Tutus as every-day fashion

Dressing like an off-duty ballerina is the new trend, according to stylists and dance-wear retail stores. As Y2K styles are flourishing, the ‘Ballerina-Core’ micro trend of the time has re-emerged, bringing ballet flats, leg warmers, shrugs, v-band flare pants and many more iconic dance garments to the everyday fashion scene. 

Rebekah Parsons (left) and Talia Benson (right) wear 'Ballerina-Core' items, such as leg warmers, on the streets of Melbourne. Photo: Olivia Lowes

Celebrities on the runways have confirmed this popularity. Bella Hadid and Ariana Grande were seen in the high-end Italian Miu Miu ballet flat, a style proclaimed the standout casual shoe of Copenhagen fashion week.  

Though slammed online for being impractical, shrugs have been adopted by brands such as Marc Jacobs and Sami Miro Vintage over the past two years. This has extended to many Australian fast fashion retailer, such as Glassons and Cotton On.  

Simone Farugia is the official stylist for Chadstone Fashion Capital, working across campaigns, content stills and event dressing. She has watched this trend resurface in Melbourne as a nostalgic glimpse into the recent past. 

“I suspect it’s connected to the early noughties, being referenced so much in fashion now. The ballet trend was a moment timed with the release of a tonne of big dance films like Step Up and Centerstage,” Simone said.  

Though a fan of the style, she thinks it will be fleeting.  

“The Y2K trend has stuck around for a bit and I think it (ballerina-core) will fizzle out as that does,” she said.  

 Australian dance-wear chain store Energetiks has benefitted from the trend, with their essential merchandise becoming desired in the mainstream.  

“Teenagers started coming into our stores looking for festival outfits, so we’ve had to really increase our stock,” said Energetiks retail worker Stacey Van Venrooy.  

As a dancer herself, Stacey initially thought the trend was “laughable” as these popular garments were so dance-specific, but she eventually came to accept them.   

“Now I’ll shamelessly rock a shrug,” she admitted.  

The rebirth of Y2K fashion after covid was no coincidence, as styles shifted from loungewear to tight-fitting corset tops and low-waste mini skirts for going out purposes. Ballerina-core sits somewhere inbetween the casual comfort of loungewear and the theatrical elegance of extreme Y2K aesthetics.  

While it lasts, on the streets of Melbourne you’ll be sure to find someone wearing a shrug, a ballet flat or maybe even a leg warmer.


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