No! Many people are put off from starting Irish dancing because they have been misinformed about the costumes that children are required to purchase. It is only if your child pursues a high level competitive track in Irish Dancing that you may eventually need to purchase a full Irish dancing costume.

At Pender-Keady, we have a uniform that is used in the lower levels for multiple events including the feis, dinner dance and recital. This uniform costs $50 and the package includes the PKA jumper, white blouse, poodle socks (Irish dancing socks), and pink hair bow. This outfit is suitable for all events for as long as you wish. The order form for this outfit is available on the website under the PKA Wear button.


Eventually if you child shows an interest in competing more regularly, you may wish to purchase a Pender-Keady School costume. If you wish to purchase a school costume, you need to know which costume to buy. If your child is Feis Age under 10 or younger than this, you should purchase the HPK “Baby pink dress”. These can range between $200 - $300 dollars depending on if new or used and can easily be resold when your child outgrows them. If your child is Feis Age under 11 or older than this, you should purchase the Full HPK school costume with the embroidery on it. These are all purchased used and can run anywhere from $350 - $450 depending on condition and can be easily resold. If you are uncertain which costume to buy, please email to confirm as there can be certain exceptions to this. If your child is chosen to participate in team competitions at the Oireachtas (please see the Oireachtas button for more information on this) then they will be required to purchase a HPK school costume.


A solo costume is only necessary if your child is becoming a frequent competitor. Solo dresses are NOT PERMITTED when children compete in the beginner and advanced beginner level’s in a feis, but they are permitted once a child starts competing in the Novice level. Although they are permitted in Novice, there is no reason to feel that you must get a solo dress. A school costume is perfectly acceptable at the Novice level (although at this point your child will probably make you think otherwise!). When you feel it is time for a solo dress, there are plenty of used solo dresses available for sale. Many parents in PKA have used solo dresses for sale, please check the bulletin board in the studio which features flyers with pictures and contact information on them. You can also look on the internet for a used solo dress. There is a great website called Dance Again where you can search for a used solo dress, click here: 

When your child reaches the highest competitive level, called Open Championship, this is when you might need to consider ordering a new, made to order dress. Some people may choose to order them at an earlier stage which is also acceptable. If you have reached the point where you are interested in ordering a new dress, we have 2 dressmakers in Ireland that we sanction ordering dresses from. They are:

Siopa Rince Teoranta 


Gavin Doherty / Eire Designs 

If anyone chooses to order a dress from a local dressmaker in the USA please note that the PKA staff will not have any involvement in the process and you will need to deal with the dressmaker on your own. We will only get involved in the dressmaking process if you order from one of the above mentioned dressmaking companies.

The boy’s costume is much simpler than the girls! When boys compete in a feis or dancing in the recital, they are required to wear black dress trousers with black socks, a white button down shirt, and a pink tie. At the higher level’s, a made to order waistcoat may be required, please speak to your teacher about this.

Baby Pink Dresses

Pender – Keady baby pink school dresses will now be made by Simonetti Custom Tailoring.

They are located at:
1011 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT 06905
(203) 595-0771

If you need to have a dress made to order, you first need to buy a “kit” at the studio for $50 which covers the cost of all the materials and includes smaller detail accessories that you need to bring to Simonetti’s with you.