Dressing On Pointe: Balletcore Is Our New Favorite Style Trend

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In recent years, with short-form social media sites rapidly gaining popularity, the current trend cycle has a viciously short lifespan. Where we once were able to see fashion trends take ownership of an entire decade (this seems unfathomable now, no?) including the rise of spandex in the ’80s, chokers in the ’90s, and lowrise jeans and mini-skirts in the early 2000s, fashion trends are lucky if they last more than one season these days. Social apps and trending video topics have become the deciding factors for what is in style, and they also can crucially determine what is not.

Since 2020, when loud prints and chunky jewelry were selling out faster than brands could restock them, fashion views have shifted. As of late, a “less is more” approach to fashion is sweeping both the internet and the streets. Capsule wardrobe pieces are earning their time in the limelight and people are beginning to invest in quality garments that are versatile for either day-to-day wear or more elevated looks. However, while they are practical, capsule wardrobes can take the fun out of dressing with their neutral color tones and simplistic cuts. Adding small pops of color and feminine silhouettes can spark joy for the person wearing them — which is where “balletcore” comes in.

Inspired by ballerinas and their elegant demeanor, balletcore is a fashion trend that can be recognized by sweetheart necklines, a soft color palette, and silky textures. Basically, it's anything that makes you nostalgic to find your barre placement in a mirrored dance studio. As someone who tends to feel most comfortable in a rather simple collection of clothing, this movement caught my eye. I’ve been especially drawn to this tasteful trend, and to learn how to step into it myself, I’ve scoured the web for the DTC pieces that make me feel like a ballerina-off duty.

That’s a Wrap! | Credit: Pinterest

Dancer On-The-Go

Athleisure has earned perennial status in fashion due to its comfort and functionality. I mean, what’s better than an outfit that can take you from your couch to the gym, over to happy hour, and back to your couch once again? Borrowing from the effortless warm-up looks of dancers, balletcore can be easily cultivated through shopping your favorite active brands.

A wrap top is a must-have for bringing the studio to the streets. My favorite has to be the CloudKnit Longsleeve Wrap ($68) from DTC darling Outdoor Voices. The light and airy fabric holds up nicely in low-intensity workout classes, yet contours the body in a way that takes it from day to night. If you are feeling like a fraud of a ballerina without adding any pink into the mix, I’d suggest this cropped wrap top ($68) from Alo, available in Sugarplum Pink for a limited time. For more of an investment that will maintain its wearability through the years, Carbon38 offers a beautiful Cashmere Wrap Sweater (on sale for $228) sure to elevate any set.

To complete the look, style with a pair of ballet pink leggings (because, what else?) OV takes the cake there again with their SeamlessRib Leggings ($78) in Bubblegum. Alternates that I’ve been coveting are the Outdoor Split Hem Leggings ($68) from Skims — I’m obsessed with how the split runs down the back of the ankle — or for a more subtle option, these cozy cross-waist leggings ($99) from Beyond Yoga. I’d be remiss not to suggest adding leg warmers to the final look, especially while we’re still enduring colder weather.

Effortless elegance | Credit: Pinterest

In the Spotlight

If nostalgia serves me correctly, rehearsal is essential, but what everyone truly looks forward to is their dance recital. After months of practice, standard leotards are traded for intricate costumes meant to wow the audience. The idealistic ballerina that exists in my mind is outfitted in a tutu and has a poised, polished aura about her. If you’re inspired by this refined trope, it’s time to step into something elegant.

Starting with a drop waist dress, I love how this option from NBD ($248) mimics a full tutu with the pouf of gathered fabric. If temperatures are still too low for you to fully embrace a sleeveless moment, layer on the Mohair Bolero Cardigan ($395) by Marc Jacobs crafted in a graceful pale blue color. To tie everything together while maintaining the simplicity of the trend, Miu Miu’s Stain Ballerinas ($950) are the perfect shoe. If I’m not mistaken, these flats sparked the recent rise of balletcore on Tik Tok, and for good reason.

Elevé your closet | Credit: Pinterest

Ballerina Buns Not Required

Ballet is an intense practice; it's no wonder so few dancers stick with it past grade school. But you can indulge the softer side of the afterform with this whimsical new trend that's easy to incorporate. Sometimes all it takes is a pop of pink and some ribbon to tap into your feminine side of dressing - and balletcore is the perfect means to take you there.

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