tangential, but definitely related: I bought an old-skool, conservative dress from a fellow DF-er for my first competition. I personally glued 10G itty bitty stones on it. The following year, I had its neckline and sleeves revamped by a professional ballroom seamstress, who, IME, did a not-so-good job and charged me a *fortune*, but I like the color and style of the dress and was dedicated to having it the way I wanted it. Also, I glued another 10G itty bitty stones on it. This year, I found another, more realistically priced seamstress, and had the sleeves revamped again, the whole thing taken in to fit better, and another 24G of stones added. It looks and feels like a new gown. Considering what I spent in stones and seamstresses, it practically freakin' IS a new gown. (OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration.) BUT, and it's a biiiiiiiig but, it feels great to dance in, looks good, and is definitely eye-catching; it practically glows in the dark (I checked in the studio yesterday, when doing rounds prepping for a comp this weekend). Moral: if I spend the time, effort, and money on doing what makes me feel good dancing, it's time, effort, and money well spent. And if that's revamping an old gown until I"ve spent more on the revamping than the gown cost in the first place, so be it.