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Style Tricks to Steal from Dancers

Five Style Tricks to Steal from Dancers
From Oscar de la Renta’s corps de ballet-referencing party dresses at the start of the millennium—think Sarah Jessica Parker circa Sex and the City— to Rodarte’s more disheveled renditions a few years ago, the appeal of dance and dance costumes finds its way from the studio to the street or the store. Here are five trends and pieces you can swipe out of a dancer’s closet (without looking like a five-year-old).

Ballet-inspired style on the red carpet
Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Layers. Even if you won’t be peeling off warm-ups at a barre, layers look effortless and are great for chilly days. Try a long-sleeved tee over a tank, or a zip-up vest over a tee. Look for soft pieces that drape with your body to avoid bulk.

Legwarmers. Laughs at the expense of 80’s workout wear aside, legwarmers are a fun and functional way to accent your look. If you are taking a yoga or Pilates class (and if your teacher is OK with it), they are a great way to keep your ankles warm, even if you’re barefoot. Try a colorful pair to brighten up basic grey or black leggings or make your favorite yoga capris work year-round.

Loose tanks. You might be familiar with this style from dance shows on TV. Try a flowing halter or racerback tank over a more fitted one, or over a bra. Try coordinating or contrasting colors. This is a great comfortable alternative to a basic tank in the summer or in dance fitness classes like Zumba.

Wraps. While the short chiffon skirt many ballet dancers put over a leotard likely won’t fly outside the studio (unless you ‘re Lady Gaga), the short wrap sweater can go from studio to street. Try it over a dress to help combat chilly office AC. Throw one on over a top and pants for a more relaxed alternative to a jacket.

Poofy skirts. Leave that platter tutu in the costume room, please. But, the idea of a fitted top and a full skirt with some body isn’t reserved for Nutcracker season. Just look for one that is tailored enough not to “drown” your lower half and is a good length for you.

These are just a few thoughts on stealing dancers’ style. What are yours? If you are a dancer, do you ever wear warm-ups outside the studio?

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