What is Balletcore? Everything to Know About Ballet-Inspired Fashion

Fab Sakker
by Fab Sakker

In this style guide, we are talking all about balletcore. Ballet has had quite a long entanglement with fashion.

As you know, fashion is quite cyclical, and in the past few years, we’ve been seeing a lot of tulle, such as Selkie dresses and the infamous Strawberry Dress. In 2022, we will be seeing ballet creep back into fashion even more.

I am going to take you through the main elements of balletcore and how you can incorporate this aesthetic into your looks. Plus, I have put together a few balletcore-inspired outfits for you.

Dior Spring/Summer 2019 ballet-inspired fashion

Dior and balletcore

The designer house Dior, in particular, has always had ballet-inspired looks. Back in 1947, they popularized the New Look silhouette, which became an incredibly popular silhouette going into the 1950s.

In more recent times, their 2019 Spring/Summer runway show had actual ballet dancers on the runway.

What is the balletcore aesthetic?

What is balletcore?

To me, balletcore is all about being elegant, refined, and poised, but it also has this quite theatrical and whimsical quality. I have identified three balletcore vibes:

Ballet-inspired fashion

1. Classic ballet girl

First off, we have the classic ballet girl look - the ballerina (or ballerino, for a male).

Often when we think of the classic ballet girl look, we’re actually thinking of what a ballerina would wear in rehearsal. So, a leotard, tights, little ballet slippers, or the pointe shoes, and then I also think of those little sheer chiffon wrap skirts as well.

Off-duty ballerina outfits

2. Off-duty ballerina

The next vibe is what I’m calling off-duty ballerina, so maybe she’s just left the rehearsal studio, or maybe she’s just arriving, and she’s warming up.

This is where we’re seeing a lot of the knit wrap cardigans over a leotard or those shrug knits. We’re also seeing a lot of leggings, track pants, and legwarmers.

I don’t know if legwarmers will make a comeback in 2022 but never say never!

Balletcore fashion principles

3. Theatrical

The third balletcore vibe is theatrical performancewear. This is where we see a lot of bejeweled embellishments, feathers, and tiaras. 

Ballet-inspired fashion: tiaras and tutus

Again, like the legwarmers, I don’t know if we’ll see people wearing actual tiaras. I think it will be more like headbands with jewels on them and barrettes, and maybe some pearls.

Then we have the tulle skirts inspired by tutus that ballerinas wear on stage. We’ve been seeing quite a lot of tulle these past few years anyway, but I think we’re going to start seeing tutu skirts, like those by Chicwish.

The balletcore color palette

An easy way to incorporate balletcore into your look is, of course, by wearing ballet pink.

This is a very particular nude pink color that has sort of become a color of its own that represents ballet. It also represents femininity and pretty things.

Other colors that are very balletcore are light blues, lilacs, silvery grays, and beiges. I incorporated ballet pink into all three of the outfits that I put together. 

The ballet bun hairstyle

Balletcore hairstyles

For hair, I think that the ballet bun is very appropriate. When ballet dancers are performing or in rehearsals, they just want their hair off of their faces.

Ballet flats with ribbon ties

Ballet flats

Another balletcore icon is the ballet flats. Love them or hate them; apparently, they will be coming back this year. Personally, I feel like they never left!

I think we will see ballet flats with ribbons, like the pointe shoes that tie up the leg. 

Bewjelled ballet flats

Also, maybe bejeweled ballet flats. 

Grungy twist on the classic ballet flat

I think that we will see a lot of fun twists on the ballet flats, for example, these MiuMiu ballet flats that have leather straps. This kind of gives an edge to the balletcore look; it’s like bad ballerina!

The "bad ballerina" aesthetic

I have been seeing that sort of bad ballerina look of like maybe a pink tulle skirt, but then they’ve got a black leather jacket on. She’s ballet, but she can also whip your butt kind of thing.

Balletcore outfits

Let me show you some ballet-inspired outfits that I put together.

Pink ballet aesthetic outfit

1. Ballet pink

First off, I’m going for that rehearsal look. I’ve had this little top in my wardrobe for a long time, and I’ve always found it quite hard to style, but now with balletcore coming in, it is actually the perfect top.

It’s that stretchy dancewear material, and it’s a perfect color. A bodysuit would also work well with this look.

Then, I put on this ballet pink skirt; this is my version of the little rehearsal skirts. It feels very dancer-like because it’s a flowy fabric that looks good with movement.

Finally, I popped on my pumps with a baby heel to complete the look.

Ballet athleisure outfits

2. Off-duty dancer

The next look that I put together was inspired by that off-duty ballerina aesthetic. I’m wearing a little tank top that looks like a leotard when I put it under the knit-wrap cardigan.

To elevate the look, I put on my tailored black shorts. If you did really want to lean into the athleisure style, you could put on some track pants or some leggings and sneakers.

Floaty dress with balletcore colors

3. Balletcore colors

For the last outfit, I styled this Alice McCall dress, which has got sort of 60s vibes with the cut of it, but then it's also very balletcore with the silvery blue and lilac shades.

How to style balletcore outfits

To really bring in the balletcore element, I put on a wrap knit cardigan with the little side bow - of course, in ballet pink. To accessorize the look, I popped on a pink headband and a pearl necklace.

Balletcore style guide

I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning all about balletcore! Now you can draw inspiration from this fashion style and incorporate it into your looks.

Let me know your favorite element of the balletcore aesthetic in the comments below!

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