How to Dress for Waltzing

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017

How to Dress for Waltzing. Dressing for waltzing is important because there are different styles to consider: formal or period. The very movement of the waltz determines what one wears, for one needs to be able to waltz freely and not be restricted by your clothing.

Women

Wear a full-skirted formal gown to a waltz that is hemmed to ankle length. A formal gown can be found in department stores or formal wear stores. The fabric can be taffeta or satin.

Have a hoop skirt expertly tailored should you choose to wear a period gown. The hoops must not interfere with the formal dance position.

Keep your train up should you choose to wear a gown with a train. The train should not interfere with the waltz, and it should have a loop in the hem so that you are able to hold it up while waltzing.

Wear long gloves that come over the elbows with your gown.

Put your hair up in a bun or chignon. Having your hair down, especially when it's long, can cause it to fly into someone's eyes as you turn.

Choose lower heeled shoes for waltzing. Flats are available for women, but even men's dress shoes can be worn by a woman if they are sized properly.

Men

Choose a black tuxedo of worsted wool. The coat should have no vents at the back, be single-breasted, have a single button, no flaps on the pockets, and satin facing on the lapels. The trousers may have a satin stripe down the outside seam of the uncuffed leg. Wear a black waistcoat with a black tie and cummerbund. If you choose a double-breasted coat, you can forego the waistcoat and cummerbund. Hold the trousers up with satin suspenders or braces.

Have the sleeves of your shirt shortened to the exact length of your arms, so they do not stick too far beyond your coat sleeves when your raise your arms up in the dance position. You may wish to have your shirts custom-made for you. You can find tailors in your area by looking in the phone book, or by finding companies online like "My Tailor." Cuffs that are fastened by cufflinks are also recommended for waltzing wear. Your tie and cummerbund should be made of marcella.

Wear a black waistcoat with a black tie and cummerbund. If you choose a double-breasted coat, you can forego the waistcoat and cummerbund. Hold the trousers up with satin suspenders or braces to complete the dress.

Wear a tail coat should you choose. You can find these coats at formal wear shops or tux rentals. You can even have one custom-made at such companies as "Deirdre of London," or by searching through the Ballroom Dancers' directory. Include formal white gloves with your tail coat-cotton ones well be sufficient--and far less slippery than nylon ones. Wear a white tie and cummerbund made of white Marcella. If your tail coat is not tailored in such a way that it will remain closed without an elastic fastener, have your tailor include one.

Choose shoes that have leather soles. You can find these at formal shoe stores, or have some custom-made at "Dance Shoes." If you cannot find shoes that suit you, you can have a shoe repair shop convert a pair of regular formal shoes into dance shoes.

Include formal white gloves with your tail coat--cotton ones are sufficient--and far less slippery than nylon. Wear a white tie and cummerbund made of white Marcella. If your tail coat is not tailored in such a way that it remains closed without an elastic fastener, have your tailor include one.