How to Dress for Swing Dancing

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I’ve scoped out six different clothing pieces for swing dancing and found the GownTown Womens 1950s Swing Dress to be the best for a full range of motion while dancing. 

I first got into swing dancing through a club at my university and have been through plenty of scenarios where I’ve had to find an outfit to wear that was both period-appropriate and danceable. It’s a pretty tall task.

That’s why I like GownTown Womens 1950s Swing Dress for freedom of movement while I’m swing dancing. A comfortable and period-correct dress is hands-down the best option for this dance style for the ladies out there. 

For the gents, it’s tougher to find comfortable clothing — though not impossible. But not to worry; there are comfy clothes for men to wear for swing dancing, too. For women, though, I recommend a breezy dress that truly lets you swing.

Keep reading to find out my top picks of the best swing dancing clothing.

Best Clothes for Swing Dancing

Having the proper swing dance outfit can make or break your display on the dance floor. From comfortability to a full array of your motions, suitable swing dancer costumes serve their purpose for both functionality and aesthetics.

GownTown Womens 1950s Swing Dress

Dress for Swing Dancing

The GownTown Women 1950s Swing Dress is a must-have addition to any female swing dancer’s wardrobe. With a beautifully designed Audrey Hepburn style, this dress truly hones in on the appropriate period while maintaining full functionality with its stretchy 92% polyester and 5% Spandex blend.

Pros

  • Flattering fit
  • Multiple color options
  • Stretchy blend 92% cotton and 5% Spandex

Cons

  • Sizing can be off

Turn heads on the dance floor with the short sleeves, lovely pleating, and adorable bow tie strapping on the back. Available in nine different colors and five different sizes, you can easily find the perfect dress that fits your style flawlessly.

BI.TENCON Women Vintage Skirt

Swing Dancing Clothing

If you prefer to have more freedom in your movements with skirts, the BI.TENCON Women Vintage Skirt is another great option I highly recommend to my fellow swing dancing females. The flattering flare of this circle skirt hits at knee length and has an A-Line design and, my favorite part even has pockets.

Pros

  • Fun colors and patterns
  • Elastic closure
  • Pockets

Cons

  • Sizing runs small

This high waisted swing circle skirt comes in a wide variety of solid colors and retro prints, including polka dots and gingham. This skirt is complimentary on all body shapes and sits at a high waist fit allowing freedom of movement in the hips for your dancing.

Belle Poque Women Puff Sleeve Top

Dress for Swing Dancing

To match your perfectly fitted swing skirt, I recommend this beautifully designed Belle Poque Women Puff Sleeve Top. With ruched detailing on each sleeve and a comfortable crew neck, this top hits at the hips, so you don’t have to worry about it riding up during your routines.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Long sleeved version available
  • Feminine fit

Cons

  • Polyester feel

Despite its unique detailing, this top is machine washable and is a comfortable 95% cotton and 5% Spandex blend that allows free movement. Pick your favorite color from their several choices, and keep an eye out for the mesh sleeve and even long sleeve options as well.

J. Adams Mary Jane Oxford Pumps

Dress for Swing Dancing

Is swing dancing truly swing dancing without the perfect pair of Mary Janes? These J. Adams Mary Jane Oxford Pumps are the perfect kitten heel to complete your look. These pumps blend two classic styles by elevating the classic Mary Jane to integrate the Oxford pattern.

Pros

  • Kitten heel
  • Long lasting sole padding
  • Solid buckle and strap

Cons

  • Lead warning label

The cushioned footbed, padded insole, and sturdy pump heel make for extremely comfortable wear through dancing the night away. All materials are 100% synthetic and are therefore vegan as well.

Stacy Adam’s Men’s Short Sleeve Knit Sports Shirt

Dress for Swing Dancing

Switching over to the gent’s side of the closet, every man needs a statement top that compliments his partner’s wardrobe flawlessly. The Stacy Adams Men’s Short Sleeve Knit Sport Shirt provides the perfect blend of style and quality construction.

Pros

  • Modern-fit style
  • Five different color options
  • Breathable soft acrylic

Cons

  • Dry clean only

Choose from five different color options with this polo shirt: the reinterpretation of the classic 60s and 70s dress shirt. This shirt is 100% polyester, and the only downside is that it is dry clean only, though.

BeiBestCoat Men’s Classic Lace Up Leather Shoes

Dress for Swing Dancing

Every swing dancing man has got to find himself a good pair of sturdy yet comfortable leather shoes for the dancefloor. The BeiBestCoat Men’s Classic Lace Up Leather Shoes provide a comfortable insole that your feet are sure to thank you for after a night of dancing.

Pros

  • Premium leather
  • Lightweight
  • Suede soles for dancing

Cons

  • Sizing runs small

These shoes are premium leather but sourced from environmentally friendly materials. The shoes’ external surfaces are durable and waterproof, making them difficult to crack in unwanted places.

Buying Guide

Here are a few things to think about when you’re shopping for swing clothes.

Eras

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Several eras enjoyed swing dancing as a regular part of their cultures, from the 1930s to the 1960s. Depending on what type of swing dancing you’re doing (and there are tons to choose from!), you might want an era-specific outfit. 

For example, poodle skirts may have been a staple for ’50s-era swing dancers. But in the 1920s, solid-color cap sleeves and plain skirts were popular. I recommend researching the era you’re going for before purchasing anything.

Versatility

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No matter how cute that dress is or how era-specific those shoes, if you only wear them once, what’s the point? Picking styles that work with multiple dance events or that you can wear off the dance floor, too, may be a good move.

You may even own several pieces that could make significant parts of outfits for swing dancing outfits. Numerous 1940s fashion elements have carried over throughout the decades, so women are likely to have fitted button-down shirts, and men are likely to have polos and dress pants. 

Dress Codes for Swing Dancing

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Though there’s no specific dress code for many swing dancing events, you may find groups who have created their dress codes because they enjoy the period clothing that goes along with swing. You might need to come ready to dance in a particular style!

Conclusion

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Overall, the best idea is to make sure you’re dressing for the environment. Make sure you wear something easy and comfortable to dance in — don’t sacrifice your opportunity to have fun for fashion. 

My favorite swing dancing outfit is the GownTown Womens 1950s Swing Dress because it’s comfortable, flowy, and as authentic as I can get for multi-era swing dancing events. Pick your favorite dance wardrobe, and get out on the floor!

Cassie Zebisch

Cassie Zebisch is an American who achieved her dance dream on the biggest stage. She creates the ttleaddance to write the dance content. She likes to dance and to will share her experience and dance stuff here.

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