Yes, there needs to be a happy medium, I think. I really don't want my teacher telling me I *have* to wear a particular dress. But, if he points out reasons why this one in particular might not be good, then I'm all ears. Ultimately, I take the responsibility for my appearance and he can give me a year's worth of "I told you so's". I can be a little stubborn (no comments, Michelle). It is a learning experience with each competition. Hopefully nothing you missed caused any problem or negative experience. And I know there are some good websites out there (I'll have to go search now) about preparing for a comp, what a judge is looking for, etc.