"Please do as many stones on my suit as possible, I want to place well". In my own professional opinion, this is a big misconception. The number of stones on your suit should never affect your placing. Things like color and cut will have a stronger impact on your placing if they don’t compliment your physique. If you have two suits with the same cut and fabric and one has minimal stones and the other with 4000 stones I'd be willing to wager your placing will not be any different. Now you are probably very shocked to hear this from me, a suit designer, but the truth is I want everyone to fall in love with this sport and have it be as beneficial in their life as it has been in mine. A competitor who breaks the bank chasing a dream, will most likely gain animosity to this sport vs falling in love with it.
So how can you get an amazing suit but break the bank? How about doing it in stages? To start set a budget you are comfortable with and buy a high-quality suit from a reputable company. Make sure the fabric is durable and that it compliments your skin tone, hair color and eye color. I use the term reputable because I continue to see companies come and go in this sport. If you ask advice from another competitor ask someone who has been around awhile. They will point you in the right directions. As the old saying goes, “If it seems too good to be true...... it usually is”.
So here are some examples that support what I'm describing. Our pricing is based on the suit cost + the number of stones we use + connectors (optional). So, pick out a simple suit for the first show, then later down the road add more stones or change out the connectors for a totally new look.
Turquoise bikini: Started with $300 including the custom suit made to fit the customer, connectors she selected and a simple stone volume. A year later she sent her suit back to us to add an additional $300 worth of more stones. She liked her connectors so opted not to change those, but changing them would be another way to change the look without spending a lot. After all was said and done she ended with a $600 valued custom suit.
Teal Figure suit: We started with a $1,000 including the custom suit made to fit the customer, swirl design in different colors and rhinestones on the straps which is included in our pricing. Two years later this customer decided to hit the stage again but wanted a new look with her previous suit. So we added $400 worth of stones to the same design to give it a new feel, more pop by adding more colors and background stones to fill it in. After all was completed she ended up a $1400 valued custom suit.
Red Figure suit: We started with a red suit with black stone and black connectors for $360 suit. She decided after her first show she wanted the suit to be brighter, so we changed out the connectors and add clear stones around the black stones for $300. After all was completed she ended up with a $660 valued custom suit.
In all these situations, I encourage the customers to pick a design that matched their personal taste but matched their budget. I think in all three these situations you can see a great transformation.
With me you can rent a suit and have the opportunity to switch it up every show or you can design one or more lower end suits and keep adding to them by taking a slightly different approach. Just be sure to review your options and make the decision that’s best for you and your budget in your current situation.