Though line dancing is usually associated with informal and rustic settings like country bars and clubs, most of the time, there will be a dress code. So, it’s a good idea not just to learn how to line dance, but also to know what to wear line dancing.
This article can serve as your definitive guide on what to wear to line dance in your local clubs!
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What To Wear Line Dancing?
As we said earlier, line dancing does have a dress code. But unlike ballroom dancing or other formal dances, people won’t scowl or throw you weird looks if you don’t follow it to a tee. Dressing right will simply make you fit better onto the dance floor. Plus, a nice outfit will guarantee your enjoyment.
Generally speaking, you have considerable leeway in apparel. Options range from jeans and cowboy boots to swirly skirts. But if there’s only one word in a line dance costume description, then it’s “Country-Esque”.
Just keep in mind that whatever outfit you end up choosing, there should be a teeny hint of Country Western in it.
Don’t overdo it, however. A full cowboy ensemble may be a little bit of an overkill.
You can’t go wrong with cowboy boots when it comes to footwear. It’s what the original cowboys and cowgirls who invented line dancing wore back in the days.
There are many kinds of cowboy boots that you can pick up these days. Traditional cowboy boots tend to have narrow toe boxes. If you’ve never worn one before or aren’t used to it, they can be pretty uncomfortable to dance in.
For beginners, we recommend boots with square-shaped toe boxes. The extra room will provide better balance. More wiggle room for your toes means your feet won’t feel as constricted. Last but not least, when your feet stop moving, your toes won’t jam into the point, which can feel terrible after 20 or so minutes of dancing.
Because of all of the advantages that they offer over traditional narrow-toed cowboy boots, square-toed boots are recommended even for people who are used to wearing traditional boots.
But you have just recently bought your cowboy boots, you shouldn’t go out dancing in them just yet. Cowboy boots need some time to break in, so if you dance in them immediately, they can be very painful.
Instead, try sneakers!
But for beginners, sneakers are best. They are lighter, cheaper, and tend to be more comfortable than cowboy boots. Additionally, sneakers tend to be less slippery than boots.
Line dancing is usually done at the end of the night. If someone has spilled their beer or drinks recently on the floor, it could be dangerous to dance in boots.
Specialized Line Dancing Shoes
Line dancing is such a popular pastime in many places that you can get specialized shoes from cobblers and shops. They are custom-made for line dancing, so the aesthetic is just right. They are also designed to handle repeated stresses, so they will last much longer than your sneakers.
They can be a bit expensive, but they are worth a shot.
Style usually does not matter too much on a line dancing floor. Nevertheless, if you want to go full in, we recommend plaid shirts. Plaid shirts are staples in any Western-style wardrobe.
If the weather is a bit chilly and you get cold easily, long-sleeved plaid button-down shirts over T-shirts will keep you warm. For hotter seasons, try a short-sleeved plaid button-down over a tank top. It’s a unisex style and definitely can’t go wrong in a country club.
However, make sure that the shirts that you wear to a line dance are moisture-wicking. Dancing is a physically strenuous activity. Not to mention how you will be dancing around a lot of people, too. After a few minutes, you are almost guaranteed to be sweating buckets.
Find shirts that are as moisture-wicking and breathable as possible. They are available in many different textures, colors, and styles.
Nobody is going to blame you if you sweat a lot and may not smell very good after a few songs. Still, it’s good etiquette to try and stave the smell and the sweat off. You will also get the added benefit of being more comfortable. A sweaty shirt doesn’t feel good against the skin.
Just behind the shoes, the type of pants you wear can either make or ruin your night. Pick a pair of pants that is both comfortable to wear and allows you a free range of movement. Certain types of pants can limit your motion.
For both men and women, you can’t go wrong with a good pair of form-fitting jeans. Jeans are as Western as can be, so it fits right into the aesthetic of the occasion.
A high-quality pair can be efficient since it fits your figure without restricting your range of movement. It’s versatile, too. You can combine it with any top.
Any style of jeans is okay as well as any material. You can rock denim or stone-washed jeans if you want. Just make sure that it fits you well. It shouldn’t be too loose that the legs flap around whenever you move, but it shouldn’t be too tight that the skin of your legs is unable to breathe.
Women’s outfits are a bit more diverse than men’s. If jeans are a little bit too restricting, you can try skirts, too. They offer a lot more maneuverability while you’re on the dance floor.
Since twirling around while line dancing can make your skirt puff up, we recommend you to wear leggings or shorts underneath.
Traditional line dancing skirts are popular among female line dancers these days. You can check these options out if you don’t want to go with classic jeans.
Though line dancing tends to be very relaxed when it comes to apparel, certain places will have dress codes that you have to abide by.
Before you come to a class, club, or bar, check out their rules first. If you aren’t sure, you can call ahead and see if they have any specific rules in place about apparel.
Certain places have a “Country-only” rule, meaning jeans, shirts, and cowboy boots are acceptable. Then, there are other places that host “Newline” dances, which means line dancing to modern music like pop, rock, and R&B. These places tend to be more relaxed about clothing, but sneakers are recommended as footwear.
If you’re entering a competition, then there will be a strict dress code on what line dancers wear is appropriate. Rules will differ depending on the governing body. However, most will demand that you wear special competition boots.
These boots are more flexible than rigid cowboy-style work boots, so you’ll be able to dance more comfortably in them. Some will mandate that you wear Latin dance shoes or dance sneakers.
What Should You Wear To A Line Dancing Party?
Want to stand out at a party? Other than dressing the right way with the guide above, you can prettify yourself further with some accessories. Belt buckles, for example, are a classic accessory that can add a lot of authenticity to your ensemble.
However, keep in mind that the buckle is optional. These big, ornamented buckles can be very expensive. So, if they are above your price range, no one is going to question you on it.
Should You Wear Hats?
Headwear is a big part of line dancing fashion. After all, nothing screams “Cowboy” or “Cowgirl” better than a classic Stetson. You will see a lot of cowboy hats in a country-style establishment. But cowboy hats aren’t your only option: baseball caps will do the trick, too.
Both men and women will often appear with headwear of some sort. However, a lot of people prefer not to, since they are afraid of having the dreaded ‘hat hair’ when they take it off. Hats are an optional accessory anyhow, you are not required to wear them.
If you are unsure about wearing a hat, just bring it along with you. You can decide to wear it or not when you enter.
Should You Wear Jewelry?
Jewelry can be a good touch to an ensemble. Line dancing isn’t a very rigorous dance like hip-hop, so it should be safe to wear a necklace or a pair of earrings.
Turquoise gems and leathery cords will fit right into the country aesthetic. They are also versatile enough that they can go with whatever outfit that you’re planning to wear.
However, it’s important to wear jewelry moderately. Too much and it will clutter your outfit. Additionally, it will look very garish and out of place in such a rustic and communal setting. One statement piece like a turquoise necklace will be enough, and then simpler pieces like a low-key pair of earrings or leather bangles.
Now that you have learned what to wear line dancing, our last bit of advice is that you shouldn’t just wear your outfit, you should also own it. A very common problem with beginners is that you may feel a bit self-conscious or silly wearing a Western-style outfit for the first time. Not to mention how you may be new to line dancing, too.
Everyone on stage was a newbie once. And usually, people at these events are very friendly and will give you a helping hand. Socialize, then ask people for hints or pointers on how to dance or dress better. You’ll have a lot more fun dancing that way!