You Don't Need to Dance in Order to Embrace Balletcore

Ballet flats, wrap tops, tulle skirts — all of it is trending right now, and for good reason.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

You Don't Need to Dance In Order to Embrace Balletcore
Getty Images

When Step Up hit theaters in 2006, I was mesmerized by Jenna Dewan from her first scene. I remember wishing the confidence she had in her body was transferable. One minute, she radiated the grace of a ballerina, and the next, the swagger of a hip-hop dancer. I could not (and still can't) bust a coordinated move to save my life. But more than her flawless choreography, it was her style of dress, now called "balletcore," that had my undivided attention. I may not be a professional dancer, but adding a few key pieces to my wardrobe could, at the very least, make me look like one.

Cut to 16 years later, and my fashion taste is proving ahead of its time. Riding on the coattails of the many escapist aesthetics (think dark academia, cottagecore, and fairycore) that are essentially Pinterest mood boards come to life, balletcore is on the rise for spring 2022. But don't worry, you don't need to have rhythm to embrace the barre-inspired wardrobe. In fact, vice president of Thirty Three Threads Jennifer Glover says balletcore is just another way to bridge the gap between the athleisure staples you've lived in for the past two years and clothing you're now piecing together for the outside world.

Balletcore
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

"How many women have given up heels for good during the pandemic? Ballet flats are everywhere!" Glover tells InStyle via email.

And she's not wrong. There has definitely been an uptick in athleisure sales since the start of the pandemic. Forgiving waistlines and matching sweatsuits can be considered workout attire or office wear, depending on where you're sporting them. However, balletcore, specifically, has been around longer than Covid-19. According to Glover, it has and has always been part of the American style lexicon. We're only just now putting a name to the look.

"Iconic imagery of Marilyn Monroe in a tulle skirt and SJP twirling in tulle for the intro to "Sex and the City" remain forever etched in our minds. Giambattista Valli made a career out of enveloping celebrities like Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, Ariana Grande, and Kacey Musgraves in tulle on the red carpet," Glover says. It's simply an aesthetic influenced by the color palette, fabric, textures, and details found on ballerinas, and clothing that's easy to move in is a movement we're now all getting behind.

Balletcore
Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagic

So what clothing, specifically, does balletcore entail? Celebrity stylist, Tanya Tamburin tells InStyle it's "everything from tulle skirts to soft satin tops, bodysuits, wrap-tops and cardigans, leg warmers paired with skirts or over leggings and, of course, ballet flats." Essentially, the aesthetic is comprised of anything feminine and comfortable that allows you to move freely, like a dancer. And, as personal stylist Soneca Guadara tells us, "it's glamour meets cozy."

Take a look at the pieces ahead to shop the balletcore trend for yourself.

ToeSox Thigh High Leg Warmers

Ballet
Courtesy

Old Navy Cozy Belted Wrap Sweater for Women

Ballet
Courtesy

P.A.R.O.S.H. Nullex Pleated Tulle Skirt

Ballet
Courtesy

Grey State Raven Top

balletcore
Courtesy

Sweaty Betty Super Soft Short Sleeve Dance Leotard

balletcore
Courteys

ASTR The Label One Sleeve Side Wrap Sweater

Balletcore
Courtesy

Margaux The Demi

balletcore
Courtesy

Girlfriend Collective Black Barre Unitard

balletcore
Courtesy

Victor Glemaud Bustier Top

balletcore
Courtesy

ASOS Design Curve Pleated Cami Midi Dress

balletcore
Courtesy

FP Movement High-Rise Full Length Practice Makes Perfect Leggings

balletcore
Courtesy

Cool Change Knit Cardigan Grey Marle

balletcore
Courtesy
Related Articles