How Did Balletcore Permeate The Mainstream?

Pink never goes out of style and the balletcore trend proves that. Yep, ballet is no longer just for those who practice the art, it’s become an everyday aesthetic for people of all genders, shapes, and sizes. The ultra-feminine fashion style that’s trending across our feeds and FYPs on social apps like Instagram and TikTok presents itself as an elevated version of athleisure. 

Featuring mainly ballet flats, ribbons, endless tulle, hair bows, and cardigans, the allure of balletcore trend is easy to understand, it is both effortlessly chic and simple to obtain. But, where did it come from? Why are we suddenly seeing people embracing the trend all over social media? When Teen Vogue asked fashion historian Rachel Weingarten how balletcore twirled its way into the mainstream, the answer was easy: it never really left.

But, unlike the actual costuming of ballet, there’s a lot more versatility to be explored with balletcore. Followers of the trend have ultimately made it their own, putting unique twists on how they present their style. Isabella, who says that she’s adored ballet aesthetics since she was young, likes to play with elements beyond just wrap tops and leg warmers. “I associate lace, organza, satin, silk, pointelle, ear muffs, corsets, bustiers, and silhouettes with volume [with balletcore],” she told Teen Vogue

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There’s a timeless appeal to balletcore that feels reminiscent of the Princess Diana effect in how decades later, we’re still co-opting her street style. Icons who have distinct styles, like Princess Di, tend to make their way into the fashion lexicon and we can see the effects of their influence for years to come.

“On many levels, the princess aesthetic never goes out of style; it just morphs and transitions with each generation in need of some everyday magic,” says Weingarten. “In more modern times. I think we can attribute Grace Kelly as the epitome of real-life princess style. An interesting contrast might also be the movie Flashdance. In the movie, Alex Owens worked as a welder while dreaming of attending ballet school. What’s interesting is the way the fashion of the film influenced [consumers] during [the ’80s]. Off-the-shoulder sweatshirts with cut-out collars were hugely popular, but so were see-through ballet skirts with wraps and leg warmers.”

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Unlike the ultra-regimented sport of ballet, balletcore allows room for interpretation. Orseund Iris and Reformation are just two of the many brands that have incorporated balletcore-inspired pieces in their offerings as of late, selling traditional ballet tulle skirts to soft silk wrap skirts. Even more notably, Rodarte’s Fall 2022 Collection was entirely an ode to ballet and balletcore, with stars like Jasmin Savoy Brown, Lili Reinhart, Lana Candor, and more dressed head-to-pointed toes in looks inspired by the dance genre.

The Linda Lindas for Rodarte’s FW22 campaign.Photography by Daria Kobayashi Ritch. Courtesy of Rodarte.
Laura Love for Rodarte’s FW22 campaign.Photography by Daria Kobayashi Ritch. Courtesy of Rodarte.

“If we want to get a bit political, some women feel that their bodies are continuing to be a battleground in sports and definition,” Weingarten says, referring to the uphill battle for body inclusivity in the fashion industry. “It seems very organic that women of all shapes and sizes are now comfortable showing off their forms and balletcore allows that. Balletcore is coy in its own way. It can be super professional for the office or worn as a sexy or playful look depending on your intention. What’s different right now is that there are many women who want to show off their form in all its glory. ”

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