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History of the Ballet outfit

Updated: Sep 7, 2019

The ballet outfit is a classic as it is iconic. Usually, people think of the ballet outfit they worn in ballet class; However, this is most likely to be a warm up there are many types of outfits through out history.

In the beginning: Ballet started in during the Renaissance in France and Italy which is around the early fifteenth century. ballets were held court and were seen more like costumes. They were fancy and had masks because they were often part festivities and masquerades.

The basic costume:

The costume were decorated tunics with layers of fringe and the dress was laced. While men had helmets and tight fitting tunic and skirt. Both wore high heel wedged boots. This didn't change much until the Nineteenth century. Female costumes seem to become one with nature because it introduction floral crown, corsages, and pearls. And the role and statue of the dancer was reflected by how decorated and estrangement the costume were.

1800's and Beyond:

In 1800's the ballerina silhouettes became tighter and used short skirts plus the choreography made it that ballerina would have to wear pointe shoes all the time. Around this time is when fantasy narrative ballets like Swan Lake were at their height then the costume were made to show the different characters and characteristics. At the twentieth century the skirts became knee-length tutus and got rid of the corsets. Until the 1920's, were ballet dancers used tunic again and traded in their tutu for harem pants and turbans in bright color and patterns. Now, ballet had no rule on how to dress it all depends on the ballet, style and message they are trying to convey to the audience.


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