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Are you not familiar with tutus? You came to the right place! Here you can find everything you should learn about tutus before placing an order!

What Is A Professional Ballet Tutu?

A tutu is a piece of clothing made of tulle. A professional tutu is a tutu costume that is made especially for ballet dancers and students. It is often decorated to look like a historical gown or something a fairytale character could wear. Professional tutus differ from regular tutus in many ways: professional tutus are hand made, the tulle type is stronger to make it durable and the silhouette is constructed with certain techniques to enhance the dancer´s beautiful lines.

How Is A Professional Tutu Made?

Professional tutus take tens of hours to make. They are made to the dancer’s individual measurements and modified multiple times to ensure the fit is correct. The making of a professional tutu requires professional sewing skills and years of experience in tutu making. There are a couple of challenges in the making process, first of all, the tutu must be comfortable for the dancer to move in. Often, stretchy and breathable fabrics are used to allow free movements. Traditional tutus however, are constructed with woven, usually non-stretchy fabrics to make the tutu look more like a historical gown. They are patterned in a certain way to allow free movements, for example the top and the bottom parts are often separate. The tulle part is also very tricky to do right. In a pancake tutu, the tulle is gathered or pleated into small pleats and the tulle layers are tacked together to make sure the tulle stays flat.

What Is A Pancake Tutu?

A pancake tutu is a tutu with a stiff tulle skirt that stays up. The tulle layers degrade in width, making the bottom layers support the top layers. Pancake tutus have a hooping inside that supports the tutu and keeps it flat. The skirt starts from the high hip. The flat form of the tutu creates an illusion of longer legs and also shows the beautiful leg line. Pancake tutus are used in many classical ballets, often in dynamic prima ballerina roles like Odette/Odile, Kitri and Aurora. The pancake form also helps with pirouettes.

Two pancake tutus

What Is A Romantic Tutu?

Romantic tutus originate to the romantic era of ballet. They are used in the oldest classics like Giselle and La Sylphide but you can also spot romantic tutus in Don Quixote’s act I for example. The romantic tutu has soft and long tulle layers and the skirt starts from the waist. The bodice often has a V-shaped waistline which creates an illusion of a smaller waist and longer legs.

A romantic ”Giselle” tutu

What Is A Bell Tutu?

A bell tutu is a hybrid of a pancake tutu and a romantic tutu. The tulle skirt stays quite up but forms a round bell shape or a droopy dress-like shape, instead of a sharp pancake shape. The shape is achieved with longer tulle layers and not using a hooping inside the tutu. The length of the tulle varies a lot but it stays above the knee. Bell tutus are very popular in Russian ballet and are often used in Paquita and Don Quixote for example.

A bell tutu for ”Paquita”

Are There Other Options?

There are many variations of these common tutus. In some ballets like La Bayadere, La Esmeralda and Romeo and Juliet, you can also spot pant costumes, tunics or long, flowy dresses. In neoclassical ballets such as Carmen or Walburgisnacht, dancers often use a short dress that covers the bottom. In many Balanchine’s works the costume is just a leotard with tights. Male dancers often use vests, jackets, short tunics and pant costumes.

A pant costume for ”La Bayadere”