Frilled & Skirted Leotards - Great for your Wardrobe

Published: 05th December 2011
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Whether you’re looking for a dance outfit for dance class or a special performance, frilled and skirted leotards make a great outfit. They are available in a variety of sizes, materials and designs. Some dancewear retailers will even make-to-order your leotard meaning that you can choose a very specific design.

Frilled or Skirted – What’s the Difference?
Frilled leotards have a small frill attached around the hips which is usually just a couple of inches in length. Skirted leotards on the other hand have a longer skirt, which can be a made from either a matching fabric or one that contrasts the main body of the leotard. It is very popular for frilled and skirted leotards to be used for children’s costumes but they can also be used for adult’s costumes too.

Lyrical Dresses
The lyrical dress is a leotard with a skirt attached just beneath the bust line. These beautiful and elegant garments are often used for ballet or classical performances due to their delicate nature and flowing qualities. The leotard of the lyrical dress is usually made from cotton lycra and the full skirt is made from lightweight material such as chiffon which flows as the dancer moves around the stage.

Different Designs
There are a wide range of different designs for frilled and skirted leotards but before you choose which one to buy, you will need to consider the style of dance you are performing. For ballet performances, you should consider choosing a leotard with thin straps or short sleeves and a matching skirt. Alternatively, you could choose a skirt made from a chiffon fabric which is a very fine net, as this will move beautifully around the stage as you perform. If you’re performing jazz on the other hand, you may want to choose a more eye-catching fabric and colour contrasting frill.

Fabrics and colours
When you think of ballet leotards, you probably think of cotton lycra or nylon lycra in black, white and pastel colours such as pink and blue. You may even think of brighter colours such as raspberry, red, royal or purple which are equally popular. If you select a plain colour, you can add accessories to transform a plain outfit into a dance costume. Accessories include sequins, lace, frills, collars and ribbon but there are countless others. However frilled and skirted leotards actually look superb in a range of different fabrics too; fluorescent colours, metallic, hologram, velour and printed fabrics can look simply spectacular! Popular printed leotards with matching skirts or frills include animal prints, stripes, polka dot and loopy prints reminiscent of the psychedelic 1970s.

Why not try a contrasting skirt or frill?
For that extra delicate and dainty appearance choose a leotard with an attached skirt made from a light fabric such as chiffon or voile. Skirts made from these fabrics will flow very elegantly throughout your performance. If your looking for something more eye catching, you can always go for contrasting fabrics. These are some of my own personal favourites:

1. nylon lycra coloured leotard with a hologram or metallic frill
2. flo stripe leotard with a black frill
3. harlequin leotard with a black or white frill
4. animal leotard with a contrasting frill
5. polka dot leotard with a black or white frill

Whatever leotard you choose, choosing or creating a costume for a dance show is always great fun! Just remember to make sure it compliments the themes that you are exploring in your performance!

I. Evans is a resident writer for Dance Gear Direct Ltd., a UK company specialising in competitively priced quality dance wear. Visit for more information about ballet shoes and jazz shoes.

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