While we know you practically live in your leos and tights (and a tightly wound bun), summer is the perfect time to literally let your hair down and show off your style outside the studio.
Not sure where to start? Take a page from these pro dancers' ensembles. From classically chic to kooky and daring, these ballerinas know how to express themselves—on and off the stage. The #1 rule? There are no rules.
There’s one accessory Brittany Stone doesn’t leave home without: her headphones. “I’m always listening to music, usually something from the ‘90s,” she says. “It just makes your day better, especially in the morning when you don’t really want to get up and take class.” Her playlist is full of “good walking music”—upbeat songs that get her moving and motivated. The rest of her street style is characterized by cozy standbys: T-shirts and jeans, white sweaters, overalls and her favorite shoes, Dr. Martens. “They’re basically my staple,” she says. “I have three pairs. I wear them all the time, especially in the winter.”
In dancewear, Stone’s priority is seeing her lines. “My style in the studio is very simple, very classic. I almost always wear pink tights,” she says. For essentials like toe pads and tights, she turns to Discount Dance Supply: “A lot of times the girls in the company will coordinate when we need stuff and make a big order, because the shipping’s cheaper.” Outside the studio, too, Stone notes, shopping is a great way to bond with new friends—something she’s been doing a lot of since transitioning from Boston Ballet to The Washington Ballet last fall. “Everyone in the company is so nice and welcoming. It’s been really good,” she says.
Leather jacket: “I got it at a secondhand store in Connecticut, where I’m from. I love vintage shopping.”
Urban Outfitters jeans: “I love high-waisted things. I think they’re really flattering.”
Dr. Martens: “They make everything look cooler than it is. The red ones are my classic ones; they were my first pair.”
Discount Dance Supply leotard: “It had a liner in it, but I cut it out because it was a little too hot. It’s a great color and a great line, I think.”
RubiaWear legwarmers: These were designed by Boston Ballet principal Ashley Ellis. “She’s always been an inspiration to me; her dancing is so beautiful.”
Bloch Inc. slippers: “I used to wear leather shoes, but I think you can feel the floor better with the canvas. I’m hardly ever in flat shoes—just sometimes for barre.”
Ballet-inspired clothing is nothing new, and the dance and fashion worlds have always been in conversation with each other. Think of how many prominent choreographers have enlisted fashion designers to create costumes for their work, or how ballet flats have become a wardrobe staple.
But lately, activewear brands are catching on too, with collaborations that emphasize the athleticism and strength of ballet dancers. There's Misty Copeland's "I Will What I Want" campaign for Under Armour, the recent GapFit campaign featuring dancers like Calvin Royal III, Keenan Kampa and Mayara Pineiro, and, as of next week, a whole line of ballet-inspired sneakers and sportswear from PUMA, as part of their "Do You" campaign.
The collection is part of PUMA's partnership with New York City Ballet, which began last summer. Called Swan Pack, it's made up of mostly black and white pieces, including a sneaker with pointe shoe-esque ribbons and a black cape with feather embellishments.
While we're excited about the clothes themselves, the best part of all is the campaign's stunning photos, which feature NYCB corps dancers Lara Tong, Olivia Boisson, Mimi Staker, Unity Phelan and Rachel Hutsell wearing some of the new looks. And the "Do You" message, encouraging self-confidence and individuality, can't be beat.
The collection launches on February 1, and will be available in stores and online.
What is Céline Cassone’s favorite thing to buy? Cowboy boots, to add to her growing collection. “I’m just crazy with boots,” the Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal dancer says. “Always the same style, some short and some longer.” It’s also the one part of her outfit where you might find a pop of color, as most of her wardrobe is black and gray. She has boots in pink and purple, as well as more neutral shades of black, brown and white. “I’m looking for a nice red,” she says. She tends to do most of her shopping when the company is on tour. BJM travels five or six months a year, and Cassone has been everywhere from New York City to Israel to Italy.
In the studio, she’s never without her bright-green, peanut-shaped exercise ball, which she uses to work on her abdominals. “You can do Pilates exercises with that,” she says. “It’s super-light and it’s always with me.” She’ll even use it as a pillow on the bus. Cassone favors long, loose layers and fun patterns in her dancewear—but she makes sure to keep her look practical, especially if she needs to dance on pointe. “For center, I want to see my legs and I want to see my feet,” she says.
COS top: “I bought it in Los Angeles.” Cassone rarely shops at home in Montreal.
Levi’s jeans: “I always wear jeans, never dresses.”
Boots: “I bought them in Guadalajara, Mexico. We were on tour, and they had so many boots. I bought five pairs because it’s so cheap there.”
Lululemon top: “I’m a crazy Lululemon fan. I like that it can be for dance but also for the street.”
Wear Moi legwarmers: “I like flashy colors in the studio.”
Socks: These were made by Daniil Simkin’s mother, and given to all the dancers during the premiere of his INTENSIO project, which Cassone danced in.
Don’t expect to catch Simone Messmer wearing a leotard—at least, not for company class. “Ballet class is for me,” she says. “It happens every day, so it turns into a major part of how you set yourself up for the day and how you’re feeling. I think it’s really important to take control of that.” In class, the Miami City Ballet principal prefers comfortable separates with clean lines and long sleeves. When it’s time for rehearsal, she’ll bring out her leotards and tights. “And I tend to bring the skirt or tutu that’s appropriate for the role. I try to start right away, to get a feeling for it,” she says.
Messmer, who joined MCB in 2015 after dancing with American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet, has been embracing her new home—and adjusting to Miami’s warmer climate. Lately, she gravitates towards looser, flowy pieces and lighter colors. “It’s a process after my New York garb for 13 years,” she says. “Everyone’s like, ‘You’re still all in black,’ and I’m like, ‘It’s all I own!’ ” Still, even amidst change, Messmer has a strong sense of who she is, and her style reflects that. “I think if the clothes are wearing you, it’s the wrong outfit,” she says.
Trench coat: “I’ve had a best friend in New York since I moved there. There were a couple years I lived with him and his parents, and that’s his father’s army trench.”
Sweater: “I have a favorite store in New York’s East Village, Tokio 7, which is a consignment store. It’s a hit-or-miss place, but you can get great stuff.”
Lanvin shoes: “These can dress up easily, especially post-theater.”
RadetskyWear top: “I don’t do patterns. I think they’re distracting in the mirror. This is kind of as far as I go with them.”
Leggings: “When Twyla Tharp did Rabbit and Rogue for ABT, I was part of the group that created it with her. Norma Kamali did the costumes, and these are Norma Kamali leggings.”
Capezio pointe shoes: “They have been making me these pointe shoes for 10 years now.” Because of the humidity, Messmer goes through shoes more quickly in Miami.