Ballet Style: 3 Trends For The Studio

Ballet students are typically expected to follow a strict dress code. Adult ballet students have a little more leeway. If the traditional leotard isn’t really your thing, but you don’t want to ditch the idea all together, consider 3 popular looks for class that will help you to fine-tune your personal style.

1. The Classic

Wearing leotard and warmers female ballet dancer dances nea

This look is for the student who truly appreciates the finer things, and wants to capture the traditional image of a ballerina. Everything about them is clean-cut: their hair is always in a neat bun, they never wear nail polish, and their outfit is tidy and well-arranged.

How to get the look: Wear a dark, solid-colored leotard, preferably black. Simple cuts and silhouettes work best, like camisole and long-sleeve. Pair it with pink footed tights and leg warmers. Pink leg warmers have a vintage nostalgia about them, but black is classic too. For a cohesive look, avoid leg warmers that have patterns on them, or don’t match the rest of your outfit. To add even more of a feminine touch, wear a short, light-weight skirt that matches your leotard or leg warmers. This classic look is always in style, and will set you apart from the more relaxed apparel of your peers.

2. The Bohemian

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If you have an eclectic personality, the bohemian look is probably more your flavor. This versatile look couples classicism with a dash of hippie charm. Just because their style is slightly more relaxed than The Classic, these students still love their leotards, and their funky earrings. Bohemian style is all about the mix.

How to get the look: Wear any solid colored leotard, and don’t be afraid to try colors you don’t typically see in class: Canary yellow, Georgia Peach, Fire Engine Red, or Passionate Plum. Have fun with a wide range of colors. Prefer black or pink? Stick to these classic colors and change up the silhouette of your leo instead; halters and lattice-backs are a stylish alternative to the traditional student look. Do stick to pink or black tights. Too many colors thrown in the mix detract from the dignity of class and risk making you look like a clown. To round out your look, pin your hair in a messy bun, wear a unique necklace, or wrap your neck in a colorful scarf.

3. The Pro

Beautiful young woman exercising splits stretching in rehearsal room

The key to pulling off this style is the High-Low: combining highly classical style with a casual article of clothing. Part of its appeal is dismissing the notion of perfection, confronting the fact that you’re going to work your butt off and probably get a few hairs out of place. Usually rocked best by advanced students and former professionals, The Pro is the James Dean of ballet looks – authentic, tough, and timeless.

How to get the look: Make your outfit FOLproof: Footless-Over-Low. These three style principles will help you master The Pro look.

First, make sure you wear black or pink footless tights. Pink footed tights are reminiscent of preschool ballet, and black footed tights with pink shoes are never, ever okay as they severely break the line of the leg. Stirrup tights are another great option.

Second, imagine you’re a Balanchine protege and wear your tights over your leotard. This insider trick instantly catapults your style from novice to pro. Black tights have a naturally slimming effect, creating a sharp, unified look; pink tights over a black leotard? Hardcore.

Third, wear a black leotard that has an extremely low-cut back, or low, cinched-front. The distance from your neck to the low cut creates a longer, leaner line and is very chic.(If you’re more on the busty side, opt out and wear a tank leotard that offers good support). Want to really amp things up? Instead of a leotard, make your favorite t-shirt the core of your outfit and wear a pair of shorts over your tights. If you’re feeling really brave, sport a white Hanes t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. This edgy style move is a nod to male dancers and adds an androgynous dimension to your look.

Adult ballet students are not obligated to follow the traditional dress code. As long as your clothing allows you to move comfortably and shows respect to the art form, feel free to get creative with your personal style.

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