Tots in competition garb
I know grandma got Princess the sparkly dress for Christmas, but since it has spaghetti straps and a super short skirt, Princess is going to be Ice Princess, as in frozen solid. Let her wear the dress, with a long sleeved shirt and a heavy sweater, plus AT LEAST sweatpants, or better yet snow pants if she's under the age of 6. Pull the skirt out of the pants a little bit so everyone can admire the sparkles.
Even little beginners who can stand up and glide are going to spend a lot of time sitting on the ice, because we teach falling down a LOT in beginner classes, partially for safety, partially for skill, and partially to take away the fear of falling. If your kid's butt is frozen every time she falls, you're working at odds to her enjoyment of skating. Pretty clothes will not motivate a child to skate. Having fun in class will motivate her, and if she's cold, she's not having fun.
Ready for the NHL
While grandma was getting Princess ready for the Olympics, apparently grandpa got Stanley Cup fever, and outfitted Junior in full armor. Here's the deal--unless the skater (boy or girl) is in a "full equipment" hockey class (and in some beginner classes it's optional, so ask the coach), the only parts of the gear s/he should be wearing is the helmet and the gloves, and I'm on the fence about the gloves.
And, no, you cannot bring your stick to class.
Cleavage? What cleavage?
I'm not all that crazy about the cleavage at the Golden Globes. I should not be seeing it on a 14 year old in skating class. For pity's sake, get dressed. And, mom? Please introduce your child to the concept of the "sports bra" because the bouncing isn't all that attractive either, and I can't say anything without losing my job. Also don't want to be seeing any belly-buttons, tramp stamps, or god help me, butt cleavage.
If you are a junior coach or a volunteer coach, then you are a coach and should dress the part. This means a coat, preferably one that fits properly, and coaching pants, either insulated ski-type pants or yoga pants--no jeans, baggy pajamas, or rips. You should also be wearing gloves, or at least mitts (fingerless gloves, so you can write if you need to.) Dress like a professional.
Some general guidelines
All skaters need clothes that breath (i.e. nothing made of that parachute cloth stuff), that you can move in, that doesn't obscure vision, and that fits properly. It's mid November (northern US) in an ice rink: 24º or 28º right at the ice surface, and 45º to 50º three feet up. It's just not that cold out there, so you don't need 2 snow suits (yes, I had a tot once where we couldn't figure out why he couldn't move. Turns out his folks had put him in TWO nested snow suits.) Snow pants are fine on very young children, but no one needs a parka, which are almost always 4 sizes too big, and are way too warm.
For beginner and recreational skaters a good rule of thumb is three layers on top and two on the bottom-- so a tshirt or camy, a long sleeve* cotton shirt and a heavy sweater or sweatshirt (no hood), or athletic jacket. On the bottom two pairs of heavy skating tights and a skirt, or one pair of tights with long pants. Freestyle skaters, with the single admonition of modesty, are going to know what's comfortable for them.
Careful with yoga pants, which have wide bells that can catch blades. Pants in general should just hit the floor, or about an inch above, in bare feet. Pants that puddle in bare feet are going to be dangerously long on the ice. They also need to be mid-rise or hi-rise, because low rise pants create cleavage at the other end. As I've said before, you would not believe the number of children's butts I have had the misfortune to see. (Just don't even get me started on the concept of low rise pants on people with no hips, but that's a different blog.)
If your child is skating in class, s/he should be wearing gloves. Not giant padded mittens, but just those stretchy things. Padded mittens come off, and they are MUCH too warm. Don't get really fuzzy ones, which can stick to rough ice. Gloves are not so much for warmth (as I've said, it's not that cold), but for safety and comfort. Kids who fall with no gloves will often refuse to attempt to get up on their own because they don't want to put their hands down on the ice. If they do, they run the risk of another child running them over with a blade, which will cut them. It happens all the time. Gloves don't stop this from hurting, but do stop the injury. Just tell your child it's a rule. Children respect rules.
Your best guide to dressing properly is not aesthetics, it's common sense. Dress for November, and think about hazards you're likely to encounter on the ice.
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