What’s the scoop on uniforms?
What’s the scoop on uniforms?
We know you are busy planning for next year. You have classes to plan. You could use our program and then you could check that off the list, but I digress (more info here). The real question that you have been contemplating is do you require uniforms or not? What’s the scoop on uniforms?
Honestly it is a studio by studio, culture by culture basis evaluation. I personally don’t love leaving it open to interpretation, but I know many instructors who have a more relaxed opinion. Whatever your decision may be, below we’ve listed a few things to consider when making your decision.
What to consider when choosing uniforms?
Here are the things we would consider when looking at implementing uniforms at your studio:
- Does your student base already follow a dress code? It’s possible that if they already have a strict dress code, a uniform won’t seem too far out of reach. BUT, if you don’t you might upset some of your clients. I once implemented a dress code and one parent went as far as to tell me that implementing a uniform was negatively impacting her children’s enjoyment in the activity. I also had someone tell me I was taking away their child’s freedom of expression. If you’re not ready to go there, maybe implement some stricter guidelines for dress code as a first step.
- What is the price point of the uniform? Consider your clients and what they are willing to spend on a uniform before you choose what uniform you want to get. There are so many options out there (I’ll get to it later) and you should be able to find something that will please your clients and you.
- Do you want your students changing between classes? If you implement half tops and booty shorts for jazz and tap, but then still require bodysuits and tights for ballet, make sure to give your students time to change between classes.
- Where are you getting your uniforms from? We all know that shipping things can sometimes take a while and if you’re wanting custom uniforms for September you’ll have to start ordering soon. Sometimes plain is simple. That being said, custom is extremely impactful and makes students feel like they are part of the community just by putting it on.
Where do you get them from?
I have ordered things from many, many companies and while I have rarely found costumes and attire to be poorly made, there have been some blunders I would not wish to repeat. In my opinion, there are several things to consider when choosing a company for your uniforms, and as a result my recommendations are based on the following criteria:
- Lead Time – fancy lingo for how long it takes from point of purchase to delivery. If I need things coming in all the time and I want to dress my students from head to toe I use Revolution Dancewear. They offer programs for tights and shoes and make ordering a breeze. They have their own brand which is decent quality, but is also a great price point. Parents like this program for the tights especially. The best part – they have great shipping times.
- Price Point – how much will the entire uniform cost you, and how much can you charge your clients for it?
- Quality – since they will be worn many times (at least 30) they need to be washable and durable.
- Design – this will be a representation of your brand so make sure it looks good! You also have to look at it every week so aesthetics matter. If you don’t mind spending a little more, I highly recommend giving Limelight Dancewear a look. Their style is on point and their designs are beautiful!
- Fit – Remember that when you are picking something for an entire studio, you are fitting ALL body types and a variety of different family values. Choosing a design that won’t fit some students well, or make them feel self conscious isn’t promoting confidence. If you want, select a few different styles for families to choose from so they can maintain their family values. Inclusiveness brings teams together and you can promote that at every level, including what uniforms you choose!
That’s the scoop on uniforms!
That’s the scoop on uniforms! There are pros and cons to having uniforms. I have tried no uniforms, and I have gone to strict uniforms, both work. What I found is that when we had stricter uniform requirements there was a simplicity for our new families. Usually they were just getting into dance and were confused about what their children would need for class. Uniforms helped with that. I also enjoyed that it was an additional revenue stream. If you go for it, I would recommend having a little pop up shop at your studio/ a little store in your studio where you can display what you have to sell and have size runs available for trying on.
Aesthetically your team will look more professional and your classroom will be more streamlined which I find helps with instruction. If you are choosing uniforms wisely you’ll see technical corrections quickly which is another great reason to have them.