The sultry dance of Argentine tango requires clothing that makes you feel equally as sultry. But you don't have to be bound to the stereotypes of fedoras, fishnet, fringe and a rose between the teeth! Simple, comfortable clothing will do.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Go for comfort. In Argentine tango, the connection with your partner is more important than how you look on the dance floor. With this in mind, choose clothes that are comfortable to wear.
Be simple. Simply constructed clothes are more flattering on the dance floor and give you less to worry about. A simple, one-color halter dress with an asymmetrical hemline can be more stunning than a fancy gown-because the focus is on you, not on your clothing.
Get stretchy clothes made of fabrics that move to accommodate your footwork. This will ensure that your dance won't be affected by your clothing. You can be your most sultry self if you feel unconstrained.
Think about skirt length. Make sure your ganchos, leg wraps and boleos are unencumbered by a too-long skirt. Keep it no longer than calf length for your best dancing.
Consider pants. Gaucho and palazzo pants are especially flattering for tango, as the wide legs emphasize your steps. A flowing fabric will sweep around your legs and make your moves look even more dramatic.
Take your partner's comfort into account. Dresses studded with rhinestones or embellished with sequins may look good, but make sure that they will be comfortable for his embrace.
Choose something that makes you feel sexy. If that means a back-baring black dress for you, go for it! If you feel sexy in gaucho pants and a long-sleeved top, it's the right outfit! In most of today's milongas, almost any approach to clothing works for women. Use your own style as a guide, and don't feel bound to the traditional red and black of tango.
Check the fit. Your tango clothes should allow you to move freely and easily, with no constraint, regardless of your dance style.
Choose moisture-wicking fabrics for your shirts (or undershirts) if you're prone to sweating. Sweat stains may cause a follower to reject your dance invitation-she might be afraid of getting drenched! You can find moisture-wicking shirts at stores specializing in dancewear.
Wear what makes you feel sexy and comfortable, but don't be flashy. A simple button-down or short-sleeved shirt and attractive trousers in black or rather neutral colors are ideal. However, jeans, casual pants and t-shirts are appropriate for many milongas, especially those that cater to a younger crowd.
Watch your buckle! If you dance close embrace, your belt buckle becomes an obstacle for your follower-and can be quite painful in some situations. Be thoughtful and turn your buckle so it is well out of a follower's range.
Tips and warnings
- Though you can shop at tango specialty stores online, a number of national retailers offer clothes perfectly suited for tango. Visit your regular stores with tango in mind, and you are sure to find some!
- Custom-made tango clothes provide you with the ultimate in self-expression and are offered by a number of online retailers. As you're designing your clothes, keep in mind that social dancing outfits are different from ballroom or show outfits. Social dancing requires more simple clothing.
- Though fishnets can be fun, wear them with a sense of humor or leave them at home. Many see them as a cliché.
- Though a fedora is a good addition to a costume, leave your fedora at home for social dancing.