Ballet Outfits: Ballet Costumes, Ballet Tutus & More

ballet outfits

Information on ballet outfits; ballet dresses, ballet costumes, & ballet tutus. Learn about the structure, history & the beauty behind a ballerina’s attire

Ballet outfits come in all shapes, sizes, and styles depending on the performance.  From elegant ballroom style costumes to beautiful stylized leotards, dancers boast a wide variety of outfits.

Different Kinds of Ballet Costumes

Ballet costumes have been around since the beginning of ballet.  Incorporating the rich textures and materials of the time, today ballet costumes reflect a modern approach to the common tutu.  Most ballet costumes are comprised of a tank style leotard, matching tights, and a tutu.  The leotards are normally form fitting to accentuate the dancer’s body and strength while the tutus or skirts are loose and airy to incorporate the romanticism or creativity of the dance performance.

Types of Ballet Dresses Used in Performances

Ballet dresses are commonly seen in elegant performances that are artsy in nature.  Ballet dresses rid the tradition of a leotard and tutu look but rather incorporate a layered look or asymmetrical style.  Ballet dresses come in all colors and sometimes contain more than one color.  Glitter, sequins, and embellishments may be seen along the collar or hemline of the dress.  Ballet dresses come in many different lengths and styles including the short baby doll dress, the empire waist dress, or the camisole strap dress.  Flowing material is typically used to incorporate a romantic and airy approach to the dress.

Ballet dresses are not as common as the ballet leotard and tutu look but are becoming more and more popular because of the variations found in the dresses.  Creative looks can be achieved by incorporating a ballet dress as opposed to a tutu.

Styles of Ballet Tutus Used in Performances

A tutu is also known as a ballet skirt and comes in a variety of shapes and styles.  The common tutu has layers of material that are stretched out and circulate around the dancer’s body.  Most tutus are attached to a form fitting leotard that covers the dancer’s torso.  Below is a list of the most common styles of ballet tutus seen in today’s performances:

  • Pancake Tutu – The pancake tutu requires wire hoops that keep the multiple layers of the fabric firm.  The skirt stretches out from the hips of the dancer.
  • Bell Tutu – With the use of wire hoops, this tutu forms the shape of a bell.  The bell tutu is longer than most of the other styles and is a beautifully shaped skirt.
  • Platter Tutu – Using hoops and wire, the platter tutu appears as though there is a fabric like disk around the center of the dancer.

Romantic Tutu – This tutu may contain anywhere from three to twelve fabric layers.  The tutu is free flowing which adds to its romantic flair and is normally attached to the bodice.

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