November 24, 2014

Pretty in Purple

Every adult ballet dancer should have at least one perfect go-to-leotard, the kind that makes you feel pretty even on a shitty day. I have two, in my favourite colours of purple and blue. Both have half-length sleeves, which is probably not a coincidence. Let's just say that upper arms loose some of their firmness once you hit forty... I also have some lovely camisole and tank styles, because you can't really wear long sleeves in summer. But, as it's now winter, I'm happiest with my arms covered. Long sleeves used to be too hot for me, but with stretchy lace and mesh fabrics you won't overheat (unless you're lucky and live somewhere warm. Not Northern Europe).

My latest go-to-leo is this one from So Dança. Wherever I wear it, it gets the most flattering comments! I love the lace sleeves and back, and the boat neck -cut. Very elegant. The fabric is warm and soft but also a tad lightweight, which means that you don't get a lot of support. The sizing was a bit tricky for me. Usually I wear a size medium, but the lace sleeves felt too constricting, so I went one size up. Now the sleeves fit well, but the torso could be a little shorter. I think this model would work well for dancers with longer backs.



Love the lace sleeves! Leotard by So Dança, provided by Suomen Tanssitarvike (dancewear store in Helsinki).

Same leo as above, here with a skirt by Grishko (no longer in their collection). The skirt is a pull-on, with a side-slit.
It has two layers of mesh, in black and red. You can wear either one as the top layer. 
Same leo and skirt as above. 

My other go-to-leotard is this blue one from Mirella. High points for the semi-mesh sleeves and the gorgeous back! I also like the round neck and the seam under the boobs. It fits very well, and the fabric is more supportive than So Danças leo. I have worn this also in summer temperatures, as it's cooler than the purple one.

Blue leo from Mirella. Wrap-around mesh skirt from Wear Moi. The back of the skirt is longer than the front.

As for bottoms: I never go without a skirt. Sometimes, when I'm feeling very confident, I might wear only short black shorts at the barre - but I always add a skirt for center. I have a short mesh "warm-up dress" from Bloch, which looks a lot like a negligé (and you could probably wear it as one). It's great for covering up a too generously cut cleavage (sometimes I worry about leotard-malfunctions), and it does actually keep you warm. What I also like about it: you can roll it down as a skirt. Plus it weighs nothing and takes up no space in your dance bag. The only drawback: the slight flare cut can add width to your hips. Not a lot, and certainly not too much. In fact, I had my slender no-hips ballet buddy try it on, and it did not flatter her at all. So, if you are curvy like me: this dress might look great on you!

Bloch mesh warm-up dress. 
I have quite a few dance skirts. Some are longer, a few are very short, and one has a cheery red polka dot print. Short skirts work best with my height (1.61 cm), but I tend to be a little shy about exposing too much thigh. I don't really like the look of my legs, at least not the upper part. But going for longer lengths does not always look better. It really depends on the proportions. You do not want to shorten the appearance of your legs, or hide too much of your hard-earned lines! Still, go with whatever coverage makes you feel most confident. In short: you don't want your dancewear to distract from your dancing. And: Looking oh so pretty always works!


Leo from Mirella, red polka-dot skirt (sorry you can't see it very well) from Designed by Alice.


Note: Purple So Dança leotard provided by Suomen Tanssitarvike.
Finnish readers: So Dançan violetti tanssipuku yhteistyössä Suomen Tanssitarvikkeen kanssa. 

18 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing :) Always wanted to get a ballet skirt rather than just a black leo and tights. Happy dancing!

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    1. Thank you very much! Why don't you get a skirt? It adds a little something to your regular ballet wear. Not just coverage, but also a feminine touch ;)

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  2. I absolutely love the fact that you have started using your own pictures in your blog! Your lines are incredibly good :) I'm jealous haha

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    1. Thanks!! For pictures like these, you obviously need an 'assistant' you can trust... And you have to take a lot of photos, try different poses and angles - to find the most flattering line. But I appreciate the compliment very much. :)

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  3. I 'm wearing leo from Wear Moi, I have three of this label, I prefer the dress Etoile in different colour, do you know ? Monica

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    1. Wear Moi has some very pretty leos, but I only have that one wrap skirt. I don't know the dress 'etoile", have to look it up. But I'm sure it's very pretty! :)

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  4. I have a question about the length of the skirts... I don't know if it's a regional thing, but here in Brazil I can only find really short ballet skirts (really, really short). When I finally found a longer one (online) and asked for it at a local shop, they told me it was ordered under demand, because it was mostly used by teachers... so I got a little confused! Is there a maximum-length skirt for students? (My teacher wears pants and t-shirt for class, so it's not like I'll be dressed like her if I show up in a longer skirt).

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    1. Hi Renata!

      Maybe it's a Brazilian thing, to flaunt what you have - instead of covering up? ;) But it's true that the longer skirts are often used by teachers- I suppose for the sake of modesty... My teachers all wear dance pants, I've never had anyone teach in a skirt. Possibly with younger students, for the sake of tradition (and to show the leg line).

      A maximum length for students would be below the knee, as the skirt would get in the way. But just above or at the knee is fine. Most skirts are a bit longer in the back (because of the way our bottoms curve). Of course, if there's a dress codes, you follow that.

      Hope that helps :)

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    2. I used to have a teacher who always had a skirt when she was teaching. And I was already an adult when taking her classes. Of course, the skirt was a thicker and longer one than the ones us students wore for class. Also my childhood teacher used to wear a skirt and I think it was her personal preference and not so much a traditional choice.

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    3. Thanks a lot! It surely helps :) I'll go buy myself a skirt asap :) thanks again!

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  5. Love this post! My cupboard is full of black leotards and I've always wanted to get one in a different colour but for some reason I back out in the last minute and always buy a black one. You've inspired me to treat myself to a dark purple one for Christmas (it's close enough to black for me not to freak out at the till when i go to buy it) :) thanks!

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    1. Go for it! Black is classic, but colours are fun :). And there are so many lovely options...

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  6. Can you please help me:3 What do you think about merlet N2 pointe shoes? Are those good? What make is your pointe shoes?

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    1. Hi! I'm sorry, but I cannot help you. I've never worn Merlet pointe shoes. Mine are from Bloch. :)

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  7. Ihanaa kun viitsit laittaa omia kuvia. Ne tekee blogin heti tosi kiinnostavaksi. Youtubea ja googlen kuvahakua osaan minäkin käyttää, mutta omien kuvien kautta pääsee tirkistelemään blogin pitäjän elämää.... ;)

    oot kuvissa tosi nätti! ja tuon neljännen kuvan asento on niin upea (sininen puku ja musta hame)

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    1. Kiitos!! :) Olen ehkä turhan kriittinen mitä tulee omiin kuviin... Kuvia saa ottaa aika monta ennen kuin joukossa on edes yksi mihin olen tyytyväinen! En vois laittaa kuvaa jossa nilkka on banaanilla, tai kädet huonosti tai ilme hassu (ja eniten mulla on just noita omituisia ilmeitä). Mutta onneksi löysin itselleni hyvän kuvausassarin! Ja sitten kävi myös mielessä että mitä mä itteeni lykkään joka paikkaan, kun olen kuitenkin ihan tavis aikuinen harrastaja. Muta ehkä noita täydellisiä ballerinoja on netit jo täynnä ;).

      Kiitos kivasta palautteesta, se ilahdutti! :)
      - Johanna

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  8. Very pretty indeed! Just found your blog today, I'm an adult figure skater, perhaps a similar age as you. It's hard in some ways training at an older age, but if I want to skate, this is the body I have to work with! I go for a little longer skirt than the young figure skaters. For everyday skating I just wear fleece pants and an exercise top-- we are allowed to do that-- but for tests and competitions definitely a dress. Like most skaters I have my dresses made, so no worries about fit.

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  9. Awesome post! Have you seen these ballet skirts?
    I have one myself and I am quite curvy but they look good on me. https://www.facebook.com/littleophelia?fref=ts

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