Do you dress up for swing dancing?

I know that a good number of people do. Some people also like to think about fashion when they dance, and I've known folks who like to dress up in a retro way when swing dancing.

There's even a popular blog out there, "Lindy Shopper," that talks about what to wear to a swing dance. (Am I allowed to link to these things? I'm not sure what the nuances of the rules are. Anyway, it's easy to find via Google.) The current posting is about some novelty shirts, which I like. However, most of the other posts are about matters of feminine fashion.

Personally, I tend to dress for comfort, especially since swing dancing tends to get kinda sweaty. For this reason, I don't tend to be very fashionable. I do appreciate the effort that some people put into looking stylish on the dance floor, though.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
Hi, Roy. Welcome to DF. If you keep posting, you will eventually be able to post active links. Until then, no.

I recently saw a Rockabilly fashion blog. Unfortunately what people think of as "rockabilly fashion" has little to do with what you see in photographs and film from that era.

Don't know that much about other fashion statements, but since I do my West Coast at a country western place, I wear boots, western shirt, and Wranglers. I'm getting more and more fond of the kind of western shirts that Nudie and others made for the Western Swing musicians in Los Angeles. Anyone interested in that scene can look at the book "Hillbilly Hollywood," published in 2000.
Thanks. I'm not a brand new member; I've just been inactive for a while.

Anyway, here's the Lindy Shopper blog that I mentioned. Like I said, it focuses mostly on styles for women, though the current blog entry is more of a humorous unisex kind of deal.
Yes. If there is a major event going on or a popular band performing, especially on a Friday and/or Saturday night, the majority of us will dress up, and on a really special occasion, we'll go all out (feathers in hats and all). But even during those events, the rule of thumb is to wear those fancy clothes until the band has finished playing for the night and when the DJs take over, we all change into more casual/comfortable clothing.


Active Member
I read about the book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Penguin Portfolio) by Elizabeth L. Cline. She points out how clothing manufacturers have tremendous influence in how people dress by mass producing cheap, disposable clothing in Asia for the American market. Is it any wonder that the standard dress is casual -- jeans and t-shirts with sneakers. I don't own any of those items.

I live in a city where women dress up to go shopping at the grocery store -- Buenos Aires. I dance where men wear suits and ties, and women dress elegantly. Tango is danced with body contact, and though not as energetic as swing, one does get warm even in an air-conditioned room.


Active Member
There's nothing wrong with second-hand clothing and shoes -- most of my wardrobe was bought at resale shops in Buenos Aires. That's how I can afford to dress well.
As I said previously, I prefer to dress for comfort. Swing dancing does get sweaty, after all, especially when the dance floor gets crowded.

So I'm not likely to dress up much. I do like to wear geeky shirts though, much like the ones on the lindyshopper blog entry that I mentioned. (In fact, I got myself a few of those. Naturally, swing dancers almost invariably get the humor.)

And of course, I wear a lot of t-shirts from past lindy exchanges and workshops.
Well I love to dress up! I found a great balance between style and comfort last night when I went swing dancing! It was a Halloween themed dance so I went as Ginger Rogers. I had a shorter blue dress on that was super flowy and made of a thinner fabric. Since it wasn't that think I didn't get hot at all. I really like hats but I try to avoid them because those get hot easy. And on the subject of second-hand, my shoes are second hand too! I got them off good ol' ebay. Awesome stuff. But yeah, dressing up for me is all part of the fun! Go for thinner fabrics it really helps. And also, when I dance, I always want to dance with the people that are dressed up you know? They draw my eye and look awesome.

What do you think? Do you tend to ask people to dance more often when they're dressed up or not? I know I do!

Steve Pastor

Staff member
Hello, Kenzie!

For me, it depends on how they "dress up." There are some things that make you look lie a "dancer," and there are some things that are just "dress up." And, for me, i fyou are doing swing at a country western place, something too "dressy" might not be in your favor.

Vince A

Active Member
Nice jeans, nice lightweight short-sleeve shirt, dance sneakers (Bloch's) or tango shoes . . . everytime, maybe with the exception of a New Years' dance/event . . .
I've noticed differences in dress styles between areas and venues. At one CW place in the PNW a lot of ladies wear evening dresses and a lot of guys wear Western hats. At WCS places in Phoenix it is more casual with slacks or jeans for both.

For me it is a dance rather than a fashion show so I go for comfort, usually levis and a golf shirt.

Ladies and my wife have told me they don't like to dance with men wearing sleeveless shirts. For some dances with lots of spins like Progressive 2 Step loose clothing styles and long full skirts can be difficult (also long pony tails, LOL).

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