molly and colleen hurford look at the trend of dancewear, gear for ballerinas and professional dancers, becoming everyday fashion occurrences …
We have to admit, seeing Black Swan made us never, ever want to be ballerinas. However, we also have to admit that it did make us want to dress like ballerinas. And who can blame us? Ballerinas that we see in the movies (Black Swan, Center Stage, etc.) always manage to look slim, graceful and elegant, whether on or off the stage. And they always seem to look comfortable!
So many dancers and athletes have found ways to be comfy and look fashionable while still in clothes that are functional for what they do. And admit it, you’ve read fashion spreads in magazines based on this same concept. People are fascinated with trying to look like they just fashionably ran three miles or came from a dance class, despite the fact that they probably spent the time they could have been working out putting together the outfit, sans the smelliness and sweat.
Why do people want to look like this? Maybe it’s because when we see dancers, we think of lithe, slim women who never have a hair out of place, and we hope that wearing the same outfits will make us naturally be elegant and graceful. Maybe it’s a statement against the obesity epidemic in the U.S.: If you look like you just came from the gym, you’re not part of that obese population. It’s a statement that says, “I’m athletic, I swear!” Or maybe it’s just comfy and easy.
Being ex-Irish Step Dancers, we got some of the run-off from other dance fashions, especially ballet, which created a phase where we may or may not have been obsessed with leg warmers.
Naturally, this got us started thinking about other fashions that dancers started:
Legwarmers: Probably the most important fashion trend that dancers/ladies doing aerobics in the ’80s ever started. They are cozy, but a bit too outdated, unless you’re going to a Paula Abdul theme party. So instead of legwarmers, switch them out for a more modern alternative: the thigh-high sock. (Even Target sells them now for under $5!)
Ballet Flats: Okay, it’s a little obvious, but absolutely worth mentioning. They are perhaps one of the greatest inventions for women, ever. Finally, someone took pity on women who can’t wear heels, and now you can look formal without having to suffer through heels, and feel elegant, because (duh!) ballerinas wear them.
Leggings: In the past few years, leggings have rocketed back onto the scene. Once something that runners wore when it was too cold for shorts are now acceptable as everyday pants. Okay, maybe not 100-percent acceptable, but worn with a tunic top, a nifty belt and those ballet flats, it’s a look!
Leotards/Onesies: Another fashion dancers discovered way before anyone else. Yes, even before Lady Gaga and American Apparel. Those of you who remember the 80s may remember your mom sticking you in them back in grade school. Admittedly, this trend is pushing it unless you at least have some legitimate dance background. Frankly, when not coming from/heading to dance class, they’re a little silly.
Tutu Dresses: Theme from Sex And The City, anyone? They are part Madonna and part Swan Lake, and all back in style. Again for all those ’80s children — remember the great dress that Baby wears in Dirty Dancing? Yep, that’s back in.
Shrug Sweaters: These short sweaters go great over leotards, because a key element of dancer style is layering. Which is fantastic for these weird weather months where it goes from cold to hot in the blink of an eye.
Jersey Fabrics: Another key element is soft, stretchy, and comfy fabrics. Because when you are headed to dance class or the gym (or want to look like you are) you need to be comfortable. Who wants to hang around the dance studio in jeans?
As a disclaimer, we are not endorsing the wearing of yoga pants with a Juicy sweatshirt and Uggs to work/class/night on the town. Rather, this is a trend based on a balance of delicate and sporty, while maintaining high levels of comfort. It may not be the most office-appropriate trend, but for after work or a weekend, it’s a great alternative to jeans and a T-shirt. While remaining casual, it exudes a certain amount of style without the “trying too hard” vibe- unless, of course, you take us at our word and show up to Saturday brunch wearing a tutu dress and ballet flats. Then, you just look crazy.
To those dancers and ex-dancers out there: rejoice! That overabundance of leotards may come in handy after all.