There are a great deal of dance costume catalogs available both online and via snail-mail exclusively, and if there isn't a dance shop near you, you are nearly guaranteed to find the costume, whether that be a Majorette costume or a ballerina that you're looking for in a catalog.
Dance Costume Catalogs Online
By far the easiest way to search for a dance costume these days is online. A number of venerable costume purveyors have made either all or part of their collection available for online browsing and buying. Some shops, like Kelle Company, only make paper catalogs available for teachers and schools. As their online catalog is vast and easy to browse, this is advantageous both for quick shopping and the environment.
Other excellent online catalogs include:
- Everything Shiny: It's definitely preferable to browse the enormous collection of Everything Shiny online, although paper catalogs are available as well. There are separate catalogs for custom orders as well as set costumes, and if you're searching online, categories are easily sorted by dancers, dance competitions, dance troupes and many others.
- Capezio: Famous for their high-quality footwear, Capezio also offers costumes and has an easily searchable online catalog with categories including dance performance, dresses, liturgical and even plus sizes.
- Algy Performance Collection: Purveyors of costumes for 70 years, Algy's online dance costume catalog is divided into sections for ballet, jazz, tap, themes, expressions, competition, "finishing touches" and a separate section for male costumes. You can also view all the products at once, should you desire.
- Just for Kix: The costumes at Just for Kix are less exciting than some of the other companies, but if you're looking for simple tops, bottoms, leotards and sturdy competition wear, it's a good choice. Their online catalog is easily organized by labeled photos. Shipping is free for orders over $75, and they provide incentives for regular shoppers like a quick order option and special offers.
Exclusively Paper Dance Costume Catalogs
Whether for reasons of economy or practicality or they haven't gotten around to it, many costumers still only provide their costumes via paper catalog. You can almost always order the catalog online, but to shop further, you have to wait for it to arrive and call in your order. However, the extra time involved shouldn't dissuade you from shopping from such noteworthy catalogs as:
- Art Stone Costumes: While some of Art Stone's costumes are now available via an online catalog, if you want full access you will need the paper catalog. Likewise, it is recommended that you become a registered member to have full access to the site and to do any ordering. Signing up is easy and worthwhile if you are an Art Stone fan. Bear in mind, however, that the site still needs a lot of work.
- Wolff-Fording & Company: One of the oldest and most respected costumers in the United States, Wolff-Fording offers catalog samples online and an order form for teachers only. If you want to select one of their excellent costumes, you must first order the catalog. You will notice that the 2007 catalog appears to be online, but to use it is more trouble than it is worth because you have to download it via Adobe Acrobat and there are no prices.
- Curtain Call Costumes: Curtain Call makes lovely costumes for children and adults. While they do have a good online presence, you must register as either a student, a visitor or a dance studio in order to view anything. They are very serious about with whom they do business, but if you like their costumes, it's worth the effort.
The Pitfalls of Catalog Shopping
Besides the added time and shipping expense of buying from dance costume catalogs, you also run the risk of compromising your fit, or getting a color or fabric that is not exactly what you had in mind. The good news is that most shops are aware of these problems and offer good refund and exchange policies. Most of the time, you will get a product that is exactly what you hope for, so if a catalog is your only option, order up and start flipping.