Dress Code – what to wear – where to buy

– what to wear

Although this article may appear to be for ladies only, there are a few good tips for men too.

Dancing Tango at an event is the excuse to dress up.  One of the few places that can supersede this – is a wedding! 

As a general rule, the Tango Community make quite an effort to look their best, so you really can “go to town” if you want to.  Halls are often tastefully decorated and with evening / mood lighting to enhance the atmosphere.

For such an elegant dance, you will probably get a lot hotter than anticipated and although it’s not that aerobic, dancing Tango is demanding, and you need to bear this in mind in your choice of clothes. 

Ladies – have the advantage of being able to choose clothes that are cool to wear and still look very elegant.  Just bear in mind that if you wear sleeveless or an off-the shoulder top, your anti-perspirant isn’t going to leave white patches on your partner’s arm or shoulder. 

Men – this is your opportunity too.  There’s an array of options, from braces, waistcoats and hats, often colour co-ordinated.

Everyone – please avoid wearing anything that could damage your partner’s clothing, for example large belt buckles, brooches, pins, coarse sequins, or anything with sharp edges that can snag their clothes.


There are no dress codes.  All you need is something that is comfortable and doesn’t hinder your movement.  For example:

jeans and trousers – the fabric just needs to give enough to allow the legs to extend with ease and your shoes do not get caught in the trouser leg.

long full skirts – are not advisable because your teacher cannot see your movement or your technique.

tight skirts – if the fabric doesn’t stretch, an open access down the seam/s will allow more freedem of movement

general lengths – just watch the length at the back is not so long that you  catch the heel of your shoe in the fabric

men – singlets and shorts are not etiquette, even for classwork.  A simple shirt or tee-shirt with jeans or trousers are perfect

shoes – there is a full article on this – here


You can dress as elegantly or understated as you wish.

Ladies – there are no rules to say that ladies have to wear a dress / skirt.  There are some beautiful trousers, or plain trousers teamed with a favourite top.

Leggings / jeggings are currently very popular and widely available and simply by adding a pair to a dress, skirt or tunic top from your wardrobe, can transform its look and suitability.

Try adding some inexpensive “bling” which can lift the look of something quite ordinary.

Men – at the more formal events of Milongas or Balls, men quite often come in a suit, jacket or even the complete dinner suit ensemble.

The evening will become hot, and if you discard your jacket, don’t forget to take a spare shirt or two, and pack a small towel.

For more details about the Milonga scene – see Milonga Etiquette– Hints & Tips – here

– where to buy

Once you begin to dance regularly, many ladies like to have a variety of clothes to wear, but this can be expensive.  It’s down to selective shopping and mixing and matching.

Many Tango dancers search the Charity Shops.  These are a wonderful source of discovering very inexpensive, but delightfully different clothes.

Occasionally some Milongas will have Tango designers selling their clothes. Although these tend to be rather expensive, you may find something unusual and special.

Do talk to other people for their advice, you’ll be amazed how willing they are to help.

.© Tango Nomads, 2017