Now, four years later, there are many companies making waistcoats/vests for the guys. Many of the vests are one-of-a-kind. The majority of them are velvet with a satin back. They are embroidered, and then usually shipped without the crystals. Moms of boy Irish dancers are pretty handy and creative at getting the crystals on-- which are usually Swarovski element crystals. Anything seems to go as far as color. The other big trend other than the jackets and military look, is that in giving the vests a very custom-looking, form-fitted appearance and embellishing the vests, many designers have opted to do away with the front opening with buttons and instead have gone to a hidden side zipper under the arm of the vest.
Here are some links to some popular Irish dance costume makers and waistcoat designers (there are wonderful pictures of the latest waistcoats/vests that they have made on the sites):
That above link is also the premiere source for custom-made, boys, Irish dance pants.
Where my son and I once said, "Not the rhinestone buttons!", we now say, "Bring on the crystals and color." For my kiddo and me, we both really love the current trends in boys' costumes. I will say, "Stop!" though if any electric lights go on the costumes. However, until that line in the sand is reached, I love all the fabulously unique and creative costumes the boys, moms, teachers, and designers are coming up with. I can't wait to see what the trends for boy Irish dance costumes will be come 2012!