This post was written by Lindy Shopper.
After a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of finals at Twin Cities Balboa Festival, the undergarments Lindy Shopper wears dancing have taken on new importance; thus, a post was necessary. These are some of the least talked about clothing items, probably because we don’t normally see the undergarments and generally people compliment or comment on what they see. I like to pick out undergarments with a specific function in mind, but I find myself constantly seeking better function for dancing. I would love to hear what works and what doesn’t work for you and invite commentary on this blog, as I am still seeking the perfect bra and pair of underwear for dancing. Gents, feel free to chime in on your choices as well…I can only imagine.
A swing dancer’s underwear should stay put, provide full coverage for your bum, and generally not inhibit dancing. I see a lot of women with biker shorts under their skirts, which provide maximum coverage of bum and upper leg. I do not subscribe to the wearing of biker shorts, so I can’t comment on what products may work best for this, but I would caution against getting something that may be too tight or too supportive, for fear that the shorts will cause a ripple effect (which I have witnessed on the dance floor).
Another full coverage option is to wear a slip, which I discussed at length in an earlier blog post.
I sometimes wear cheerleading bloomers, which are made for jumping around, tumbling, and dancing, so the function translated well from sport to dance. I’m a big fan of Varsity’s products and their bloomers are comfortable, immovable, and indestructible (I’ve had mine since the 7th grade). They also come in a lot of fun colors, but be careful if you order white, because the only underwear color that won’t show through is tan/nude.
My newest favorite option, as of late, is a thicker cotton, wedgie-resistant version of the granny panty – full coverage underwear almost up to your navel. I got this idea after looking at the shape of bloomers, which are essentially the same as granny panties, only with bloomers you have two layers – your regular, less coverage undies and the bloomers. I thought, why not eliminate the middle man? Unless I’m doing aerials, I don’t necessarily need the iron-clad security of bloomers. Granny panties provide the same amount of coverage as bloomers without having an extra layer of polyester fabric; thus, they are more breathable and comfortable.
The search was on and I stumbled upon Hanes’ Low Rise Modern Brief with Comfort Waistband , with a “No Ride Up” money back comfort guarantee, in my local Target. While labeled as low rise, they looked pretty high rise to me. When I got them home and held them up they looked intimidatingly large. I had to laugh at myself when I first put them on to wear to a dance because they were so different from the norm. They were big, but they were also very comfy. I didn’t even notice them during the dance and I think that’s the point – it’s good to wear something you don’t have to worry about under your dress.
I am at a loss for what to recommend for a bra. Dancers need the support of a really durable sports bra, but often wear clothes that don’t work with the kind of full coverage that a sports bra provides. I am left looking for a bra that can still be worn with a V-neck dress that can keep the girls locked and loaded.
My malfunction at TCBF incited discussion about other malfunctions and both Sylvia Sykes and Nick Williams agreed that, for the guys, it’s always a good idea to match your underwear to your pants color. Your pants may still fit and not be too tight, but still rip at the seams if a particular dance move puts too much strain on the pants. If your underwear matches your pants, people may not even notice the rip, even if it’s a rather large rip.