Several things are important when it's time to buy dance clothing. The most obvious is size. Dance clothing is sold in fabrics with lots of "give" in them. But, it's still important to know the size range that allows for maximum freedom of movement. Today's line of dance clothing is broad, colorful and durable for those long hours in class or rehearsal.
However, it's important to remember that dance clothing does have to fit the needs of the type of dance the wearer will be engaged in. For instance, ballet instructors still prefer leotards and tights, pink tights, in particular, so that the instructor can more fully view the legs while the dancer is performing. This is a safety feature as well. Pink tights help the instructor to ensure that the proper muscles and muscle control is used for execution of certain dance movements. Leotards for ballet are generally a type of tank suit with or without sleeves. Tights are simply dancers' pantyhose. Leg warmers are also an important part of the ballet clothing ensemble.
Gymnasts also wear leotards; although, tights are rarely required. Keep the muscles warm with leg warmers and the shoulders can be kept warm with a short bolero-style wrap.
For jazz, modern, hip-hop and other free-style dance instruction, there are full lines of dance clothing from one-piece unitards, to two-piece with a top and pants. The current pants style for these types of dance forms is a hip-hugger design. These styles of dance merely need fabrics with lots of flexibility. Most dance clothing is made from lycra and lycra spandex fabrics. They are wash and wear and require little maintenance. Most are color fast as well.
For country-western dancing, the style of clothing is usually dresses, skirts and blouses with large layers of colorful puffy petticoats beneath for the ladies, and a western shirt and denim jeans for the men. Top off with a bow for the ladies or stetson for the men and the country-western dance ensemble is complete.
To buy dance clothing for young children, keep in mind their growth patterns. It's a good idea to check with the dance instructor when it's time to buy dance clothing for young children. Each school has a different idea with regard to dance wear policies. Generally, a leotard and tights is sufficient. Some parents like to add a fluffy pink or white tutu, a kind of short tulle skirt that fits easily over the leotard.