Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What I Wear to Ballet as an Adult Beginner

It seems there is a lot of adult beginner ballet discussion about what to wear to class.  Pink tights versus black, tights over or under, footed or footless, leotard or no leotard, which warm-ups, etc.

I wear a leotard, usually black, and tights, also usually black.  Why so much black?  Because it was the company uniform for Other Movement.  Also as a New Yorker, I pretty much live in black all the time any way, and this way I can just layer my civilian clothes over!  I have a few color leotards...grey is a color, right?  I am actually slowly collecting more color ones, as I sometimes indulge in getting custom leos nowadays, and basic black seems kind of a waste with custom.  Cutwise, I don't like anything with too high of a neck (no mock turtlenecks for me), and tend towards leos with open or low backs.  No halters because I feel they make my shoulders look too broad.

I wear transition or footless tights, because I wear pink (canvas, split sole) shoes, and black footed tights with pink shoes is a no.  Sometimes I wear nude tights.  Never pink though, it looks weird with my (olive) skin tone.  I always wear tights under, because gussets look strange.  Once in a while I'll wear a "biketard" (awful word) with no tights at all...a more contemporary feel.

I don't wear ballet skirts because I feel like they shorten the leg line, and I like to clearly see what my hips are doing.  I usually don't wear shorts, again because of the leg line thing, but I'll wear little (black) shorts once in a while because a few of my leotards have a weirdly cut leg.  I try to avoid those leotards, but sometimes fall behind on doing laundry (and by "doing laundry" I mean taking it to the laundromat a block away for them to wash and fold for me...).

In winter I will wear legwarmers (black) if it's cold in the studio, but never ones that cover my knees, because I don't want to hide any problems there.  A shrug (black) sometimes makes an appearance, and I also have a few "tops" made out of old (black) tights with the crotch cut out.

OH, and I wear underwear under my tights.  I just feel better with underwear.

There.  Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about what I wear to ballet class as an adult beginner.


  1. I wear black tights (full sole) with pink slippers even tough I know it's practically a crime against all things ballet-ly... It's mostly lazyness issue, with black U get a bit more coveragy, if you know what I mean ;) But I do also feel a bit weird in pink tights too. And they dont make the slipper I like in any other color that pink (Bloch elastoplit), so I stuck as being a criminal :D

    1. Grab the pitchforks ballet mob, we are going to cut the feet off her tights! ;)

      Actually, as much as I care about what I wear (because vanity), I'm in the "you do you" camp when it comes to other people. Rock on you ballet criminal!

  2. Here in Singapore, no matter if you are 14 or 40, all ballet students wear pink tights, and different coloured leotards depending on grades, pink for lower grades and black for higher.

    And yeap, always have underwear on, though I have a few people telling me that its more 'normal' to go without underwear. Or maybe its just security issues

    1. Yeah supposedly tights count as underwear, and I guess it would eliminate the possibility of visible underwear lines, but I don't really find that to be a problem. And it's just more comfortable for me, haha.

      How interesting that even adults have a uniform in Singapore! Is it RAD curriculum?

  3. Biketard, lol, awful word indeed!
    When I first started I rocked the black tights with pink slippers (as evidenced by some of my way-back pictures), and I had no idea back then that it was one of many ballet-don'ts. I switched to pink after a year, mostly because I wanted to feel more ballet-student-ish. My skin is pretty olive/tannish as well, and I've heard that ballet pink looks odd on darler skin, as it's supposed to mimic a "flesh" color, but I wear my pink tights proudly anyway. Besides, black tights make my legs look like sticks!
    As far as leotards go, I'm partial to black and dark colors. I have a bright blue leo that gets the least amount of wear of them all. I love the color, but I feel like there's a neon spotlight on me when I wear it!
    While I have yet to try out a ballet skirt, I love my little warm up sweaters. When it gets chilly I've also been known to wear leg warmers.
    I made the transition to no-undies at the beginning of this year, and I love it! At first it seemed like it would be weird, but I like that even if the leotard rides up on the legs during grand plies there's still no risk of underwear showing.
    And now I feel like I've shared too much info about my ballet class outfit choices, lol

    1. There is no TMI with adult beginner ballet, muahaha.

      I will admit another reason I wear underwear is because I am really lazy about washing my tights!