Back to ballet

I went to my first ballet class in about 10 years today, and it felt good! I’m aching a bit now, having used muscles that had long lain to rest, but I’m glad that I went.

What to wear to class was obviously a dilemma. The last time I went to ballet, I was still part of  a world where wearing a leotard and pale pink tights felt completely normal. Fast forward into my late twenties and that look is not really a goer.

Pre-class, I had visions of resembling a mismatched elephant amongst a sea of lithe, elegant ballerinas, all in perfectly co-ordinated ensembles and wrap cardis.

Thankfully, my class had a reassuringly diverse range of both bodies and attire. From prim looking girls complete with leotards and a neat bun, to a super-cool punk chick with half-shaved head and black fish nets, to hipster types with christmas knit patterned hot pants (yes really). There be inspired by and come next class, I feel I can venture away from my conservative black leggings and t-shirt combo.

Fortunately, with the olympics coming up, sporty clothing is having a major comeback so there is an abundance of stylish options out there. You know it’s a bona fide trend when even Victoria Beckham – she of the uber-feminine silhouette – showcases a decidedly sporty looking collection.

Victoria Beckham's sporty S/S 2012 collection (image from

Here are a few ideas, not just for aspiring ballerinas.

Let’s go from head to (pointed) toe.

1. A cute headband to keep those flyaway hairs at bay when pirouetting or running or headstanding. I like the simplicity of this one from Sweaty Betty. 

Hairband from Sweaty Betty

2. A comforting warm-up top.

This grey marl number from Wellicious is lovely enough to double up as weekend casual wear. Wellicious products are not only super-soft but they are also fair trade and ethical, with a percentage of profits going to charity. So you can do good whilst staying cosy!

Wellicious cover up

Also from Wellicious, this more ballet-inspired wrap top is very feminine and just the right amount of stretchy.

Wellicious wrap

3. A leotard.

Not for the faint hearted and I’m definitely not going here yet, but my yoga teacher has this leotard. The detail on the back looks really cool, particularly when you have a yoga-toned back.

Leotard from Dance Direct

4. Leggings

You can have a lot of fun with leggings and plenty of great patterned varieities exist on the high street. Frame studio in Shoreditch where I do yoga is THE place to spot funky legging wearers.  I like this pair from Sweaty Betty – they’re fun but not too out there.

Leggings from Sweaty Betty

Right, I’m off to stretch my aching limbs.


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