Barn dancing has a long history dating back to the 1860’s, where traditional steps were danced to folk music, usually in a barn. nowadays, it’s just as popular, but more likely in a building! If you’ve never been to one before, you may be wondering what to wear to a barn dance?
We’ve got you covered, we’ll run through everything that you should expect and what to wear to your first barn dance.
In a nutshell, a barn dance is a social event which caters for all ages, the main focus is about having a good time and listening to some music! Don’t worry if you don’t think dancing is for you, at a barn dance it’s for everyone.
What to Wear to a Barn Dance?
Compared to other styles of dancing, a barn dance is considered quite casual. Comfort is key, so jeans and trainers will work if you’re on a budget.
If you’re wanting a more ‘classic’ barn dance look; we’ll walk you through some ideas.
We’re going to start by looking at barn dancing clothes for women followed by barn dancing clothes for men.
What to Wear to a Barn Dance - Ideas for Women
Women’s Barn Dance - look 1
This country look is perfect for a barn dance, it’s casual and comfortable.
Wearing a vest top will keep you cool while you’re line dancing away. You can always layer it up at first, maybe with a denim jacket which can be removed when you’re warm.
We suggest pairing this with a distressed pair of denim shorts.
We’ve paired the vest top with shorts, this is a great outfit for the summer months when the weather is hot and you need to stay cool.
These will look good at any length, so don’t worry about them having to be short, shorts! Wear whatever you’re comfortable dancing in.
Pair these with some boots (we’ll look at those at the end of the women’s section).
Women’s Barn Dance - look 2
Here we have more of a ‘classic’ barn dance outfit. Plaid is extremely popular and this particular shirt is available in 3 different colours.
We’re also giving another shirt option with this white cowboy themed shirt. It has embroidered roses for a classic edge.
Shirts are great for those wanting to cover up a little more, but these are fitted, so they have a feminine edge.
We’ve paired these with some jeans.
Jeans are great for a barn dance in the winter. Both these jeans have a country vibe when paired with a shirt, they’re also stretchy so you can move freely.
Black jeans would also work well, these particular pairs are available in black.
Women’s Barn Dance - look 3
For those of you looking for something really feminine, this outfit is perfect.
Florals are a staple for women at a barn dance, these two dresses are a perfect example.
Pair them with a plain bandana around your neck and a denim jacket to keep you warm.
And of course, some cute cowboy boots!
These are great additions to the feminine, country chic look. Try to buy a bandana that matches the rest of your outfit, avoid clashing colours.
That’s it for the barn dancing outfits for women, now let’s look at the best shoes for a barn dance.
What Shoes to Wear to a Barn Dance?
When dressing for a barn dance, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable. We’ll be taking you through classic barn dancing shoes, if that’s what you prefer. But some will be more comfortable in dance trainers or jazz shoes.
Ariat Women's Darlin Work Boot
These ankle boots by Ariat are great for your first barn dance.
They’re made from 100% leather and have a synthetic sole. They’re made with the comforts of modern design, with the elegance of vintage style.
The heel is 2.5 inches, which is a great height, you can feel confident when dancing.
These will look great with jeans, shorts or a dress.
Laredo Women's Spellbound Western Boot
If you’re looking for a higher boot with the same country-feel. These Western boots from Laredo are perfect shoes for a barn dance.
Compared with the previous shoes, these have a smaller heel of 1.5 inches and a square toe.
They’re also made with 100% leather and a synthetic sole. It’s also got amazing design, snakeskin underlay and studding.
You can wear these all day, as well as out to a barn dance in the evening.
SheSole Women's Cowboy Boots
Here are a great pair of boots if you’re on a budget. They’ll add the country feel to any barn dancing outfit, without breaking the bank!
These particular boots are made from a synthetic material with a rubber sole.
They come with a medium heel height of 1.8 inches.
We recommend wearing these boots with a pair of denim shorts, or a floral dress.
Roper Women's American Beauty Western Boot
We love these USA themed boots from Roper, they’re extremely cute and will match any of the outfits above.
They’re ankle height so will look great with shorts, skirts, jeans or dresses.
The heel height is medium at 1.25 inches, meaning you’ll be comfortable dancing for hours! The heel is also flexible to help with movements.
Another great feature of these boots is that they’re made from 100% leather, this makes them durable.
These are our number 1, in the list of best shoes for barn dancing.
What to Wear to a Barn Dance - Ideas for Men
For men at a barn dance it’s all about long sleeved shirts, a hat and a big belt! Lot’s of embroidering and lots of plaid.
We’ve found a couple of great country themed shirts that will give you an edge over everyone else.
Here are two great examples of what men should wear to a barn dance. The American flag is always a great start for a country-feel. The embroidered white shirt will look great with a big, shiny belt buckle.
Both of these shirts will make you look like you belong, but you can also go with a normal plaid shirt.
Pair any of these shirts and accessories with a neck bandana and a cowboy hat, and you’re sure to steal the show.
What Happens at a Barn Dance?
There’ll normally be a caller, someone who has the responsibility of getting people up to dance. He/ she will get them stood in the right place, either squares, circles or lines and facing each other.
History of the Barn Dance
A barn dance is basically any dance that occurs in a barn, it’s usually any line, square or round dance.
Originally barn dances were used to imitate ballroom dancing from wealthy landowners, but in time they were used to celebrate any holiday, birthday or wedding.
They’re known by different names such as, Ceili, HoeDown, Contra or Square Dance. We’ll talk in a bit more detail about this later.
Now that’s it for our list of ideas of what to wear to a barn dance. Hopefully you found something you liked, or at least got some inspiration!
Go out and enjoy yourself, because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.
We’ll leave you with another great tutorial for the Cowboy Boogie. Enjoy!
What Moves Will I Learn at a Barn Dance?
Moves such as right hand star, circle left, do-si-do will be called out by the caller as the music starts. So, you don’t have to worry about knowing the moves before you turn up to your first barn dance.
But if you would like to be ahead of the game, check out this tutorial with some basic moves you may need.