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Tutu Dresses – Buying Guide for Cross Dressers

Updated on April 4, 2011

Ballet outfits are a fantastic way to have fun cross dressing. And tutu dresses or tutu skirts are the most important part in ballerina outfits. It used to be very hard for a man to get hold of tutu dresses because there were only few small ballet shops in larger cities. But these days there are online stores so shopping for ballet outfits with real ballerina tutus is much more open to men.

I want to give you some basic information on buying tutu skirts in particular because they are a very special and beautiful kind of skirt. I’ll tell you about the different types of ballet tutus and how you might go about ordering them online or even buying tutu dresses in a ballet shop.

Photo by northbaywanderer at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33802167@N00/184324894
Photo by northbaywanderer at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33802167@N00/184324894

What are Tutu Skirts?

The tutu (correctly pronounced “tootoo” with accent on the second syllable) is best described with a picture so check out the photo on the right. There are two main categories of tutu skirts named after the dance styles they’re normally used in:

  1. Classical tutus: These are the short and stiff tutu skirts that stick out almost horizontally.
  2. Romantic tutus: They are usually longer and hang down more. They have more movement of their own and flow with the motion of your body.

In ballet class, you usually don’t wear tutu dresses. You normally just wear tights and a leotard. For class, you have what we call practice tutus. They are not for performances and so they look quite plain. Also they are usually just the skirt by itself while the tutu dresses for performance are basically dresses with the tutu skirt securely attached to the bodice. Practice tutus are literally just for practice. Sometimes you can buy them attached to the leotard, sometimes they come on their own.

In ballet, even men wear tights and leotards. This is normal and, even though non dancing folks like to make fun of that, in the ballet community, men wearing tights is not only acceptable but essential. Interested in taking a ballet class? Then check out my article on ballet for crossdressers.

But men wearing tutu skirts are not very common certainly not in class. In some performances, tutu dresses will be worn by men who are playing the part of a woman. Take for example Cinderella where it is traditional for men to play the part of the three ugly sisters (Go and watch it when you get a chance - even if only for the music).

Tutu Skirts for Men

They exist too! Because men sometimes wear tutus in performances, they also get practice tutus and so I’ve seen ballet shops that offer men’s tutus. They’re not that feminine really and I wouldn't call them beautiful. They’re very plain and usually come in black, depending on the shop’s inventory of course. And of course you can get men’s tutus in larger sizes. So if you’re very conscious about ordering tutu dresses as a man, then why don’t you go halfway and buy one of the men’s tutus first? Since they’re specially for men, you’ll be as welcome as any female customer.

Where to Buy Tutu Skirts

There are a several types of shops you could go to, each with their own advantages:

  1. Cross dressing stores: They sometimes have a ballerina costume in men’s sizes but because they’re not specializing in ballet outfits, the selection is usually very small.
  2. Normal Ballet Shops: Here you’ll be able to get the tutu dresses to fit perfectly tailored to your body. Though cross dressing isn’t so unheard of in the dance world, these shop keepers can be quite snooty. You could get lucky though. Still, it might be hard to find adult men’s size dresses. But I'd still recommend you to find a ballet shop and take a peek to test the atmosphere and look at their selection of tutu skirts.
  3. Online Ballet Shops: Internet shops have an enormous selection of beautiful tutu dresses. In fact, most if not all make custom tutus for you. You’ll decide exactly how you want it to look, how it’ll be decorated and, more importantly the size. The other great thing about custom tutus is that you can choose to add as many layers to the skirt as you want. Especially with romantic tutus, lots of layers can be beautiful and stunning. Now don't go pretending that doesn't excite you boys. Of course, custom tutus can be very expensive so be ready to pay a higher price for them. The only problem with online retailers might be that you’ll have a hard time getting the perfect size. You could still get somebody local to alter the dress for you though. Oh, and they deal with many customers world wide, so you’ll surely not be their first cross dresser. Professional ballet shops also have the advantage that the costumes will be made to handle a lot of physical stress so they'll last long.
  4. Some theaters or dance companies also sell used costumes at auctions. Dance companies are always in need of money many costumes are only made for one production and then get left in some storage for ever. So this way you can get all kinds of ballerina outfits, tutu dresses and even wigs and masks for a very low price. Plus, you'll be supporting the dance company!

Buying Tutu Dresses

I know you’re probably dreaming of one of those gorgeous Swan Lake ballerina tutus. But the sizes are a little problematic when ordering online or from a ballet shop. But that depends on what you’re buying. If you’re just buying a practice tutu it won’t be hard to get one that fits as they’re usually one size anyway (unless it’s a leotard with the tutu skirt attached). Also the practice tutu skirts are far lower priced than the full tutu dresses. So if this is your first time shopping for ballet outfits, a practice tutu might be the safest and least expensive way to start. Though they're never as beautiful as the full ballerina costume.

Buying the full tutu dresses is a challenge, but do not fret, because it's also a huge challenge for female dancers to get right. Because dancers have to perform like athletes, fitting a ballerina costume and especially the shoes is always an adventure in itself. So welcome to the real world of women’s clothes shopping! The last thing you want is to spend lots of time and money on a high priced ballet outfit that doesn’t fit. So better get to know your dress size exactly and make sure you understand the size charts of the shops you’re ordering from because they can vary across stores and countries.

So go and find your beautiful ballet outfit. I’m sure you’ll love being a pretty ballerina.

Poll

What's your favorite kind of tutu?

See results

Comments

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    • profile image

      slangteacher 

      5 years ago

      Hi, have currently have teen tutu skirts with adjustable waists from 22" - 26" and 13.5 " in length. I have 12 styles to choose from. I will also be adding adult sizes next week that will be adjustable from 21"-41" and 15" in length. http://tutulootus.com/collections/teen-tutus

    • profile image

      balletboy 

      5 years ago

      try the bloch belle tutu R2921 i have a 36" waste and the m/l fits great!

    • FashionFame profile image

      FashionFame 

      8 years ago from California

      I am a big fan of tutu skirts. Looking out for more ideas. Joining your fan club to stay connected and would like to invite you too.

    • Lucy83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy83 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Steve.

      Ah so ebay won't let you.

      I'll be moving most of these articles to another website soon btw.

    • profile image

      Steve 

      8 years ago

      Okay Thanks Lucy! i really enjoy all of your articles w/ stuff like this!

      i don't think i'll be able to buy anything on ebay tho cuz im still only 14...

    • Lucy83 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucy83 

      8 years ago

      Hi Steve.

      There are several ways you could go about it.

      1) Find a dance shop that sells tutus. Shopkeepers should be ok with crossdressers and you wouldn't be the first male who wears tutus. Professional dancers often do. I understand you might be very shy about it but there's really nothing to it.

      2) Try ebay.

      3) Find a friend (male or female) who you can trust to tell about your crossdressing then she/he can help you buy things.

      4) Go to a crossdressing party or something like that and meet others like you who will surely want to help you buy a beautiful tutu.

      That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

      Good luck.

    • profile image

      Steve 

      8 years ago

      im 14, completely straight and i like to wear tutus. one time i said i lost a bet (which i didn't) and a girl gave me a tutu to wear which i kept for a 2 weeks. i wish i still had it. i do not want to tell any friends or family that i like too crossdress. i wuz wondering how i could buy or get a tutu without any1 really knowing. i hav thought about just asking a girl for and old one that she didn't need anymore but i don't want it to be weird...

      do u hav any ideas on how to get one?

      and i forgot to say thanks a lot! at first i didn't know how many articles u wrote but now ive read a bunch of them.

      thanks!!

    • profile image

      Jen 

      8 years ago

      I have just ordered online a classical "Pancake" type tutu. I am a bit worried it might be to large in the waist, as I have just lost some weight. But I will gain it back and I feel it will fit fine. It is pink and is attached to a pink panty. I have also ordered the pink leotard that goes with it. I can't wasit for my tutu to arrive. This will be my first more professional tutu. I have had several practice and play tutus that I loved. But I am upgrading to the more profesional looking one this time.

      All Tutus Should Be Pink! This is a cute children's book, but it's true! All tutus should be pink!

      Will post again when my new tutu and leotard arrives!

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