The best outfits to wear to swing dance class have a casual style like jeans and a T-shirt or blouse. They feature cool, breathable material to keep you comfortable during a high-action dance session. Picking good shoes with hard soles will allow you to slide across the floor for fast spins and twirls.

While couples often dress up for evening or social swing dance sessions, the key to a successful dance class is to dress in casual, comfortable clothing. Avoid super loose, super tight, or distracting outfits, though. Because swing dance often involves lifts, spins, and leaps, it is a good idea to make sure you either wear clothing that covers you completely or add concealing undergarments like bike shorts beneath your skirt as well.

Unlike a more formal dance class like a ballet class, swing dance classes do not usually require special dancewear or even athletic wear. These classes usually offer more of a social opportunity for adults casually interested in learning a fun historic dance form, so expect to see lots of people wearing jeans and sneakers!

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Casual Style

swing dance class casual style

Most swing dance class attendees wear casual clothing like jeans, flat shoes, t-shirts, or even tank tops. This is a big contrast to social swing dance events, where dancers often dress up in period costumes and wear outfits like dresses and heeled dance shoes. But when you think about it, this makes sense--when you attend a dance class, you come to work hard and get sweaty learning new moves, not to show off a new outfit!

If you need some new jeans to rock this casual dance class style, take a look at the 50 best affordable and sustainable denim brands here.

Cooling Clothes

swing dance class cool clothes

Because swing dance involves so much fast movement, you will find yourself soaked in sweat if you don’t select cooling fabrics! Look for breathable material like organic linen or cotton for your blouse, or select a fitted t-shirt made out of high-performance sports fabric with moisture-wicking ability. This way your clothes can keep up with you as you jive and twist!

You can learn all about the benefits of organic cotton on the skin here.

Tight Vs Loose Styles

swing dance class tight clothes

Loosely cut clothing like a baggy blouse or draped shirt can tend to flap in the wind or even get twisted awkwardly around you during a swing dance class. Because of this, most swing dance students tend toward more fitted styles. You don’t need to wear a skin-tight top, of course, but look for a fitted rather than baggy t-shirt or a blouse that tucks in instead of a loose, floppy top.

The exception to this is that when you do attend a “live” or social dance, you will probably want a dress with a full skirt, in the classic 1950s style! In this case, you want your skirt to swirl around you. But in practice, avoid these distractions and stick to a more tailored outfit.

If you worry about wearing a close-cut style because of your weight, you can find 20 easy tips to dress well when overweight here.

Hard-Sole Shoes

swing dance class wear hard sole shoes

Swing dance moves fast, so hard-soled shoes such as dress shoes, flats, or specialty dance shoes will help you keep your footing during a class. In many cases, the dance instructor may suggest a particular shoe style for participants to wear. If your instructor does not, look for shoes with hard, sturdy soles. Avoid heels, unless you own ballroom dance pumps with special soles.

Some classes allow sneakers or running shoes, but for your first class, try wearing ballet flats that have a padded insert for comfort. Take a look at the 10 best affordable and comfortable ballet flats here.


swing dance class wear jeans

If you want to fit in at a swing dance class, wear jeans. Many swing dancers wear jeans to class because of the 1950s vibes as well as for practical reasons: jeans can stretch and flex with you, and they also cover all the key areas when you flip upside down!

That said, you should pick the style of jeans you wear to class with some care. Avoid skinny or slim-fit jeans, which will constrict your leg movement. Wear jeans with a fitted waist, so they don’t sag or slip down as you dance. Also, out of respect for your class, pick nice, new-looking jeans without holes or fraying.

You can find the 15 best recycled jeans brands that you’ll love here.


swing dance class wear tshirt

Another staple of the swing dance class wardrobe is the t-shirt. Look for a fitted t-shirt that does not billow around you when you spin in a circle. T-shirts work well for a high-energy dance class because they stretch and flex so well. Plus,  t-shirts that contain organic cotton will offer great breathability to keep you cool as you dance.

You can go with a cool vintage-style tee, a basic solid tee, or even a tee promoting your favorite brand or team. Take a look at the 15 best organic cotton t-shirts made in Canada here.

Tank Top/Athletic Wear

swing dance class wear tank top

Athletic wear like a tank top can also keep you cool and comfortable at a swing dance class. Look for a stretchy, comfortable tank that is not too tight or too low-cut, though. 

Not everyone wears super casual athleisure like leggings or sneakers to swing dance class, but some classes do adopt this more casual vibe. You may want to wear jeans and a blouse to your first class to scope things out, and then scale down the formality and wear leggings or a tank top to your next class if everyone else does!

You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable tank tops here.


swing dance class wear blouse

If you feel like a t-shirt is a tad too casual for a social gathering like a swing dance class, you can dress up your style by wearing a breathable, comfortable blouse instead. Make sure you pick a blouse that does not constrict your arms. Avoid a super billowy cut that could tangle around when you twirl, and skip the low-cut neckline, as you don't want to distract your classmates.

Take a look at the 15 best affordable, ethical, and sustainable blouses here.

Button Shirt and Jeans

swing dance class wear button shirt

Another classic swing dance class outfit for both men and women is a button-up shirt paired with jeans. Select a button-up shirt that feels cooling and breathable, and make sure you can easily lift your arms over your head while wearing the shirt.

You can find the 15 best ethical button-up shirts for a dressy look here.

Concealing Undergarments

swing dance class wear shorts

If you do choose to wear a skirt to swing dance class, make sure you think about what you wear under the skirt. Swing dancing involves lots of twirling and lifts, which means that your classmates may inadvertently see up your skirt! For that reason, many swing dancers wear a practical, close-fitting pair of shorts beneath their skirts.

You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable bike shorts here.

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About the Author: Hannah Cobb

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