracelets, bangles, watch).
* A NOTE ABOUT HIGH HEELS AND PANT SUITS: Personally, I think high heels are ridiculous. They’re painful for those wearing them and impractical. Pants also make sense when you consider that we sometimes compete in colder climates. That being said, this is Texas. It is a conservative state, and we don’t always compete in (more tolerant) Austin. You will never be penalized for wearing a skirt suit or high heels. If some angry old judge grumps at you on a ballot for wearing a pant suit and flats, it wouldn’t be the first time. The choice is ultimately yours but understand the consequences.