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What To Wear Swing Dancing

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Swing dancing is an extremely popular style of dance that has been around since the 1920s. You will probably have heard of the flappers, it was during this time when fashion was taking a drastic turn that swing dancing came about.

This style of dance can be identified by its iconic movements. The flips, spins and lifts are some of the more advanced moves that add to the lively and upbeat feel of the amazing and fun dance. 

Young Couple Dancing Swing Retro Hall

But, if you are new to swing dancing you might be at a loss as to what clothes you should wear. Heels? A floor-length gown? pants? It can be tough to know what is proper to wear for this kind of dance.

But, do not worry, we have you covered. In this article, we are going to talk about what exactly you should wear when you go swing dancing. So, let’s get started. 

What Should You Keep In Mind When Picking Your Clothes? 

When you are swing dancing there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. Remember that by trying to achieve these things you will be making yourself more comfortable when you hit that dance floor. 

Let’s take a look!

Clothes That Keep You Cool 

Beautiful lady wearing cool swing dancing dress

The key thing to remember when picking your outfit for swing dancing is to make sure that you have something on that keeps you cool.

If you are wearing shorts or jeans then they may not be suitable for this type of dance. They may end up being too hot and uncomfortable. Instead, opt for something like a skirt or dress.

These types of clothing are much cooler than shorts and jeans. They also allow for better movement when dancing. 

If you are unsure what to wear then try looking through our guide to swing dancing outfits. We have put together a list of all the most common items that people use when they are swing dancing.

Clothes That Make You Feel Confident

Romantic couple sweet dancing

You want to make sure that you are feeling confident and comfortable when you head out to swing dance. The last thing you want is to be worried about how you look while you are having so much fun.

So, make sure that you pick something that makes you feel good. Whether that means dressing up in a nice dress or just wearing comfy casual clothes. Just make sure that you feel great. 

Clothes That Are Comfortable

One of the biggest mistakes people make when heading out to swing dance is wearing clothes that are too tight.

When you are swinging away you want to be able to move freely without worrying about getting stuck in your clothes. So, make sure you choose loose-fitting clothes that are comfortable. 

Clothes With Movement

Beautiful lady dancer with red long dress

Another mistake that many people make is choosing clothes that are too restrictive. For example, if you are wearing a skirt then you may think that you cannot move because of the way it restricts your legs.

However, you could easily change your position and still enjoy yourself. So, instead of thinking about restricting your body, think about how you can improve your movement.

What Should You Wear For Evening Classes?

Now that you know what you should wear for swing dancing, you might be wondering what to wear when attending evening classes. Well, here are some tips that you can follow:

Dress Up

Sexy shining dress beautiful lady

This one seems obvious but it is important to remember. You should always dress up when you attend an evening class.

Even if you are only attending a beginner class, you should still dress up. Why? Because you never know who else is going to be there. And, if you are dressed up then you will stand out from everyone else.

It is also easier to find someone to partner up with when you are dressed up. Plus, you will look more attractive.

Don’t Forget Your Accessories

beautiful woman wearing pearl necklace pearl bracelet pear ring

As we mentioned before, you should consider adding accessories to your outfit. This includes jewelry, scarves, hair clips, etc. These small additions will help you stand out even more.

Make Sure That You Have Good Shoes

It is very important that you have good shoes. This is especially true when you are attending an evening class. Not only do you need to be comfortable, but you also need to be safe.

As you know, there are lots of things that can happen when you are dancing. So, make sure your shoes are sturdy enough to take the punishment.

What Kind Of Shoe Should You Wear? 

When you are attending an evening dance class, you don’t want to worry about what kind of shoes you should wear. If you are new to swing dancing then you probably won’t know which type of shoe is best.

What To Wear Swing Dancing (1)

But, once you get used to them, you will start to notice which ones work better than others. Here are some suggestions on what types of shoes you should try:

You Can Try A Rubber Soled Shoe

four different styles color shoes

Rubber soles are usually recommended for beginners. They provide support and comfort. However, they tend to slip off easily. So, you may want to stick with leather or suede soles until you learn how to walk properly.


Rubber sole shoes are most often very affordable.

Because of their affordable price point, you can use them for your practicing and outdoor swing dancing without having to worry about replacing your shoes when they get scuffed up or damaged. 


One of the worst things about rubber sole shoes is the fact that they are quite sticky. they will likely stick to your dance floor especially when it is hot or humid.

This can make it difficult to perform slides and other moves. On top of that, it can actually be hazardous for your knees if your feet stick to the floor while you are dancing.

While this is a good short-term solution it is advised that you set some money aside for a pair of suede or leather sole shoes. 

You Can Try Suede Shoes

Comfortable brown Suede Shoes for girl white flowers

Suede shoes are great for those who like to feel the ground beneath their feet. They provide excellent grip and traction. However, they tend not to last as long as other types of shoes.

So, if you plan on doing a lot of walking then you may want to go with a different type of shoe.


Suede shoes are really good for swing dancing because they allow you to slide a little more than rubber shoes.

This can make moves like swivels, lollies, and many other moves much easier to execute. Because they are quite slippery shoes, suede can make it much easier to dance on floors that are quite sticky. 


Due to the material used for these shoes, you will need to make sure that you have a show brush so that you can maintain your suede shoes.

They tend to gather a lot of dust and grime so you will need to make sure that you keep on top of your shoe maintenance. 

You Can Try A Leather Soled Shoe

brown Leather soled shoe size8 half

Leather soles offer exceptional grip and traction. They are durable and easy to clean. However, they are heavy and uncomfortable. So, if you are looking for something lightweight then this is the shoe for you.


With leather shoes, you will have a wide range of motion especially when you need to perform pivots or slides.

Leather shoes are also great because they allow you to feel the floor better beneath your feet which really helps you to keep a rhythm.


Leather shoes can be tough to get used to, especially when you take the plunge and try out a ‘fast’ dance floor.

Tips To Keep In Mind 

young couple dancing swing

In this section, we are going to talk about some of the things that you need to keep in mind when you are picking your clothes and a pair of dance shoes. 

  • Shoe Support – When you pick your shoes to wear to swing dancing class, make sure that they offer you enough support. You can test the support by wearing your shoes around for a while, if they are not supportive or comfortable they are most likely not suitable for swing dancing. 
  • Wear Comfortable Clothes – If you are going to be spending a lot of time dancing then you should choose clothes that are comfortable. For example, if you are planning on dancing all night then you should consider wearing loose-fitting clothing. 
  • Bring Backup Shoes – When you are going to a swing dancing class you may not know whether the floor is ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ and by having backup shoes you can be sure that you will have the appropriate footwear for any situation. On top of that, when your feet get tired from wearing heels it is nice to have some comfortable flats to slip into when you are winding down for the lesson. 
  • Heels – If you are a fan of wearing heels it is highly recommended that you are careful with what height you get. For example, most professionals will tell you that a heel that is higher than one and a half inches will not be practical for swing dancing. 
  • Skirts – If you want to wear a skirt to your swing dancing lesson it is not advised that you wear a twirly skirt. The fabric can fly up too high and make what was a fun session quite embarrassing and distracting. Because of this, it is advised that you wear a skirt, or dress that will not fly up when you are dancing. 
  • Vintage Outfits – While these costumes can look cool and make you feel great they are often not comfortable or breathable. This can bring you down quite quickly when you are dancing. So, it is recommended that you avoid wearing vintage garments that are not comfortable or practical. 
  • Open-Backed Shirts – Open-backed shirts are not a good idea for swing dancing. This is because they can easily get tangled or caught on your partner while you are dancing. 
  • Pants – if you are wearing pants to your swing dancing class it is advised that they are double stitched so that they are more durable. On top of that, it is advised that you do not wear tight-fitting pants as they can easily rip when you are cutting a rug. 

Final Thoughts

When you are swing dancing it is important to make sure that you are wearing clothes that are comfortable, and practical. So, when you attend your class try to keep those two things in mind and you will do great.

Now head over to your swing dancing event, bring an extra pair of shoes, avoid the tight pants or high heels and have fun!