Could You Afford Your Very Own Figure Skating Costume? (Probably Not.)

Illustration for article titled Could You Afford Your Very Own Figure Skating Costume? (Probably Not.)

With a couple note-worthy exceptions, figure skating has always seemed like a rich girl sport. The girls I knew who could afford to do it were always the ones with highest, most shiny of ponytails who, in the winter, wore headbands instead of hats and had really nice ski jackets. Their parents could spend money on countless hours of training and the beautiful, intricate costumes that their daughters would wear while competing. My parents (to my utter devastation) were not down with that shit, so I was left to covet those stunning sequined outfits from afar.

But what about now that I'm an adult and make my own money? How much would I have to fork over for a figure skating costume that I could wear out to the bar or around the house or wherever (again, I'm an ADULT and I wear my clothes where I want)? Well, Marketplace's Adrienne Hill looked into the cost of these outfits and discovered — no surprise here — that they're pretty fucking expensive. (But maybe not as expensive as you'd think?)


On average, the most high quality figure skating outfits — like the ones donned at the Olympics or by Gracie Gold on her Sports Illustrated cover — can cost upwards of $3,000. Still probably too much for you or I to buy and repurpose as our "fancy pajamas," but also a little lower than I would have expected. (Years of watching Toddlers and Tiaras have clearly skewed my understanding on the cost of pageantry.)

Image via Getty.

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I was a figure skater on the national level for 15 years... Competition outfits (not called "costumes." If you're doing an ice show, yes, they're "costumes." Competition = outfit... or "dress", I've even give you "dress", although still not technically correct in the skating realm.) RARELY cost $3000. More like $600-$1500. Still expensive as fuck, but not $3000. And often times, the outfit is free if it's costing the $3000 they're claiming. Think: Nancy Kerrigan's Vera Wang at the 1994 Olympics... Vera GAVE that to her. She didn't PAY for it. Oh, and you only need more than one because you have a short and long program. Usually, with few exceptions, you will wear the same outfit for the short for the whole season and the same for the long. You don't wear a new one for every event.

Additionally, skating is expensive as fuck in general. I remember thinking my family was not well off at all as a child, and now as an adult when I think back and remember my parents saying that they'd spent over $30K on my skating in the year when I was 13 (or so), back in 1995... Well, holy hell... My parents were rolling in it, but it all went to my skating expenses. Unless you are the most talented kid that a coach/rink has ever seen and people are willing to comp you everything, it's a sport only for those "well off". Skates alone are absurd. My boots were $800 and the blades (yes, they're sold separate) were another $650. You only have to buy them every 9-12 months, but that's still a LOT.