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How to Dress for Jazz

Dress for Jazz

How to Dress for Jazz. Jazz is a popular music style in America and throughout the world. Although jazz was hugely popular throughout most of the first half of the 20th century, the style and culture of jazz is now more of a scene as opposed to a sweeping craze. However, the energy and flare of jazz live on and the old jazz fashion styles still thrive today. Read on to learn more.

Dress for Jazz as a Man

Wear dark, neutral colored slacks. The slacks should be slim fitting and worn high on the waist. Black, gray and pinstripe are all acceptable colors.

Put on a white undershirt. Dancing to jazz will tire you out. It might possibly make you sweat. An undershirt is necessary.

Buy a dress shirt. Jazz style shirts are button up, slim fitting and generally of a white or cream color. Tuck the shirt into your slacks.

Wear dress shoes when you go on a jazz outing. Black "wingtip" dress shoes are the most common footwear. Black and white two-tone spectator shoes are also favorites.

Try a vest. Vests are not necessary and they are not for everybody, but if you find a vest that fits well and you can pull it off, you will find that it looks very hep.

Put on a tight, single-breasted blazer. The blazer should be black, gray or white, depending on your outfit as a whole. The more classic the blazer looks, the better.

Dress for Jazz as a Woman

Dress in formal, evening attire. The basics include: darker colors (maroon instead of red), dresses, heeled-shoes and "up-do" hairstyles.

Wear a knee-length dress with elaborate hemlines. These dresses tend to be of dark colors and leave the arms and shoulders bare. Strapless and spaghetti strap dresses are common.

Find some high-heeled shoes with thin, stiletto style heels. Mary Jane ankle strap shoes and shoes with buckles or bows are classic jazz fashion choices. Sequin and diamante trims are common, too.

Research some style tips from the "flapper" fashion of the twenties. Short hair is still a common hairstyle in jazz circles today.


Many contemporary jazz fans like to pay tribute to the past eras of jazz. Most of the jazz dress you see mimics the vintage fashion of earlier jazz periods. Check out some histories of jazz and see what kind of clothing styles you like.


  • Anything you wear should be appropriate for dancing, so choose your clothes wisely. Do not wear clothes too tight or too loose fitting. Men should try to find jackets with smaller arm holes for more movement and women should seek dresses that allow for free flow.
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