September 15, 2003

Lisa: Concert Black

My mom and I have been talking about starting a small business. It's getting pretty serious--more so than my usual genius ideas--because we're talking about getting a small business loan and I've registered a domain name and everything.

Here's the concept. Almost all orchestras and symphonies require their female musicians to wear formal, all-black ensembles, usually skirts, that are long-sleeved and ankle-length. If you have shopped for this type of outfit before (as I have on countless occasions), you would know that it does not exist. If it's formal enough and long enough, the sleeves are guaranteed to be too short, etc. "But I'm sure there's an online clothing retailer that caters to musicians," you might say. You would be wrong. The only similar-concept site that I have found after countless hours of searching has only ugly clothes with short sleeves.

We've decided to sell separates, a la David's Bridal bridesmaid outfits. Separates are the easiest way to fit varying body types and allow for customized looks that give an overall uniform effect. There are a few caveats for formalwear that is used as an everyday uniform, though:

  • Items should be comfortable; you have to be able to sit down, bend arms, breathe, etc. All of the materials should be stretchy or flowy. Also, people don't like to buy new orchestra clothes just because they gained five pounds. Plus, a waistband that is comfortable standing up is not always good when sitting down.
  • Let's face it, musicians playing strenuous music under hot stage lights sweat. Items should be machine washable if possible! Packable (for tours) is even better.
  • Items should be flattering and look professional. Bunchy waistbands become worse when sitting down. Tops that are too long make hips look wider. Tops that are too short show bare skin or underwear when sitting. Bra straps should never be in danger of showing.

    Anyway, I've been working on the website, and my mom's been working on how to produce these customized skirts and tops. I'll post more info as we get closer.

    I have no doubts that a business of this kind could be successful. There is a huge market that is not being satisfied. But...this is kind of scary!

    Update: the website is live! Check it out here.

    Posted by lisa at September 15, 2003 04:42 PM
  • Comments

    please do it! i hvae such a hard time finding a good concert black outfit that i like, that's comfortable to play in and formal enough to wear on stage. what a wonderful idea.

    Posted by: ruth young on December 13, 2003 08:19 PM

    Please oh please do it! Include Pants and jackets that could be worn by a small choral ensemble. Stretchy, well draping, machine washable. The choral wear that I CAN find on the net is too tacky or just ugly. We need a sourch that we could get the same thing from for many years. Let me know when it happens!

    Posted by: Leslie Williams on November 19, 2004 03:22 AM

    That is so great!! As a cellist it's especially difficult because skirts must be long *and* full. I just found the site today and I'm so excited! And the website itself is just beautiful. Thanks so much!

    Posted by: Jane on April 9, 2005 10:24 PM
    Post a comment

    Email Address:



    Remember info?