How to Dress For Swing Dancing (With Pictures)

Swing dancing is energetic, social and fun and your clothes should reflect this. They shouldn’t restrict your movements in any way. But, if you’re new to swing dancing or fancy a change from your gym kit, it’s hard to know where to start. In this article we’ll be reviewing the best clothes for swing dancing.

Now, in this review we’re going to be focussing on the ‘dressed up’ style of outfit. If you’re just wanting to know what to wear to your first lesson, but not wanting to dress up; try comfortable gym kits.

Stretchy leggings or shorts, sports bras and a loose fitting top so you can move your arms.

But if you’re looking to get into the 1920’s-1950’s style that swing dancing became known, take a look through our review.

Hopefully you’ll find something that you like, or get some ideas.

In this reviews we’re simply going to be looking at the best clothes for swing dancing, if you’re interested in which shoes you should wear swing dancing check this article out.

Best Swing Dancing Clothes for Women

The best way to look and feel great whilst swing dancing is to get into the historical spirit of the dance. There are a few options for this, so you can pick a style that suits you and is comfortable.

For a 1920’s – 1930’s inspired look, give short fringing a go, with a beaded cap. Some people love to dance in this charleston style, its comfortable and looks great.

We’re going to be focussing our women’s swing dancing clothes in the 1940’s and 1950’s as this gives that classic ‘vintage’ feel and is perfect for lindy Hoppers.

Swing Dancing Style From the 1940s

The style in the 1940s includes everything from dresses, skirts, shorts and trousers. There is plenty of choice from this era, most of which is perfect for swing dancing. However, some styles such as tight fitted blouses with fitted skirts can be a difficult style to wear practicing, especially as a beginner. Here, we’ll look through the best swing dancing clothes available.

The best skirts form this era to wear whilst practicing swing, are A-line skirts that sit right below the knee. This covers your modesty and gives you the ability to move about the dance floor without restriction.

Dani’s Choice A-line Flared Midi Skirt

best clothes for swing dancing

This particular example of a 1940’s swing dancing skirt comes in a range of colours to suit your style and to match a top you may already own.

It’s made from 75% cotton and 25% polyester which is a great blend for a  firm but soft feel.

This skirt has a stretchy waistband so you won’t feel restricted and it gives an amazing silhouette.

This particular skirt is made from a thicker material than some may want when dancing, this means it holds it’s A-line shape. Some prefer a thinner, floatier material when dancing as you can get warm after a long dance session.

  • Machine washable
  • Lots of choice of colour
  • True to size
  • No tumble dry
  • Thick material, some may find too hot when dancing

Hell Bunny Alex Top

swing dance top

Pairing a skirt with this type of top is great for a night of swing dancing. The stretchy material provides comfort during a long dance class, whilst also keeping you cool.

It’ll tuck nicely into your skirt and match the 1940s style. 

Try mix matching colours depending on what you prefer, as they’re both available in plenty of different shades.

  • Will keep you cool
  • Lots of choice of colour
  • Off the shoulder tops can be difficult for dancing

ZAFUL Evening Button Vintage Top

If you’re looking for something a bit more elegant, try a button down blouse like this from Zaful.

This blouse is so flattering, with capped sleeves and a pinched waits. It’s made from Polyester and Spandex so there is a bit of stretch.

  • Elegant appearance
  • Flattering
  • Not a breathable material

Best Swing Dancing Dresses From the 1940s

The best dresses for swing dancing from the 1940s are A-line, stretchy dresses that float around your knees. Personally, I will always choose a dress, over a top and skirt combination. Purely because it saves time and is easier to put on rather than finding a matching combination.

Arhyyie Women's 1940s Vintage Dress

swing dancing dress

This vintage style dress is perfect for bring the glamour to swing dancing.

It’s loose around the knees so doesn’t restrict your dancing, and fitted at the top to flatter any size or shape.

This particular dress comes in plenty of patterns and styles to suit your style. The material is stretchy and comfortable, perfect for a swing dancing event.

Pair this dress with a nice pair of T-bar heels, for added glamour. 

  • Perfect for shows or performances
  • Plenty of choice of style and patterns
  • Colour can appear different from the photo

EZ-Sofei Vintage Women’s Dress

The keyhole, bowtie style of this dress is perfect for an elegant look at a swing dancing performance. It’s available in a variety of colours including, blue, green, black and red.

The short sleeves and pleated material makes it perfect for moving freely with your partner.

We love this dress because it’s not only great for dance class, it’s perfect as a cocktail dress.

  • Great size choice, with information to help you find the right size for you
  • Affordable
  • Not the best quality fabric, but fine for dancing

Swing Dancing Style From the 1950s

The style in the 1950s meant bigger skirts and tighter tops, this is because the style of swing differed slightly. This is a really popular vintage style off dress, for swing dancing, whether you’re practicing or performing.

GRACE KARIN Swing Dress with Sash

swing clothes

If you’re looking for a dress to twirl in, this 1950s style dress with a halter neck and V-neckline, is perfect for you. It’s available in plenty of colours and designs, so you can choose a style that you prefer.

They’re made from quality fabric with either a white or black sash around the waist, this gives excellent support. 

This dress really gives a great swing dancing feel, especially when worn with a petticoat.

  • Very comfortable when dancing
  • Well fitting
  • Looks great with/ without petticoat
  • Use the measuring chart to find the right size

MUXXN 1950s Vintage Swing Dress

swing dancing dress

Here is another great example of a 1950s inspired swing dancing dress, this will really make you stand out from the rest.

It’s available in loads of different colours including purple, red, yellow and more. The great thing about this dress is that it’s a simple design, made from quality materials.

The material is a mixture of Rayon, Cotton and Spandex so there is some stretch in the fabric, making it perfect for dancing.

With these types of dresses you can wear them with or without a petticoat, depending on your style.

  • Well made
  • True to size, fits amazingly
  • Flattering
  • Some find it too long

BI.TENCON Swinging Skirt

swing dance skirt

This is a beautiful skirt which will finish off any great swing dancing outfit. 

This particular style is affordable and comes in so many different patterns.

It’s really light as the material is cotton and spandex , so it really is the perfect swing dancing skirt.

GRACE KARIN Petticoat Underskirt

swing dancing class

This underskirt is made from Spandex and Viole and will give a 1950s vibe to any swing dancing dress. This skirt should be hand washed and dried for best results.

  • Great Quality
  • Will work with other dresses
  • Easily removed
  • Can be itchy if worn for a long term

Best Swing Dancing Clothes for Men

There are two main factors to assess when looking at mens swing dancing outfits. Firstly they need to be somewhat breathable, as you’re moving around and generating heat.

Secondly, you need to be able to move around freely without restrictions.

Some swing dancing outfits for men can be really restrictive and extremely hot, this is because at the time, people wore full dress suits including suits, vests and hats, which nowadays seems unnecessary.

But, there are still options for you.

Rockability Fashions Bowling Shirt

mens swing dancing outfit

This cotton shirt will look great with your dance pants and will suit any colour, cream, brown or black!

It’s made from 100% Cotton and is button down with an open collar. As an added bonus, there are pleats on the shoulder blades to give you more movement as you dance.

With these sorts of shirts, we recommend wearing a white vest top underneath. Not only does this make you look the part, it absorbs any sweat and keeps you drier for longer.

  • Cotton is great for breathability
  • Available in a wide range of sizes to fit all shapes
  • Only one colour choice available in this style

Nautica Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

This is another example of a great swing dancing shirt for men and you may even have one hanging in your wardrobe.

This shirt is also mostly Cotton with a bit of Elastane for added stretch, this makes it perfect for practicing swing dancing.

Pair this with any dance pants that you own, maybe a pair of suspenders and you’ll be rocking!

  • Amazing stretch makes this great for swing dancing
  • Breathable
  • Machine washable
  • Can come up a bit large

HAGGER Pleat Front Pant

Now, to finish off the best swing dancing outfit for men, add some pleated trousers. 

For swing dancing it is all about the wide leg, high waist and a crisp pleat. 

Tuck you vintage shirt into these trousers and put on your best dance shoes, you’re ready to go. 

If you want to look really vintage, try an even wide leg! These are wide enough to dance though. 

  • Spandex in material makes adds some stretch
  • Hidden expandable waistband
  • Machine washable, no-iron!
  • You may want a wider leg

That’s it for our list of best clothes for swing dancing, hopefully you got some good ideas. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the video above which goes through exactly what 1950s fashion was like.

Remember to leave us a comment if you have any additions, we love to hear from you!

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