With getting dressed to stay at home becoming ever more monotonous, I’ve been trying to strike that elusive balance of comfortable-but-not-slovenly. And since I spent my formative years pliéing away in a dance studio, I had a mini epiphany recently about how to do just that: by incorporating more dancewear into my wardrobe. By now, most of us have fully embraced athleisure. But if you want to give a slightly chicer twist to your daily wardrobe, may I suggest danceleisure instead?
The idea struck me after I commiserated a little too much with this recent New York Times piece on how many of us are “hate-wearing” pandemic clothes. You know that thing in your closet that’s ill-fitting, stained, kinda ugly, or just makes you feel supremely meh — and that you wear anyway? For me, it was a pair of tattered Zara jeans that didn’t quite fit at the waist, the hip, or really anywhere, but that I kept on throwing on simply because they were. . . around. I’m happy to report that since a pair of sleek black knit warmup pants from Bloch Dancewear arrived in my mailbox last week, I’ve ditched the shapeless denim and have been starting my mornings feeling cozy, put together, and a little bit like Misty Copeland. (A girl can delude herself, ok?)
What non-dancers might not realize is that the materials used in most classic ballet warmups and dancewear staples are fitted, soft, and stretchy — but with a little more polish, shape, and style than your typical activewear or loungewear. If you’re ready to take the danceleisure plunge, read on for some of my must-have items for building a ballerina-approved capsule wardrobe. These pieces will leave you feeling ready to take Center Stage, become one with the Bunheads, embrace your inner Tiny Pretty Thing — or, at the very least, take some adult ballet classes.