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Ballet Talk for Dancers

wearing tights over leotards?


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i know i've read this was many people's pet peeves but does anyone know why someone would wear their tights *over* their leotards? i've noticed that even the leotard model on sansha's website is wearing her tights over her leo. is this just a weird fad or is there a reason behind it?

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Well, during the summer I found it much more convenient to put leotard and shorts on at home, then pop a pair of cotton tights on (over leotard) on arrival.


Also, especially with black tights, some people think the line looks better when the tights are over. I'm not convinced of this, though I did notice that my leotards creep less _and_ I care less about any creeping with this configuration....


Just my $0.02...

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I hesitate to post this, but...

I don't know any professional dancers who don't wear black tights over their leotards.


Ditto for pink.....

This is for work, I hasten to say. For demonstrations, dress rehearsals, etc. where a more finished look is desirable, tights under leotard, of course.


It all boils down to a matter of personal taste.

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I wear tights over my leotard only with black footless tights and a black leotard... I do like the line better (maybe its because my black leotards are all so faded...) I'd never ever do this with pink tights, though!

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Guest piccolo

I am not a professional dancer by any means but I have been wearing black tights over my leotards for some time now. Not sure when I started doing it. My own personal opinion: I don't like the way black tights look under a leotard; I have short legs and to my eyes, wearing the black over makes them look longer; and finally, my teacher can still see all the things she needs to see.

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I've always worn black tights over my leotard with a skirt around my waist. I feel, like piccolo, that this makes my legs look longer and my torso shorter. What I don't understand are the young girls who wear thier skirts really low. It makes thier legs look shorter! To me, pink tights look better below the waist for some bizarre fasion reason. :)

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Tights (esp black) worn over a leotard gives the illusion of longer legs; one's eyes go past the lower bum cutoff place to the higher hip or waist area where the tights' waistband ends. Also tights worn over a leotard helps keep the leotard leg elastic from riding up (leotard elastic against skin is less slippery than against nylon/spandex tights). When tights are worn under leotards, the elastic often rides up unless sewn in place.


I may be wrong, but I think the trend of wearing tights over leotards began with the Stravinsky Festival and Mr. B's ideas for Violin Concerto.

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If you've got short legs and don't want to see them any shorter, then don't use black thights. Black makes things look smaller, white make things look bigger. If you don't like white or pink thights, then get a tanned pair.

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Ah, but there's a difference between shorter and smaller... black tights are a bit more flattering to those of us a little overly-endowed in the thigh region...

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As for looks, I just don't think it looks very good on somebody who's not built like Kay Mazzo!

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re low-slung-skirts on the young-uns--


my hunch is that it echoes the line of the low-slung jeans they're all wearing..... a fashion Paul McCartney's designer-daughter seems to have kept up all her life and made popular again.... my yoga teacher the other day was wearing a pair of these -- talk abut Buddha-belly, esp with the navel ring, it was FASHION VICTIM in charge. She could do everything, though -- even hte L-sits, (where you sit on your hands, then lift your hips off the floor and lift your legs in front of you), so there was no making fun of her....

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Not an adult ballet student, but a parent that watches the fashion parade that saunters in and out of the studio each day :thumbsup: .


The one I really don't get is the tights over the leos that are turned down to the largest part of the girls' hips making them look much wider than they would otherwise! So much for all that lengthening of the lines with the tights over the leo if you turn them down and break the line at a much less flattering point. I always wonder if these girls look in the mirror or at their peers and think that they look good with their tights rolled around their hips or if they truly do not see the negative consequences of such a look???


I guess this goes along with the low slung skirts and the trend right now to everything hitting on the hips. :) Sort of reminds me of a saying my mom had about fashion mistakes: "Just because you CAN wear it, doesn't mean you SHOULD."

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While there is a lengthening illusion for the legs with tights over leotards and foot stirrups over arches, one cannot of course alter one's natural shape very much with any costuming so bare.


Better to focus less on the superficial...

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And let me tell you, it's the girls who don't need to look extra broad in the beam in class who are the ones most likely to wear this style! :)

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