clothing · Dancing · Sat with Nat

Nat calls for high performance formal wear

I’m seriously hoping my post motivates athletic wear companies to start making formal wear.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, why can’t we dance the night away at weddings & other formal gatherings without drowning in our sweat? Whether you prefer a snappy suit or a darling dress no one feels great in their getup after even a short stint of enthusiastic dancing.

This year, for the first time in a long time, I had 3 formal occasions in the span of a month and I needed something to wear.

I shopped in dress stores in Canada and the USA to no avail. I wear plus size clothes. I’ve worn pants or skirts or dresses before. My default look is quirky femme who dresses for comfort. Nothing that fit inspired me despite my willingness to put down serious cash on a gown.

I shared my trials and tribulations on social media for comedic effect but also for advice.

There are these formal, uh, onesies? Jumpers? They look cute but to use the toilet you either need to drop the whole thing on the floor or buy one with access snaps.

I couldn’t imagine being in a toilet fumbling with my neither regions so that was not an option for me.

As the first event drew nearer I started to panic. I was certain I wouldn’t be able to find anything that fit, was comfortable, and that I liked.

I happened into Ricki’s, a shop I’d never tried on my sister’s advice to consider a combination of separates instead of a dress.

First winning moment, everything in the store went up to plus sizes. I could actually try on every style in the store. Amazing!

Second there was a sale. Yippee!

Third, there was stuff I liked that was comfortable! Wahoooooooooo!

I ended up buying a super fun glitter stretch knit dress with a cowl back.

Nat stands back to the camera showing of a well fitted dress with a plunging back

I wore that dress to my work formal. No shape wear, just a regular bra and undies. The stretchy fabric meant I was super comfy sitting, eating and dancing. The only downside was it didn’t breathe very well so after a few songs I’d be soaked from dancing. Granted I’m an enthusiastic dancer. I also sweat quite a bit. Honestly though if Under Armor or some other athletic wear company would make high performance formal wear I know a large group of suit and dress wearing humans who would by them!!!

We have money!!

I also scored a really shimmery sequined top and then a mirror calf length cardigan.

I wore pleather leggings with a lace top and the mirrored cardigan to my friends’ wedding. Again, comfy, classy and appropriately attention seeking. Let’s be honest, after the trials and tribulations of finding fun, functional formal wear it’s good to get noticed!

Coming up next is my partner’s work formal. I have at least 3 options that look great, feel good and I can dance in. I’ll get super sweaty but that’s ok.

Have you found formal wear that breathes when you dance? Please tell me about it!

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!

6 thoughts on “Nat calls for high performance formal wear

  1. I also hope this post inspires development of active formal clothing! I have a small collection of stretchy long skirts that I love because they make me looked dressed up while the elastic waistband feels like jogging pants.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Best thing I’ve found are stretchy, clingy pencil skirts and blocky-heeled Mary Jane shoes. Not quite formal, but fine for a summer afternoon wedding. I would totally wear a formal dress made out of the material my running tops are made of–even bright neon orange! Sexy and practical. Nike should branch out.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A great thought-provoking post, Nat. Glad you found comfortable dress.
    Here’s a thought of “formal” active wear:

    Black tights or light grey silver tights under a longish shirt tunic that has starry sparkles, or in plush plum, deep red, indigo, etc. colour ..and the “tougher” part might be the shoes: either flattish silver or patent leather shoes…

    I have a light silver, sleeveless sweater top which I wore twice…to 2 summer (hot) weddings. Can be worn with dark pants or a skirt of any length.

    Liked by 1 person

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