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"Ballet Class" Is Fashion's Latest Obsession: 7 Things That Define the Aesthetic

There's nothing the fashion crowd loves more than getting behind a rather specific aesthetic. Whether it's adopting kitschy 2000's-era kidcore or cosplaying as a country club-attending tennis star, fashion people love participating in a bit of sartorial role play. Look, I don't make the rules. As I mentioned, the tennis courts were a huge theme we noticed all over Instagram last year, but recently we've been seeing a new fashion aesthetic spring up, and, yes, it's all about embodying your inner ballerina.

Even though my own ballet career fatefully ended at the age of five, there's nothing stopping me from styling all the ballet-inspired fashion items that are currently having a moment, right? But let's go more granular. Which pieces exactly am I seeing bubble up? The ballet class getup encompasses everything from pretty tie-up tops to trendy leggings worn sans pants and even a certain hair accessory you can snag at the drugstore. If you're ready to dive in, continue on to discover each of the seven items that I think are defining this on-the-rise aesthetic, and then shop the pieces that, dare I say, are on pointe.

The lace-up trend is one that we saw bubble up several months ago and while it comes in many forms from pants and skirts to dresses, the wraparound tops specifically feel like they were plucked right out of a ballerina's wardrobe, especially since many of them come in soft pastels and light-pink shades evocative of ballet slippers.

Wearing leggings as pants is certainly not a new phenomenon for fashion folk, but as I began seeing more ballet motifs surface, this is one I just can't ignore because it seems so very ballet-esque. Can't you imagine someone wearing a trendy stirrup or split-hem pair with the above wraparound tops to do some pliés and relevés?

Are you also seeing these stretchy cotton headbands everywhere, or are you normal? For all the fuss about designer hair accessories, there's something refreshing about reaching for a simple drugstore-friendly headband to achieve this look.

Shrugs, boleros, arm warmers—call them what you will, but they're here and they're happening. We first called attention to this knit trend all the way back in October and, well, we told you so. Now, these sleeves are everywhere we look, and I think you'll agree with me that they fit neatly into this overall ballet aesthetic.

How could we discuss ballet-inspired fashion without a mention to the O.G. of this movement, humble ballet flats? As I'm sure you've noticed, traditional ballet flats have died down but taking their place is a new wave of styles that feels altogether fresher with exaggerated square toes, oversize bows, and pretty pastel colors.

Every ballerina needs a good ballet skirt, right? Well, in 2021, it's all about this swishy shape. An insider-favorite, Orseund Iris designed a beautiful satin version that comes in the mini length that fashion girls are already taken with, as pictured above, and more recently an elegant floor-length take seen below.

Maybe it's just me but I'm definitely getting some ballerina vibes from these ultra-cropped workout tops. I think it's because they have the same feel as the shrugs I mentioned above—basically glorified arm warmers—and the square-ish and scoop necklines on them have an elegant appeal to them that's often hard to come by in activewear. I'd style one with a ballerina skirt and kitten heels to dress it up or simply wear with leggings for some low-impact movement.

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