Help keep me warm.
March 4, 2012 12:17 AM   Subscribe

I am currently studying a dance-based course at uni, which requires a day-to-day wardrobe of stretchy, comfortable clothes (leotards, singlets, leggings etc.). Easy enough. But I need warm things to chuck on over the top of my dance gear in between classes and I'm sick of trackies and hoodies. Help me find some inspiration.

My general style aesthetic is 40s and 50s style dresses, Peter Pan collars, cardis, full skirts... but that's just way too fussy for uni. I need clothes I can move around in, walk a reasonable distance to uni in, and chuck on over my dance gear.

I'd love to see:
- Pictures of dancers, actors etc. in between rehearsals
- Pictures of outfits that are warm, stylish and casual (no heels, tight skirts, silky fabrics etc)
- Street style blogs that feature girls in sneakers, flat boots, leggings etc.
- Pictures/suggestions of jackets and coats that look good with casual outfits
- Pictures/suggestions of cute sneakers or other comfy flat shoes/boots that cover the whole foot (it's too cold for ballet flats here)
- Any ideas you have of fun, stylish and warm outfits I can wear over leggings and a leo!
- No jeans (I often have to rehearse in between classes and jeans limit range of movement way too much).

posted by lovedbymarylane to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite part of Black Swan was what's her name's wardrobe (on embarrassed that I don't know the actress but not enough to look it up.)
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 12:35 AM on March 4, 2012

Here's what I first though of when I read your question...

Helly Hansen!

I STILL desperately miss my awesome HH "windbreaker" I lost years ago - super duper ightweight, wicked sweat, dried out instantly after a rainstorm, kept me warm wet or dry, and it was CUTE with great pockets! I originally bought it for wilderness back-packing.

My understanding is that HH was developed for sailors, people who need good gear.

Style is kinda what you put into it, quality and useful gear is ALWAYS cool. My HH jacket folded up into practically nothing, but did EVERYTHING.

Shit, I miss that thing.
posted by jbenben at 1:38 AM on March 4, 2012

Sweater dresses?
posted by vitabellosi at 3:11 AM on March 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think one of these thick cotton cardigans by Line might suit you. They're super comfortable, high quality, and warm yet stylishly versatile.
posted by wigsnatcher at 4:14 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sweater dresses are amazing. The KD Dance line has a bunch on Amazon.
posted by spunweb at 4:38 AM on March 4, 2012

Yes, sweater dresses! I love mine and am always yearning for more.

(Thank you for that link, I suspect I'm going to go spend money I shouldn't now.)
posted by kalimac at 5:38 AM on March 4, 2012

Check out a few travel catalogs. They should have a good selection of jersey knit dresses that won't wrinkle and will hold up to being pulled on and off repeatedly. (Vexingly, the one I love the most is no longer for sale.)
posted by anaelith at 7:25 AM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wrap dresses are perfect over leotards and leggings. It's an easy, comfy style of dress, too. Flickr's wardrobe remixed pool is hit or miss, but the wrap dress is popular in it.

As a bonus, the wrap top dress was a pretty common 40's silhouette!
posted by crush-onastick at 8:20 AM on March 4, 2012

Try looking at stores like REI, which carry hiking and outdoor clothing. They will have stuff which is made to keep you warm without being too bulky, and you may like some of what they have.
posted by markblasco at 10:29 AM on March 4, 2012

Actor here. I attended a drama school where all us girls were in a similar position to you--needed to wear tights, leggings, leotards etc. all the time, but also wanted to look nice and be comfortable and warm in between classes. This is how we dressed:

-Shorts over tights/leggings, with a shirt or sweater on top. Surprisingly very easy and comfortable to move in, even jean shorts.

-Flowy and/or stretch skirts over leggings. Same concept.

-Nthing sweater dresses. Also, tunics, long shirts that can be worn as tunics, comfortable/casual/flowy dresses, long sweaters or cardigans...

-Boots, boots, boots. We ALL wore boots in between classes. I had a pair of brown boots (worn over black leggings) that I pretty much wore to bits.

I actually ended up having a lot of fun with changing styles and figuring out how to wear black leggings everyday. Thinking about it again, I remember now what it was like to wear jeans only about once a week. That was nice. Have fun!
posted by Emms at 10:52 AM on March 4, 2012

Wrap dresses are great if you are curvy, but as a dancer I'm guessing you're more of a toned, athletic shape? If so, shift dresses you can pop over your gear would work. A simple cotton shift with a peter-pan collar could work - Primark or Oasis oft do them.

Helly Hansen is big with one of my nephews, a self-described chav, so I'm not sure whether you get different stuff in the States from the tracksuits they do here!
posted by mippy at 7:32 AM on March 5, 2012

Metalicus has a great range of nice, stretchy clothing that is good for layering.

The best item of clothing I own (no kidding) is a Metalicus tank dress in merino crepe (kinda like this It is comfy, durable, and looks good with everything. I've worn it over tshirt and leggings, as well as button-down shirts for work.
posted by Elcee at 4:48 PM on March 5, 2012

Thanks for the advice, guys!

As mippy correctly guessed, I'm not particularly curvy and have very little in the bust department so wrap dresses look kind of weird on me.

Wearing 'outdoorsy' clothing for non-outdoorsy activities is not a big thing in Australia, so Helly Hansen and that sort of thing is out. In any case, I'd rather have a few different jumpers/jackets than spend $300 on one high-tech windbreaker and have to wear the same thing every day.

I guess I was hoping to figure out some way of wearing sneakers and leggings without looking like I'm off to the gym, but perhaps that's not possible. Boots are great but I walk to and from uni and am on my feet most of the day so outfits involving sneakers would be ideal!
posted by lovedbymarylane at 10:44 PM on March 5, 2012

Plan A: Get a locker at school, stash your boots and ballet flats there, wear sneakers to and from school and nice shoes at school. Rotate out shoes on a weekly/bi-weekly basis so you're not wearing the same damn thing all the time.

Plan B: Wear "work safe" sneakers with unnoticeable styling (something like these or these) with everything. A jumper style dress (good because you can wear different long sleeve shirts under it and change the look while still only having two things to pull on) and your black leggings and no one will notice that your shoes are actually sneakers.

Plan C: Get sneakers in loud colors, and make them part of your outfit. "Yeah, these are my HOT PINK sneakers, you got a problem with that?" Just... not the weird color sports sneakers. Get the ones that are clearly fashion-y. Certainly if you're wearing these no one will think you "just don't care" about your shoes. Or if you want something more subdued, these are nice, as are these and these.
posted by anaelith at 1:00 AM on March 6, 2012

Oh, I forgot...

Plan D: Go to the old lady shoe store. Do you have Naturalizer in Australia? They have these and these and about a million more that don't look like sneakers but should feel very close to sneakers.
posted by anaelith at 1:06 AM on March 6, 2012

This is a bit late, but I wanted to chime in as I had a couple dancer friends in college whose style I always envied.

As a person who works in the art of physical movement, your style during the school-day is not about only image and aesthetic; it's also about functionality and confidence in what your body can DO. Don't hide that - embrace it! By this I mean, dressing in a way that flatters your shape while providing comfort and functionality can be it's own art form, and as a dancer you are in a perfect place to exploit all of the above. Some specifics of what I think might work for you:

- Layers. Layers are your friend; so is texture. Look for simple knit pieces in soft fabrics that feel good against your skin, keep you warm, breathe in the right places etcetera. Have a collection of tighter, form-fitting pieces in basic colors (black, white, gray) that you can add over tights and such for warmth and coverage; long sleeve scoop-neck tee shirts, warmer leggings, tank tops. Focus on fabric and fit here.

Then, have a collection of looser, boxier, "outer" pieces. You can keep these neutral too, or mix in some color; whatever your personal preference. But once again, focus on fit and shape and texture. A big, boxy, soft tunic sweater to layer over a tight tee and leggings. A pair of wide-leg knit pants with a fitted butt (not track pants!) to throw over tights and a leotard. Try not to wear multiple baggy items at once - that's why the track pant/hoodie combo looks grungy; it doesn't flatter anything. Tight
on bottom, looser on top, or vice versa. If your build is slim you can probably get away with a lot of the boxier tunic styles without looking shlumpy, as long as you keep the bottom sleek.

As for shoes, I'd say simple black tennies or maybe converse. Nothing kooky, unless that's your explicit preference (then by all means, go ahead!).

All in all go for a look that's casual, textured, layered, figure-flattering, soft, and functional. Try to avoid things that look too gym-goer (nylon track pants, color blocking, racing stripes) or too structured (collars,
pleats, belts, buckles, leather, stiff fabric of any kind). Cotton is your friend.

I wish Google image was cooperating better with my phone, or I would try to link some pictures; but I hope
this helps you with some ideas.
posted by celtalitha at 12:00 AM on March 11, 2012

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