Ever notice how dancers always look so cool? Sure, it probably has something to do with their killer strength, unbelievable posture, and impeccable grace, but there must be more to it than just that.
Turns out, there is—and it has a lot to do with their clothes.
“They go to class and they’ll be wearing a ton of layers. Then, they shed their layers as they move through class. It’s very organic and beautiful,” says Tiffany Ruiz, head designer of Alternative’s just-launched fitness line Move. Ruiz was so inspired by a dancer’s relationship to clothes that she based the entire inaugural season of the line around it.
“We did a lot of sessions with dancers, and it was really interesting to hear them say that they don’t even buy traditional active clothing—it’s not cool enough for them,” Ruiz explains. “They don’t want to be wearing head-to-toe neon; they want something with a bit more flair to it. A lot of times, they’ll take just a normal T-shirt and cut it; they want to stand out when they’re going to auditions, and they want their clothes to help them get the part.”
So, short of cutting up an old Hanes shirt (which we’re not opposed to, by the way), how can you copy that irreverent look? Ruiz recommends strategic layering: Wear a colorful sports bra under a racerfront tank so that the straps are purposely exposed, or try an off-the-shoulder cropped T-shirt over a multistrap bralet.
Naturally, Ruiz incorporated plenty of peekaboo elements into Move too: cropped tops with crisscross racerback straps, high-waisted leggings with cutouts, and tunics with side-seam keyholes—all of which are meant to be worn with one another or with other items in your workout wardrobe.
“As the line grows, there will be even more pieces with openings so that you can see the layers you are wearing underneath,” the designer explains. “You’ll be able to show off how you’re mixing prints; you’ll be able to show if you’re wearing different colors and how they contrast. I want it to be sassy, just like a flash dancer.”