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What leotard colors are appropriate for adults? Dance dress?


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I know there is another forum topic on what to wear in general, but I was looking more specifically at which colors are appropriate for adults. I am a newbie and currently wearing black leotards and pink tights (with a black skirt or shorts). In my classes, depending on which school I am in, there is a mix of outfits similar to mine, others wear all black, a few may wear some other dark color (burgundy), and some just wear sweats/tees. I've been scanning websites like Degas and Wear moi and see a whole world of leotards beyond my black capezio ones. The pastel colored Degas ones (I love the light pink, baby blue, french blue and white) are especially gorgeous, but I am not sure if this is something a full grown adult can wear without looking ridiculous? I am looking at the very basic camisole styles, nothing beaded/busy or shimmery! Also, are dance dresses (the type with a built in skirt like wear moi carries, I am looking at the etoile model) appropriate for adult class or do they look silly? Please be honest!

Finally, as I currently do not feel comfortable wearing a leotard without a skirt/shorts (I am getting there, but not quite yet!), I am not sure what color skirt/shorts to get with various colored leotards. Do you always match your leotard to your skirt/shorts? If you are wearing pink tights, do you wear pink shorts/skirt with a different color leotard on top? Thanks!!

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Personally, I always wear black leos. There are a few reasons why I avoid other colors. One is a sweat issue. I know that sweat is totally normal in class, but I choose not to have large sweat spots that are super-visible on my leos (I had a burgundy and plum leo- both showed sweat a lot). Black is the only color I have found that doesn't seem to show the sweat as much. Secondly, other colors tend to reveal more, how do I put this, information- like how cold the studio is :o, that I don't like- at least on myself. I love all of the fun color leos, but choose to wear the traditional black and pink, and add some color with fun skirts. I have found a seller on etsy that does some really beautiful ones that I can mix and match so that I feel feminine.


Personally, I think dance dresses are great- as long as the teacher can see what they need to see. I love them and only don't wear them because my torso is so long, I can't find any that fit me.


This is just my two cents. I do think that an adult can get away with any color they feel comfortable in. I personally, just prefer the black ones for the reasons listed above.

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I switch between black and burgundy leotards, always with pink tights (I'm pretty much the only one in my studio, the others wear black tights usually. I like the look of pink tights much more). I wear black shorts or a black skirt on top of this, also with the burgundy leotard. I saw someone with a burgundy skirt at an intensive this summer and I'm thinking of getting me one, it looked pretty. But the black skirt looks a bit more 'neutral'.

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Like mermaid7176, I have a long torso and I am tall, so leos or dresses (or anything "one-piece") that fit me correctly without riding up in back or dipping down in front are rare and thus I tend not to wear them. BUT, I adhere to my version of traditional "serious adult student" dancewear with an array of dark and jewel-colored (black, burgundy, navy blue, dark green, deep purple, dark grey, etc) camisole tops paired with black tights or leggings and black shorts or skirt. Sometimes I wear tan tights with a colored skirt or dark shorts, but pink clashes badly with my olive skintone so I avoid the pink tights! I think for most adult students the most important things are making sure your teacher can see your lines (knees and hips visible) and you are comfortable and not self-conscious so that you can concentrate fully. It varies by studio for sure, but lots of room to be creative and pick a style that you feel good in :o

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Thanks for the replies, I love hearing about all your outfit color combos! Everyone around me in nyc wears black so I really have no role models on what matches when you are piecing together a ballet outfit with color.

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I prefer black leotards with the classic pink tights (just my personal preference), and I wear those "booty" shorts with my leotards (matching the leotard color for a more seamless look). Like mermaid, I tend to sweat more than others and would rather not have a leotard that shows that as much. I do love some of the colors that are out there and that the other adults wear at our studio, but I'm afraid I might feel more self-conscious wearing another color (but that's just me). I did recently purchase a brown leotard, along with brown shorts so I am slowly adding some color :o . The material doesn't show the sweat as much so I do like it. I also have a black skirt and a multi-colored skirt that I used to wear with my leotards but haven't worn in years. The multi-colored skirt has a black base with blue and burgundy flowers that I wore with an old royal blue leotard or one of my black leotards - so again, I would coordinate with the leotard.


Like others have said, I think it's important for us adults to feel confident and comfortable in what we are wearing so we can focus on ballet and not be concerned with body image.

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Love my red Mirella (medium-long for my long torso) with pink tights! It always makes me feel good! :o

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Another consideration for dance dresses is where the skirt is placed. As you may have noticed, ballet attire is cut for figures that are more typically -- ahem -- younger and straighter than most adult women. The skirt on a dress could easily be placed in an unflattering place, only because you likely have hips that a teenage dancer does not. At the very least, make sure to try a dress like this on before buying.


As for colour, I say wear whatever you're comfortable in. If you want to mix it up, go for it!

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Gav- you are quite right about the skirt placement, I noticed that on the websites-- I need to make sure I order from somewhere with a good return policy! So I think I will start with maybe a navy leotard before going too crazy-- or maybe reserve a pink one for practice at home.

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I think that in adult class, you can wear whatever colour makes you happy! I wear one of lavender, sage green, royal blue, pink, or black with turquoise... plain black just doesn't do it for me.


I usually wear pink tights but don't wear a skirt or shorts. If you don't want to buy a huge collection, I'm sure a simple black skirt would suffice and would look nice with all of your leos, whichever colour you choose.

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I LOVE the Degas whites! I think adults should wear whatever they like, honestly. It's about what you feel is best for you. I worry about whites because often, in the catalogs and photos they're quite lovely, but when putting them on they're not always as opaque as they were in the ad. :/


Also, I find that I look puffy in white and that I can't keep my whites white to save my life. I'm one of those roll around on the floor after class is over dancers, so it's really a waste of money (and laundry detergent) for me to buy something that light. I do have one from Capezio that I had to wear for a performance, and it's actually not bad because it was fully lined. There was another with shelf lining that I tried, and oh dear... that just was a little too revealing for me (you could see the line of the tights even).


Wear what you want so long as your school is all right with it. If you attend classes that don't have a set dresscode, then you should have a blast exploring how many bank-busting options the world of dancewear has to offer!

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I started off with black lycra leotards, then I got bored so I got a couple of cotton ones (think ice cream colours a pink one, a blue one and a mint green one), then I went back to the darker colours...


I have a very long body and am also very small busted so for me a lot of it is just getting it to fit correctly!

The only one I dont really like is a lilac coloured long sleeved leotard it definitely shows sweat marks and I really dont sweat very much at all.


I have a couple of black ones, a red one, a bright blue/purple one, a dark pink one, a black one with a pink fleck in it and pink piping around the edges all of which are camisole types and then a cap sleeve plum one and long sleeve navy blue and a lilac one. I have quite a few skirts (I sew most of mine myself) and mix and match them according to my mood on the day for instance with the red leotard I would wear a short black skirt or a long black skirt or a short black skirt with a tiny floral print; but I wouldnt wear a pink skirt or my blue skirt or my green skirt cause it just doesnt look right.


I saw within reason of what your studio allows, wear whatever you feel comfortable in. My teacher really has no objections as long as it falls in the description of "leotard, skirt (or shorts) and tights" general area, she doesnt mind (although she likes the short "cheeky" skirts particularly on the younger girls); but when it gets near to exams she gets stricter and skirts and shorts have to vanish.


One of the younger girls wore a dark grey leotard, black shorts and pink tights the other day and it looked very nice; but I wouldnt wear it because it would draw more attention than I am happy with to my derriere.

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I wear lots of color, but always match my leos and skirts, both are usually solid, and because I'm asian, I stay far away from yellows and pinks, which look horrible on me. I own quite a few dance dresses, and enjoy wearing them as well. I wear the whole spectrum of blue, from baby to indigo, and jewel tones, and feel fine in company, college, or adult class. I'm short and curvy, too and I don't let it stop me from wearing what looks nice & feels comfortable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think most colors are fine for leotards for adults, but what do you think about leotard styles?

I recently bought a short-sleeved Bloch leotard, but I am under the impression that short sleeves are more common among children and teenagers, and that most adults wear tank or camisole leotards. Is this correct?

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In my opinion, leotard styles are mostly a matter of personal taste for adult dancers with no dress codes. I see people in my classes in all kinds of colors and styles. I personally have camisole, tank, short sleeve, and long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve leos and wear all them according to the season (tend towards longer sleeves in winter and camisoles in the summer) and my mood that day :( If your teacher or studio has a preference, then of course, that should be taken into consideration; otherwise, if it's comfortable, fits well, and makes you feel confident, it's good.

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