Dance clothes – general info for ladies (based on Mary’s experiences)

Skirts vs. Pants.  Generally speaking, I prefer dresses or skirts, as pants can get hot.  Although some women wear long pants, I do not recommend heavy jeans.  Light weight Capri pants, or drawstring pants are not only comfortable, but also quite acceptable at swing dances.  Also, swing dancing does wonderful things for ones calf muscles.  Why not show them off?

Shirts.  I prefer short sleeves.  Sometimes leaders grab hold of the forearm instead of the hand and having hanging, long sleeves can get in the way.  I don’t recommend going sleeveless, or wearing spaghetti straps; armpits are not a women’s most attractive feature.  I also do not recommend anything backless.  Most leaders do not enjoy putting their hand on a sweaty back.

Fabrics.  I find that the newer rayon and nylon blends work very well.  Even when they get damp from perspiration, they tend to dry quickly.  Lightweight cotton weaves are okay, but cotton knits tend to hold moisture and can feel heavy when wet.  Some washable silks are ok, but do a small spot test to see if it changes colors when wet.  Anything “Dry Clean Only” is not recommended.

Whatever you decide to wear or buy, before you leave home or leave the store dressing room, move around in the outfit, raise your arms over your head, sit down in it, etc.  Does it ride up?  Does it show too much of the wrong thing?  You do not want to spend half the evening adjusting your clothing.

Hair.  Anything over shoulder length should be pulled back, or up or brought under control in some way.  Swing dancing is an athletic activity, and you’re going to perspire.  Leaders don’t enjoy begin smacked in the face by a wet mop!