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Choosing Clothing For Ice-Skating

Aug 17, 2007
After you have acquired your boots and skates, your thoughts will turn naturally to the clothes you will wear for your first appearance. Make no mistake about it; a smart costume on the ice is half the battle. If you are a man, you will probably decide to do your first skating in long trousers plus an ordinary coat or sweater, and that is all right. If you are a woman and an absolute beginner and expect to do a certain amount of rail clinging for a while, you will probably think you will be less conspicuous in a long skirt, a sort of modified street costume. There you are wrong.

For a woman the traditional costume is as set for the ice rink as it is for the tennis court or the ski slope. A long skirt will make any woman stand out like a sore thumb on any ice surface, just as a long black skirt would make her an object of special attention on any tennis court. So remember this when you buy your costume: if you want your first few wobbly strokes to go as unnoticed as possible, be sure to dress in the accepted mode. If you dress like a reasonably expert skater (whether you are or not), you'll find that people are much too preoccupied with their own edges to pay any attention to yours.

The accepted style for skating skirts and dresses has a full circular, gored, or pleated skirt which flares from the hipline. Plenty of stores now have the most chic, correct, and practical costumes imaginable - and at very small cost. In fact it is because the stores are putting out such attractive and becoming figure skating outfits that lots of young girls are taking up the sport!

As for the rest of the costume, good sense and a certain amount of fashion should dictate. Sweaters with skirts are always good, but if you are going to an indoor rink, don't make the mistake, as one of my friends did, of wearing a heavy sweater, a stocking cap, and fur-lined mitts. Most rinks are heated nowadays, so it is well to inquire first. On the other hand, trim windbreakers, parkas, and turtleneck sweaters are perfect for pond skating. Big hats are out of place on the ice. The closer fitting the cap, the trimmer the appearance. Streamlining is as suitable to the skating figure as it is to an automobile chassis.

Anything that doesn't contribute to an impression of speed and freedom of movement is undesirable. That is why the bodices of skating dresses should be molded to the figure. That is why trunks should never be large and bulky - but, contrary-wise the too tight, too high little panty that some good skaters are now affecting is ugly, too. Trunks should as a general rule match the skirt and be as inconspicuous as possible. Excellent nylon tights are available at most stores, while wool and nylon tights may also be procured. The latter are fine for outdoor skating in cold climates.
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