How long does it take to get a ContenderWear custom costume made specifically for me?
We are very fast to respond and put the wheels in motion for your custom order.

-If we have all elements needed to create your ContenderWear costume costume, it could be made as soon as 1-3 days, provided that we do not have orders scheduled ahead of yours. Shipping priority mail takes longer than the time to create a costume.
-If we have to procure items for your ContenderWear costume, the time frame to create your product will increase, depending on both availability of products, and/or if we have to visit the LA Textile District to obtain it. We only visit the District once a week. Delay of other items would be if they are shipped to us.

We have many, many fabrics, colors, rhinestones, trims, feathers, and embellishments, on hand.

How much and how long to get some of your fabulous fit booty shorts?
For HotMess Dance Apparel™ shorts, we have made many of the booty shorts on a regular basis. If we have your size pattern, it would cost the usual, which is between usually $23-$30 for each pair. Depending upon the quantity ordered, we may discount that for you.

If we have to make a pattern for your size, add $16 to the order.

Once we have your order and provided we have the fabrics and colors that you want, we could have 10-20 pair ready within that first day.

Just a note on fabric and colors available: If specific fabrics and colors are needed that we must procure, extra time and fees would go into the cost of the final goods.

Are your ContenderWear and HotMess Dance Apparel items hand-made?
All our ContenderWear and HotMess Dance Apparel items are handmade…even the Archerciser! We suppose, however, that depends upon what your definition of handmade is.

Both ContenderWear and HotMess Dance Apparel creations are born out of quadrilateral pieces of fabric, yards and yards of trim, etc. purchased from various wholesale outlets in the Los Angeles Textile District. When we say hand-made, it means that we do use sewing and overlock machines, and yes they are electrical. We also use power tools to make our elements for our Archerciser™ products. Without these tools, we would probably still be working on the first item.

We use modern electrical appliances to create our masterpieces.

Can I order a ContenderWear™ costume to be created from a photo?
All ContenderWear™ costumes that we create are custom, unique costumes.  You may send us a photo or link to an image so that we can get an idea of what you are leaning toward as far as the various costume aspects. However, another designer’s costume will not be replicated.

Your costume will be made specifically for you, your measurements, the genre, music, and mood of the piece.

Will my custom ContenderWear™costume fit properly?
Yes, after the design is developed, you will receive very specific instructions for taking and submitting your measurements.  We can set a time to walk you through the measurement process via a video call if you have Google Hangouts; alternatively, Skype.  These measurements will be used to ascertain the correct sizing for your body type, and a pattern will be made to fit those measurements.
If you live in the Southern California area or will be traveling through the area, we can meet with you in person to take measurements and/or to discuss details of your order, including sampling of fabrics.
We’ve been sewing since the 1970’s; so we’ve had lots of practice!

Will I get an invoice?
Yes, you will get an invoice for half of the order along with the payment instructions regardless of which brand of merchandise that you are purchasing.  Once you have paid the initial deposit, we will either schedule or begin your order, depending on the workload at the time of order.  When production is complete, you will receive notification with a final invoice.  The order will be released for shipment or pickup when the invoice has been paid in full.  If your final invoice is paid by check, it must first clear the bank before the order is shipped.

What are your prices for a Halloween Costume?
Halloween costumes fall in the same billing and preparation category as recital costumes with a couple of considerations:

  • They are both limited use costumes and are prepared under the HotMess Dance Apparel™ label.
  • Recital costumes start at around $85 for groups of similarly sized members within the group.  They share the cost of pattern creation.
  • Soloist costumes, including Halloween, have a pattern manufacturing charge per item, from $16 per item.
  • Pricing does not include props, shipping, or tax.

What are your prices for ContenderWear™ Brand One-Of-A-Kind Costume?
Your invoice will be a line-item invoice. You will know exactly what is being charged for what.  It is not an all-encompassing, blanket fee.  The general aspects of our billing can be found on our quotes page here on our Site and on ContenderWear Facebook page in the Notes section.   Our prices will be directly affected by the amount of time required to create your masterpiece.  Time involved is directly affected by detail, whether it be lace, embroidery, rhinestones, and/or custom appliques.

The Estimate:  a ContenderWear™ brand custom, all-encompassing quote for a soloist’s costume on average is approximately $350-$395; the final cost may be adjusted to a lesser amount if the desired “look” is achieved with less embellishments or if discounts are available on the wholesale purchase of the embellishments, which has happened quite frequently.

The Actual Price: Our average ContenderWear™ custom costume final cost runs about $300-$350 under the “Special”, provided that no change orders nor rush orders are given.  These prices do not include shipping and insurance. 

The “Special” is our way of offering you a more affordable custom dance costume.  A discount is offered on the total billed on your invoice before tax, shipping, and insurance and is available only on ContederWear™ All-Encompassing, Ready-To-Go custom costumes. There are various levels of discounts.  Give us a call to find out more.

As much as we want to create your masterpiece, please understand that we cannot do so at a loss. Each project requires one or more trips to our suppliers, who are located in Los Angeles, requiring time, gas, and money, whether our trip is fruitful or not in securing all materials needed for your project. In the industry, our pricing is among the lowest for custom costumes, using top-quality materials and enhancements.

Costume pricing varies by type and quantity of materials used and labor. These are some examples of pricing, but with how varied costuming can be, it is not an estimate or a complete listing of expenses that go into your costume. Please use this information as general information, non-specific as to project.

When we feel particularly creative, we create one-of-a-kind costumes as sample products.  These items are put on our Web Site as well as 3rd party stores for sale.  Purchases that are made direct, with payments in cash or check, will always result in the costume being less expensive than going through our 3rd party affiliates, where mark-up is taken for their cut and credit card processing fees.
Please note that pricing may change without notice. The best way to lock in your project’s price is to obtain a written estimate and place a deposit on your order.

Why must I pay a deposit before seeing a design?
Our first question will be about your budget.  That will be the first step in determining whether or not we can even do your project within your budget.  We will then ask you for some thoughts and ideas on colors, style, likes, dislikes, etc.  The next step is to submit your deposit and the signed agreement/quote.  After receiving a deposit and signed agreement, we will prepare a rendering (design) for you. Sometimes when we are feeling particularly inspired, we may prepare multiple designs or variations, whereas you may select one of them.  We do not share our renderings with you prior to receiving a deposit for the obvious:  1. we work for you once a deposit has been made; 2.  we do not release a design as a measure of protection from counterfeiting until a deposit has been received.

Can you work with my fabric that I bought?
Sure, but with caution.  We have many times been brought fabrics from sheets (cotton) to other limited stretch items.  As long as the type of fabric correlates with the intended use of the final product, purchasing your own fabric is fine.

When will my ContenderWear™ custom dance costume be done?
We are booked out about 8 weeks twice per year: In winter when we are creating the masterpieces for soloists and groups for the new competition year; and in Spring for summertime recitals under our HotMess Dance Apparel™ label.  Other than that, we can typically create your custom costume within a 1-3 days, depending upon availability of materials and of course your place in the queue.

It’s always best to get your order placed as soon as possible with your deposit. Depending upon our existing schedule, you may possibly have an option to have your costume expedited at a nominal fee, but again, that depends upon our existing orders and their scheduled due dates.

Are your products new?
Yes, all our items are new, and they come from a smoke-free environment. The young ladies that model our apparel and costumes wear undergarments and panty-shields.

To date, all the fabrics that we have worked with have been washed prior to starting a project with them. The fabrics that we use are mostly procured from the the Los Angeles Textile District, which means they are stored in warehouses and shops.

Upon washing the textiles, we can better determine the fabrics’ or trims’ suitability for specific needs.

Do you make your own costume bases?
Yes, all our ContenderWear™ costumes are made from the bolt of the fabric to stage ready.  We do not farm out the work, and there are several reasons why we do not do this for our ContenderWear™ products.

  • Many of our ContenderWear™ costume elements are sewn-in while constructing the garment.  This includes but is not limited to designer clasps, hooks, closures, buttons, zippers, straps, etc.
  • We want consistency in our products, and we find that subcontracting out parts of the process would tend to not meet our standards.

With HotMess Dance Apparel™, we sometimes work with customer provided parts and embellishments.  These types of items would be dependent upon the customers’ standards, and we would only be setting the standard for the application, and sometimes deconstruction & reconstruction.

With Plain Brown Label™, we sometimes purchase bases.  These bases are national brand products, where we know the quality to have good consistency.

How are payments handled on Custom Costumes (Dancer Measurements Specific)?
On all custom orders, a 50% deposit is required. We will collaborate throughout the process on selections; notification is sent out when the garment is complete. Final payment is required within 45 days of the completion notice. If the item has not been paid for in full after the 45 days, the item will be be put up for sale to recoup the unpaid balance.

Shipping orders over $50
When the order is over $50, the parcel will be insured. This will require a signature upon delivery. USPS will leave notification that they tried to deliver if you are not home. You will be able to go online to & reschedule the delivery at a time that you will be at the address used for shipping.  The Post Office will hold your parcel for two weeks from their initial attempt to delivery before sending the item back to us.

If your order gets returned to us, please contact us to issue a invoice for postage for you to pay. Once you pay for this, we can reship the item to you.

If you decide not to accept your shipment, you will be responsible for actual shipping, insurance, and a 20% restocking fee for ready-made items.  Custom items, specific to your measurements, are non-refundable.

What brand are your rhinestones that you use in your applications?
We’re glad you asked that! We have worked with both Swarovski® and Preciosa® brands of Rhinestones extensively.  We started with only using Swarovski®, and we still offer them as an option for our customers. However, our brand of choice is currently Preciosa®.

  • Preciosa® rhinestones have developed their high quality crystals virtually lead free, making them safer for our customers.
  • Preciosa®’s cut is great and has superb brilliance.
  • Preciosa® Rhinestones do not protrude as much as their Swarovski® counterparts, making them more comfortable for the wearer when sitting, rolling, etc.
  • As a bonus, Preciosa® rhinestones are less expensive than Swarovski®.NOTE: There are knockoffs of both brands. We use the real deal.

What are the care instructions
Generally, our HotMess Dance Apparel™ items can be washed under gentle setting or by hand with mild detergent (i.e. Zout, Woolite Gentle Cycle) and line dry.

ContenderWear™ items are spot clean only, however, you will receive care instructions with your order.All fabrics are washed before use. Items that are dyed, depending upon the color, may bleed.

Regardless of which brand you purchased, we recommend a steamer for smoothing out the fabric rather than an iron, which may easily burn or leave marks or residue on the fabrics.

All Archerciser™ products are spot clean only.

Do you make specific sizes of dance costumes and clothing?
Yes, we make your size.  Since our dance costumes are custom, and you send us or we take your measurements, we make them to fit your measurements.

When we are invited to participate in special events, such as recitals, we prepare many HotMess Dance Apparel™ leotards, Tees, skirts, shrugs, etc. in “generic” sizes to be sold as concessions. Those types of products are for a range of measurements within a given general size, i.e. Child Small, Adult Small, Child Medium, etc.  However, made-to-order custom costumes and custom dance wear is made specifically for your size.

I’d like to see fabric samples.  Is that possible?
If you would like to be involved with the actual selection between multiple fabrics, we can send you fabric samples for a fee.  Another option would be to receive photos of the fabrics. However, photos are not always an accurate depiction of the actual colors due to differences in digital hardware/processing.  If you have a specific color in mind, it is usually best to send us sample color cards that match your costume color of choice, using several cards to indicate the possible variations in shade.  You get these color cards from your local paint store or paint department at large retailers.  If you live in the Southern California area or are coming to the area, you are welcome to schedule a meeting with us. Please keep in mind that with the back and forth fabric exchange if mailed, it will delay creating your masterpiece, and when we match the paint swatch with a fabric, the fabric may be gone on our next visit to the manufacturer.  Finally, the exact color of the paint swatch may or may not be available, and that’s why we request a range of hues or colors.

Do you have a return policy?
Monies paid, whether deposit or final payment, on our custom costumes are not refundable. Our custom products are both nonrefundable and nonreturnable.   If you submitted the wrong measurements, and based upon those measurements the costume does not fit, we will make the necessary changes for a fee or you may choose to take them to your local seamstress.  We are here to assist you with the measurements so that you take them correctly.

If changes are made to the design of the costume after an agreement has been made,  we will need to re-evaluate the cost of the detailed changes, which usually start from $75.

You will be responsible for shipping charges, and your invoice will reflect that, and you will be responsible for future shipments should the product need to be altered due to inaccurate measurements, if your dancer’s weight fluctuated,  and/or changes to the design.  These additional shipping charges will also be your responsibility.

If we goofed, that would be a rarity, and we would take full responsibility to make it right.

What is your PBL (Plain Brown Label™ ) brand?
Plain Brown Label™ (PBL) is a brand that we came up with for inexpensive costuming, usually $250 or less and can be either custom or “semi-custom.”

Semi-customs get custom additions to factory name-brand items such as leos, crop tops, shorts, and briefs. These custom additions are any one or more of the following:

  •  appliques
  • rhinestones
  • metal
  • pearls
  • lace or trim
  • skirt
  • sash

Can you tell me what LiturgyWear™ and NuptialWear™ are all about?

Sure can!

LiturgyWear™ was developed as a response to the many inquiries that we get around Christian Holidays such has Christmas, Easter, etc. The Praise Dancers require skirts, leotards, etc. for their praise dance worship. These garments are usually a solid color and without any rhinestones.

NuptialWear™ is everything for the wedding that needs to be altered, rhinestoned, and so on. NuptialWear is mostly semi-custom, meaning customized alterations and additions on existing product. The garments that we make under the NuptialWear Label, i.e. dresses, lingerie, etc., are very sleek and made of 4-way stretch…no poofy stuff.

Do you work with existing costumes or separates?
Yes, we regularly spruce up separate tops and bottoms to create a cohesive look for group numbers.  We refer to this as alterations and tweaks under the HotMess Dance Apparel™ Label.  We encourage the use of additions in such a manner that the existing garment does not have to be disassembled before adding the new components.  Having to take apart an existing costume will dramatically increase the price of the work being done.

ContenderWear: Added Bling!

We have also unleashed our bling and changed the look on ready-made costumes for the purpose of enhancing a costume to be used for a soloist or group in the competition arena under the ContenderWear™ label.