Dancer Off Duty, Decoded: Seven Ways To Fake Ballerina Style Without The Pointe Shoes

1. Leotards as Tops

The right leotard is every dancer’s bread and butter, and that extends far beyond the world of ballet. As any ballerina can attest, the perfect specimen is as much about fabric, coverage and support as it is about style—but it’s possible to find a flawless marriage between the two. Find your favorite, and stick to it. Wear, wash, repeat.

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Digital Fashion News Writer

Unless you’re the supernaturally sublime Misty Copeland, dancers—ballerinas, particularly—have a specific uniform to which they adhere, both in and out of the studio. While the 31-year-old American Ballet Theatre soloist spends her days in Helmut Lang maxi dresses and Givenchy booties (read our interview with her here!), the rest of the industry often sticks to items that are available for purchase from the Capezio store. But even with that innate comfort, there’s rarely a moment when a ballerina doesn’t look perfectly polished, be it while hopping on the subway to rehearsal or swinging by the bodega for a jumbo-sized water bottle—and it’s not like said ballerinas are wearing their tutus out and about, either.

To wit, I’ve scrolled through pages upon pages of Ballet Beautiful creator Mary Helen Bowers’ Instagram to pin down the end-all, be-all formula for the perfect dancer-off-duty style. After a brief (research-based, duh) trip down the rabbit hole of So You Think You Can Dance videos, I think I’ve finally got it all figured out. Click through the slideshow above to learn which key pieces make up every ballerina’s wardrobe—and to shop versions of each, too.

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