Search for women’s salsa costumes or dresses, and you’ll be faced with a plethora of options—but what about the men? Granted, salsa is a dance where the woman is the glitz and glamour, and while men shouldn’t try to “out-do” women, that doesn’t mean they can’t look smart and flashy. Also known as “men’s dancewear,” just like with women the most important aspect is comfort (especially if you plan to dance all night at a club!). Costume wear can be a little more detail-driven and not quite as comfortable, but it’s a must that the material breathes and lets you move fluidly.
There are few opportunities as adults to really dress up and showcase your personal style. Salsa is one of them, so take advantage! For any class or night out, just about anything will do as long as you can move freely. Light jeans, khakis or dress pants and a button up shirt is popular. Collared shirts may be required of clubs, but otherwise t-shirts are lightweight and a breathable cotton, which makes them perfect for a studio class.
Want something with a little more oomph? Check out these options for inspiration:
- Sheer thing: This might be dubbed “costume,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t own it and wear it on a special night out. It obviously borrows from the button up shirt design, but with sheer sleeves it’s a much cooler option. Most men’s dance costume tops which feature buttons are extra-long so they won’t come untucked when you spin your partner.
- Loose, formal pants: Loose is the key word here, because the tighter your clothes the sweatier and hotter you’ll get. Plus, having a wider leg will show your lines better and if you prefer a salsa shoe with a more generous heel (but still feel a little odd with how they look!), wider pants can help hide them a little. Choose a stretch fabric that moves with you, and a beltless pant can keep them from looking unfinished. Remember that belts can be okay, but are prone to snagging your partner’s outfit!
- Dance vest: You’ll likely only be tempted by a dance vest for a competition, but some men love to wear them to clubs as a jacket alternative. Unless you really, really need a jacket for a competition look, they can hinder your moves. However, vests are obviously much more breathable and fit tighter in the core to keep from hiding lines or competing with your partner’s outfit. They are also a way to smartly pull your outfit together.
- The perfect dance socks: This particular pair is designed for men’s ballet, but highlight just how important the right socks are. Your feet are especially prone to sweating and capturing heat. You need socks that let your skin breathe and are the ideal thickness to let you break in new dance shoes without causing unnecessary blistering. With performances, a well-fitting, snug and under-stated sock is a must.
- Urban salsa wear: Some men just don’t care for the more traditional salsa wear, and prefer to instill a little reggaeton vibe into their salsa nightclub outings. This sleeveless hoodie is custom made with no extra zips or hooks that might catch on costumes, and it’s made out of lycra to ensure airy. You’ll probably end up wearing this one outside of salsa dancing!
Many men bring spare shirts with them to classes and nightclubs, especially if you’re prone to sweating. It makes everyone, yourself and your partners, feel much more comfortable.