I know many costumers swear by Velcro.
And, indeed, it is a blessing when it comes to quick changes.
HOWEVER, Velcro has a bad habit of coming undone at inopportune moments.
This is the voice of experience.
Using Velcro to secure the closing of a garment at the waist is generally not a great idea.
When a singer (who breathes properly – from the diaphragm) takes a good deep breath, their waist expands.
It expands quickly and is backed by all that singer-muscle.
In my experience, Velcro just isn’t equipped to deal with that.
The first time it happened, I was onstage with the Fischer Troupe in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Took a deep breath, and felt the Velcro at my skirt’s waist let go.
My elbows come down, to keep my skirt from hitting the ground.
So far so good.
I reach behind me, casually, because, you know, I’m still singing, and try to reclose the Velcro.
I’m wearing lace gloves.
Velcro is the natural enemy of lace gloves.
I rip my gloves from where they were firmly attached to the Velcro, and then start removing my gloves.
I am now holding my skirt up with my elbows, and holding a pair of black lace gloves, while I attempt to reclose the Velcro.
Oh, and I’m also still singing.
But I got that damn Velcro closed.
I had a big ass hook put in to keep the skirt closed.
Years later, I’m in A Winter’s Tale (A Dickens of a Musical), playing Mrs. Fezziwig.
Under my lovely lavender gown (replete with hoop skirt), I am wearing bloomers.
The waist of the bloomers is closed with – you guessed it – my old nemesis – Velcro.
Why, oh why, oh why-o, did I not realize this was a recipe for yet another costume disaster?
In the middle of my big number (One Day of the Year), having just finished my part of the big dance number (and yes, I was expected to sing my solo after dancing my fat ass around the stage), I took a deep breath …
The Velcro let go.
Now, it is not possible to grab your falling undergarment through a gown and hoop skirt.
So I am now walking around with a pair of bloomers pooled around my feet.
For fuck’s sake.
As soon as I could get unobtrusively closer to the side of the stage, I stepped out of the bloomers and kicked them offstage.
The good news was that this happened AFTER the part of the dance where I flipped my skirt up and presented my be-bloomered hinder to the audience. (I always thought I should have embroidered the bottom of my bloomers to say “Kiss Me I’m Irish” – sadly, I never got around to it.)
I now NEVER trust Velcro alone when the result may mean we should have charged a whole lot more for tickets. Even for fast changes – get those big cloth covered hooks.
They are easy to hook and unhook and may keep you from oversharing.