Blog

Across the street or the world – We can service your costume need’s!
May 4th, 2011

Flags of the world

The internet has changed how we do business and the ease of how we conduct that business with customers all over the world. If you’re in Australia for example and want to order custom costumes from us in Canada, essentially there’s little difference than if you were just down the street. Granted you can’t come right over and meet with us personally, but all of the same protocols are available and in place for us to do business wherever you maybe located.

Our simplified systems offer you the ability to go from an idea to a gorgeous finished costume while removing all of the concern’s you may preconceive about ordering from afar.

So now matter where you are and as long as we can deliver to you, your custom costume needs are just a few clicks away. Please contact us today!

Acro is evolving and we call it ‘Acrolution’
February 17th, 2011

evolve

There is an evolution we’ve dubbed ‘Acrolution’ in the gymnastics world and now a demand for more elaborate styles of leotards and unitards are on the rise.

Design, glamour and glitz are coming together to take centre stage for the ultimate battle of skill, strength, stamina and fashion – Yes fashion – Welcome to Acrolution! Let the competitions begin!

Our basic philosophy of ‘look good, feel good, perform well’ continues to spill into the day-to-day lives of athletes, as they continue to raise the bar to the best of their abilities. They want to look good and feel good and why not? After all whether they’re competing in a regional, national or world venue, the ‘costume confidence boost’ can mean the finite difference in points and placing and ultimately the gold, silver or bronze. Who would have ever thought that their costume would play such an important role!

So where is acro headed? Leading edge designs that take factors into account such as routine, music, theme, colors, skin tones, personalities as well as body types. Want those hips to look narrower, perhaps the waist more slimming? Want to appear taller? This new self-awareness is making today’s leotards and unitards high-tech creations of design, fit and finish, whereby ‘custom made’ has a whole new meaning.

Then there’s the ‘sparkle factor’ and the more the better please! Like their cousin’s in rhythmic gymnastics discovered many years ago, yes we love gymnastics but we want to look good, feel good and we want our audience to engage in performances of sport and showmanship, while conveying the essence and personalities of who the athletes really are while leaving long lasting impressions and memories for those that viewed and participated at the event.

If you want to be recognized and remembered it’s going to be for either your stunning performance or your equally stunning costume and let it be known everyone will definitely take notice. What better way to earn yourself a place in the hearts and minds of others who share the same passions as you do, as now you are recognized not only by who you are and how you perform but what you wear, adding a whole new element of fun, intrigue and anticipation event after event.

Are you ready for Acrolution? We are!… Contact us today!

We want to be part of YOUR team!
February 8th, 2011

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Looking for Team Leotards that make a statement and that you and every member of the team can be proud of? Well look no further!

Design, style, scaleability, comfort and fit are key elements to great looking team leotards. From the shortest to the tallest, the design should be easily scaleable to hold it’s proportions throughout the size ranges, while maintaining all the other elements that make them as visually wonderful to look at as they are to wear.

Make your team proud!. contact us and we’ll design a leotard that represents your team in a way that makes a serious statement, a professional presentation and offers the athletes a special feeling and confidence that they can proudly carry into any venue.

Can we be part of your team?

Busy, busy, busy – please allow enough time!
February 7th, 2011

Time

Well it’s the height of the busy season. If you’re planning on placing an order, please currently allow 6 working weeks production time from the date your design and fabrics are approved and measurements are submitted.

Now your order won’t take 6 weeks to make but there will be lots of orders ahead of you, so please plan ahead and we’ll work with you to be sure you receive your order on time.

If you need more information please contact us today.

More emergencies – But why?
February 3rd, 2011

Help Key

We’ve talked about this before and it’s a shame that it keeps happening, but the emergency e-mails and calls keep coming! But why?

We’re not sure we really know all the answers but we do know one of the problems – Overbooking!

Tis’ the season of competitions. Dance, Rhythmics, Skate, Gymnastics, Baton, you name it and it’s happening or about to. Now what also happens is that manufacturers become flooded with orders and just like knowing when to say no when you’re full from a meal, a manufacturer may not have said no to just one more order, or another one and another one and sooner or later, they’re overbooked and someone or several someone’s are not going to get their orders!

Manufacturing requires a very good grasp of production schedules and that means knowing how much you can turn out in any given time frame, plus you have to build in for the unknown contingencies that sooner or later ‘will’ arise, so the key is not to book to maximum capacity and certainly not overbook.

Now you the customer are at the supplier’s mercy. They tell you you’ll receive your order as promised, but how do you know you will? Well if you’ve been dealing with them for a long time and you have a comfort level already then that’s fine, but if they’re new to you, it might be a really good idea to get some guarantees upfront and in writing. The bottom line is if they don’t come through for you as promised, you could be in a real bind and that warrants some compensation and at very least a full refund.

Custom work is not turned out overnight, so once a manufacturer is behind catching up is not easy to do. One suggestion is to follow up regularly to be sure your order is on track and perhaps request an interim picture of the order a couple of weeks before it’s due date, then you’ll know for sure whether it’s near completion or not. Don’t follow up too late or your order might just be that – too late!

Are you ready to think out of the box?
February 2nd, 2011

out-of-the-box

When it comes to costumes and designs we certainly ‘think out of the box!’ If you’re looking for creativity, imagination and something that is over the top then you’re visiting the right place. Regardless of your budget, we accept your challenge to design something for you that is a one-of-a-kind statement that gets you noticed and makes you feel terrific.

Can a great costume actually help you to compete and perform better? Definitely! Wearing a costume that is ideally suited to a theme that looks good will contribute to your confidence factor, here’s the formula – look good, feel good, perform better!

contact us today and we’ll start ‘thinking out of the box’ on a new design especially for you.

Copying is not cool!
January 29th, 2011

IdenticleSo you’re ready to have a new costume made. You want something unique that no one else has and designed especially for you. You go through the custom design and ordering process and receive your new costume and off you go. A couple of months later you’re looking at some pictures online and what do you see? Someone wearing a costume just like yours! How could this happen? Well either your supplier copied the one you see or someone copied yours and this is NOT cool!

At least once a month we’re asked to make a costume just like…. and our answer is – ‘Sorry, we can’t (must not) do that!’ Ethically we must protect the owner’s of the costume, especially when it comes to athletes who compete competitively, many of which go to great lengths to order costumes uniquely designed just for them. Now there maybe elements of a costume that are particularly pleasing to you and some of those elements can be incorporated into a new and unique design, but copying in almost exact detail is shunned upon and can really upset the original’s owner. Besides if you are going to order custom, then custom it should be, made just for you and nobody else.

So why do people want copies anyways? Well in most cases it’s not that they really want to copy or infringe on the original, it’s simply because they have fallen in love with a particular design and color combination and can’t come up with something comparable. Well that’s where we come in. If you see a costume you really like, let’s take a look and we’ll create a design for you that incorporates some of what you like together with something new, resulting in a creation that is uniquely yours, that you can proudly wear knowing that it’s the only one of its kind – or is it?

Well we can promise you that we won’t create another one like it, but we can’t promise that nobody else will, your only hope is that others have similar ethics.

Why solos can only go so low!
January 6th, 2011

A solo is generally defined as an activity performed by oneself and in the world of costumes that usually calls for a unique one-of-a-kind garment, made especially to compliment the routine or performance the individual is involved in.

To make a custom made garment or any garment for that matter a pattern is required and depending on the complexity of the design that pattern can be quite intricate and therefore costly. For a solo, the pattern charge has to be absorbed into that one garment and that has a significant impact on the overall cost of the garment. For a custom solo valued at say $250.00, up to 1/3 of the cost is the pattern. If that same pattern was used for a duet for example, then that cost can be divided by 2 and for a trio, by 3 and so on, but as you can see, solo’s have no choice but to bear the full cost of the pattern, hence their higher cost, so this is why solos can only go so low.

In some cases more than one member of duets and trios may require their own patterns if one of those members are of a significant difference in size, as there are only so many proportional changes that any one size pattern can undergo, before those proportions are no longer within an acceptable range of each other. Another factor with the cost of solos is the amount of fabric required to make them. Some solos may consist of 2, 3, 4 even 5 different fabrics, yet the minimum order requirement from a fabric supplier is 1 yard and most of those fabrics may be required in a much lesser quantity, creating a lot of waste. Additionally, ordering 1 yard of a specific fabric is more costly than ordering say 10 yards, so as you can see this all adds to the price of creating a one-off solo garment.

So how can you keep the cost of a solo down? Well we have a few suggestions that might be helpful…

– Try to keep the design as simple as you can allow relative to the routine or performance it’s being used for

– Symmetrical designs are less work to make than those that are asymmetrical

– Try to be somewhat flexible on what you really want versus what might be affordable

– Try to keep the number of different fabrics used to a minimum

– See if the manufacturer has fabrics in stock that they can use rather than having to specially order in

– If you’re looking for a lot of sparkle, consider sequined fabrics versus hand embellishment

– If there are appliqués and they need to be hand made, see if there are any ready-made appliqués available that may work just as well

– Some manufacturers may offer discounts for early ordering or for off-season orders, or perhaps other offers you can take advantage of

At Kats Designs our goal is to supply the best looking costume at the best value. As we design to budget, we take many of the considerations above into account before we start our designs and wherever possible, we’ll try to see if we can supply the desired effect at the most affordable price.

Take a shower with your costume – seriously!
November 5th, 2010

So you’ve just received your new costume and from being in the package it’s wrinkled, or perhaps you’ve travelled with it and you want to freshen it up. Being made of stretch fabrics containing lycra, you’re best not to go near it with an iron and you may not have a clothes steamer, so the next best thing to do is to take a shower with it. Now agreed wearing it in the shower is not recommended either but simply hang it up near where you shower, be sure the door and window is closed and the steam and humidity will do a wonderful job of relaxing the fibers and removing the wrinkles.

If you want to know how to care for your costume, please click here.

Buying custom on price could be a sacrifice!
October 21st, 2010

Poor FitSo as a smart buyer you have more than one quote on your costume order, and because your hard earned money will be paying for it, naturally you’re attracted to the lower price, so is it a good deal or what could that lower price mean? Well it could be a good deal and the order would be much the same from either company and the price is the only difference. But is it?  Well as mentioned in our previous post, it might be a really good idea to do a little homework before you order.

If the price difference is small then buying on price might be less of an issue, but if the price difference is say 10% or more, you may want to take another look to be sure you’re going to receive what you expect. There could be any number of reasons why there might be a larger price difference from one to the other and it maybe very important, the main differences could include design details, fabrics and especially construction. So it’s good to ask some questions and clarify the order, or that lower price maybe a sacrifice you’re not expecting and would much rather avoid.