How To Rock a Tulle Skirt, Without Looking Like You're in a Ballerina Costume

Fluffy tulle skirts look like they're straight out of a fairy tale, but with the right outfit, they can add whimsy and magic to a modern look too!
Publish date:
April 28, 2014
shoppables, trends, ballet, Spring Fashion, tulle, ballerina, How-To

I’ve always had a secret dream that one day I’d become a ballerina. When I was a little girl, my mom put me in ballet and figure skating -- everything graceful and girly -- but I was always just a bit too clumsy and hyperactive. I’d spend the whole class chatting and disrupting others, or simply refusing to do the proper movements at the proper times. My mom eventually pulled me out of those classes, but then at the age of fourteen, I decided I was missing out on my life's calling, and decided to go back.

The only problem is, when I finally decided to go back, I had missed out on almost ten years of intensive training, and so I was put into a class with seven year olds to learn the basics I had missed. I was clumsy and big compared to the other girls, and my form was far worse than theirs. I eventually gave up a second time, too embarrassed to continue, and so I never got to wear pointe shoes and tulle like I had always dreamed I would.

Though I never became a dancer like I’d hoped (if I’m being totally honest, I was just never any good at it), I’ve continued to love all things ballet. Ballet flats in shades of pink and cream are almost irresistible to me, and a number of times I’ve thought of buying old tutus and pointe shoes at yard sales just to display in my room. Though I’ve let go of the actual dream, my love of ballet aesthetics is still strong. That's why I was so excited to see that women all over the world are swapping their regular skirts for fluffy, airy tulle pieces, and pairing them with normal, modern clothing and accessories. Even Bill Cunningham (a.k.a. the most wonderful man in the world) is into tulle, comparing the women who wear it to bright spring Easter eggs!

Actually wearing these skirts is a bit of a challenge though, a challenge I didn’t quite grasp until I got my hands on a tulle skirt of my own (specially made for me by Jordan de Ruiter, a local designer). For a few days, I was totally perplexed; how and where do I wear this thing? I scoured blogs, magazines, and my Pinterest boards for inspiration, then finally came up with a few fool-proof outfits for different occasions.

Tulle + Stripes

The juxtaposition of all the black in this outfit with the pink tulle gives the look a little bit of an edge. I paired the striped shirt with a vintage leather jacket, flat lace up boots, and some classic Raybans to give the look a sort of rocker-meets-ballerina feel. This outfit works perfectly for a midday coffee date, casual dinners or concerts.

Tulle + Denim

Again, it’s important to think about fabrics and textures when accessorizing with a tulle skirt. Denim is great choice, as it helps the otherwise dressy skirt appear a lot more casual, so my Levi’s jacket worked perfectly. I finished off this look with a big hat, a black belt, tights and heeled booties. I’d wear this to brunch or for a sunny sunday walk.

Tulle + Sweats

This is by far my favourite combination: I mean really, what is better to counteract the fluffy girliness of a tulle skirt than a baggy athletic sweatshirt? I got this particular cropped number for $2 at a local discount shop, then jazzed it up with a statement necklace from Bauble Bar (my new favourite thing), a massive novelty clutch, and some strappy stilettos. This look is great for parties, shopping dates with friends, and just generally being cute!

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