Monday, June 30, 2014

Wardrobe Woes

I've been pondering some changes to my usual class attire.

I'm a creature of habit, so when I started dancing again I just wore what I've always worn to class: leotard, convertible pink tights, shorts (originally knit, now spandex), and pink canvas slippers.

My usual ballet gear just isn't doing it for me anymore

Alas, because I am now an adult woman*, this combination is not as flattering as it might have been when I was 16.  These days, I have what I like to call a "J-Lo" thing happening (bootylicious!), and I'm pear-shaped.

This is a lovely shape to have when one wants to wear cute a-line dresses (which I do).  It is, however, a difficult shape to dress when one has to wear ballet attire.
Why can't I wear THIS to ballet class?
(Traveling Cupcake Truck Dress, from Modcloth)
For example, I have tried several brands of tights in an effort to find a pair that doesn't have a waist band threatening to sever me in half.  No luck in that department, except to wear a body tight. I have a love/hate relationship with the body tight: on one hand, I don't have the lovely "muffin top" problem caused by the waist bands of normal tights.  On the other, they make things like going to the bathroom even more difficult, and they flatten me out (which would typically be a good thing, except it makes me feel like I look even more disproportionate as far as the J-Lo situation is concerned.)

Speaking of my bottom half, the shorts are also proving to be a problem. Contrary to what one might think, they don't actually camouflage that area--instead, I think they actually make it more noticeable!  I'm not quite brave enough to go without something on my bottom half quite yet, so I've considered various options: skirts, capri leggings, black tights, but am still experimenting. I just bought this long georgette wrap skirt, but I haven't had a chance to wear it yet; I'm hoping the longer length with hit me in a better place than the shorts.

The weirdest thing?  I am having a problem giving up the pink tights.

Let's be real: having a light colored fabric on one's bottom half isn't always flattering (especially for a pear shape).  But the lighter colored tights also make it easier for the teacher to see how your legs are working.  I can't really go tights-less, or wear carpi tights because I have sweaty feet, and I know that if I wear my shoes without tights, the stink factor would be horrendous (not to mention the blisters in pointe shoes).  I suppose I could keep the pink tights and wear black capri leggings or tights over them,  but I feel like that would be super hot?  I just don't know.  It's become popular to wear tights over your leotard, but there's no way I could do that with pink ones.  Black ones? Maybe.
I don't hate this look.
Leotards are the least of my worries.  I'm lucky that my ballet studio doesn't have a strict dress code for adults, but I do dance with the teenagers and we technically have a class leotard (it's black, and actually quite lovely), so I try to wear black leotards pretty often so I blend in. That being said, the key to dressing a pear-shape is to draw the eye up, so I'm trying to put together a collection of leotards that have patterns or details up top, or pinched fronts (i.e. I have this leo in several different colors).  I have no self control when it comes to purchasing leotards, though I do get frustrated with ones that don't have generous enough leg openings.

Fellow adult and/or curvy dancers: what do you wear to class? Any tips?

*By age standards, anyway.

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