Latin Shirt style for Newcomer

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by flightco, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    looking for advice on Latin style shirts. Windy City Open will be my first competition, I will be dancing Newcomer and Pre-bronze, Rhythm only. As I am looking at Latin shirts I am seeing everything from 40.00 shirts from China on ebay up to 300.00 shirts from well known companies. Can anyone offer advice in the purchasing decision, how much should I spend, names of companies you have used that you had a good experience with.



    Second is the type of shirt. I have seen younger dancers wearing see thru shirts, shirts open to the waist line, etc. I thought the look was great but I don't think anyone wants to see me in one of those shirts. I am 60 and if I could lose 15 pounds I would not have any belly rolls, but I haven't lost the 15 pounds and I am looking for advice as to what type of shirt would look best, I certainly would not want a shirt too tight around the waist.



    I probably should have asked the question sooner but didn't think it would be a hard decision until I started looking. Any advice you may have to help me look "Latin Sexy" without looking foolish would be greatly appreciated. I know "Latin Sexy" is as much in the mind as in the look (unless you are Ricky Martin) I just really want to find what would look best for my age and body type.
  2. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I like the look of either a slim fitting basic black mock or turtleneck style, or a slim cut plain black shirt buttoned respectably high for newcomers, beginners, and those who are a little older. Not baggy is important for these styles... but it doesn't have to be skin tight.

    They're not flashy options, but they don't stand out in a bad way either - and comfort with your costume matters!
  3. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    or a slim cut plain black shirt buttoned respectably high for newcomers...

    Would this be a black dress shirt or a buttoned Latin Style? I am close enough to the weight I want to be that I could get away with a slim fit as long as it is not skin tight, that would not look good.
  4. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I've usually seen a buttoned latin shirt, the bonuses being they're designed not to rise up when you raise your arms, and are often in a fabric with a bit of stretch (and even wicking properties, if you're lucky).

    I think, for your first competition, you could likely get by with just a regular shirt, as long as you're sure it won't move around/come untucked/restrict your movement. That said, I'm not a guy, so perhaps someone with experience in trying this option will weigh in. I'm just going off of looks, not function!

    Just occurred to me that I've also seen a tunic-like latin top style that may also work, but in my experience while it offers coverage it also tends to highlight a midsection, which you mentioned you're a bit concerned about. I think something with a defined waist would be better - no risk of it making you look larger than you actually are!
  5. Sania

    Sania Active Member

    You might take a quick pass through both a store that sells workout clothes and your local men's department before resorting to online shopping. If your arms are reasonably toned and if you are going to tan, a black short sleeved (or even long-sleeved) "compression shirt" might look great as long as it is not too tight fitting - and would cost in the $30 to $40 dollar range

    I also like the slim cut buttoned option mentioned above as long as you can move in it

    There will also probably be vendors at the comp where you can look for your _next_ shirt
    Miss Silly and danceronice like this.
  6. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    I do not like short-sleeved shirts on guys for Latin, or rolled-up sleeves for that matter.
  7. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    I feel the same way; I am leaning towards a long sleeved, non see thru, button Latin dance shirt with a material that is stretchy, that will fit loosely but not baggy around the waste line.

    Can some of the men on here let me know where they have been happy shopping. I will spend the 200.00+ if you feel it is worth it but don't want to if not necessary.

    Thanks all...
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my pro wore a basic black, non-dance turtle neck for I don't even know how long....and I will say tis, nothing looks more ridiculous that an over done newb(except maybe a sloppy entirely under done one :))...so yea, go subdued...and only spend the money if you have it...simple, tasteful, one dash more conservative than you need to be
  9. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    I agree 100% and that is what I intend to do. However, and somewhat tongue-in-cheek, is there some sexism in play here? The newbie male should be subdued but the females? One of the reasons some of the ladies I know ballroom dance is because they love the feeling of being all dressed up with stones and great looking dresses. I have seen this with the newcomer dancers just as much as with Bronze, Silver and Gold dancers. The only two comps I have attended were from a Franchise Studio, and maybe that is just the way they do it.

    Regardless, I am conservative in my dress and would be much more comfortable looking nice but not saying (with my clothes), hey look at me... Black turtle neck it is.
  10. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I personally MUCH prefer a black button down to a turtle neck. Unless you've got the physique for it, I don't think many people can pull off the underarmour/stretch shirt look.
  11. Miss Silly

    Miss Silly Active Member

    This is what we did. Found an Under Armour shirt at a sports store (long sleeve). We used rubbing alcohol to get the label off. I've seen may leads do something similar with say, a Nike shirt, and use a perma marker to colour out the label, especially at the newcomer/bronze levels.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I can only speak for myself when I say that I think someone doing their first comp ought to opt with not being overdone and that is irrespective of gender...then again, I prefer a simple aesthetic at every level in either gender
  13. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've been an advocate of the underarmor look myself, but eventually came the same conclusion you have. (Specifically in my case, "Ok, I'm skinny enough that I don't actively look bad in this, but I'm simply not muscular enough to actually look good." But the principle applies in general.)

    For my last comp, I actually went with a white shirt with black suspenders. Suffice it to say, I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I did get a good bit of positive feedback on it. And one person lodging a complaint that the tux shirt I was wearing was against the rules. Happily, the official in charge of such things didn't object to my showing him the part of the rulebook that specifically allows tux shirts in syllabus latin.

    That said, I think I'd still recommend a black shirt to a new competitor who was worried about feeling self-conscious out on the dance floor.
  14. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Whatever makes you feel good is important. I love the white shirt and suspenders look, but if it makes you uncomfortable it's not doing you any favors.
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think a newcomer would note the conspicuous difference
  16. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    ...Unless you have the physique for it... Oh yeah, that - I would have to say I do not have the physique for it (however, along with learning to dance I find my self working out more, stretching and watching what I eat - maybe someday).

    I know I am sounding wishy washy (spell check didn't like that) but I think Jude has the right idea with a button down black shirt. I have several and they are nice looking but I am worried about them becoming un-tucked or just looking messy which is why I was looking at the Latin dance shirts. Any thoughts on this?

    And I really appreciate everyone's replys
  17. stash

    stash Well-Known Member



    Safety pins work for keeping shirts down.
  18. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    If you do go with a "normal" button down shirt, I recommend looking into getting some shirt stays. They're elastic bands which clip onto the bottom of the shirt and will either have clips to attach to your socks or stirrups to slip over your feet. I wore a pair with my white shirt (which, incidentally, I totally agree with mindputtee about in all particulars - I felt good wearing it, but that's not going to be true for everyone), and they seemed to keep things in place reasonably well through the morning's dancing.
    mindputtee and stash like this.
  19. stash

    stash Well-Known Member


    Yeah a few guys where these at our club as well. They seem to work well. I just forgot they existed.
  20. flightco

    flightco Active Member

    Do you mean those things that look like they belong on ladies intimate apparel;) ? I'm in touch... where can I find those, I don't think I have seen those outside of Victoria's Secret (shopping for my wife).

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