The weather here turned hot the last couple of weeks, so I've been looking to find some cooler dance gear. My first stops took me to sporting goods and athletic apparel stores near home, where I found everything emblazoned with wild colors and bold logos. They'd be great if I was going bicycling or working out at the gym, but not really appropriate for a dance studio where I don't want my clothing to be a distraction.
My next stop was a well-stocked store near the studio. After explaining what I wanted, the clerk pulled out one or two items for me to look at, then went in search of the store's owner for more ideas. One of the items was footless tights by Eurotard; I liked the texture of these better than the M. Stevens Milliskin tights I've been wearing, but I was looking for something shorter.
Now, as you might note from the photo to the left, these are more-or-less made for women. But, as the clerk remarked upon her return, "there just isn't that much dancewear made for men these days." You noticed that too, eh?
So why not? I handed over my card (credit, not guy) and prayed to the FSM that these would be cooler than my tights.
Tuesday evening was my first opportunity to try them in class, and I wore them again Wednesday evening. They're comfortable and do seem cooler than the tights. I bought a size Large, and the waist comes up where I'd want it to and the bottom of the legs come to just below my knees. If I kneel on one knee to stretch, they stay in place over my kneecap without bunching up behind the knee, but they're not baggy over the knee when standing. The only thing that suggests that they're cut for a woman rather than a man is that they appear to be cut to lay a bit flatter in the front of the crotch, which sometimes shows up as a couple of odd wrinkles. These might even go away as the spandex stretches a bit over time. So I'm pretty happy with them.
Do I get any odd looks? You know, I have no idea. It's not exactly a typically male style, but neither are tights. There's a certain segment of the class that acts as if a man, a straight man, no less, in their ballet class is an invasion of their women-only space. They might object, but I've learned to completely shut them out and don't even notice them anymore. Fortunately that segment is small, especially once they realize that I'm there to learn ballet and not to gawk. I've been at this studio long enough now that I'm getting to know people, and they greet me with smiles. Even if there's a glare off my pasty-white shins.
Edited to add:
I've been wearing these almost exclusively for the last couple of months. They feel cooler than the tights, and are a lot faster to put on when I'm in a hurry. However, they are more prone to picking up a musty odor than any of my other dance gear. I'm guessing that's because they're thicker, and therefore dry more slowly. Check out The Return of the Musty Odor for all the details!