Jazz is a popular style of music throughout the world. Although jazz was hugely fashionable in America throughout most of the first half of the 20th century, the style and culture of jazz is now more of a scene as opposed to a sweeping craze. However, the energy and flare of jazz lives on and the old fashioned jazz dress styles still thrive today.

Dress for Jazz as a Man

o 1 Wear dark, neutral colored slacks. The slacks should be slim fitting and worn high on the waist. Black, grey and pinstripe are all acceptable colors.

o 2 Put on a white undershirt. Dancing to jazz will tire you out and may possibly make you sweat. An undershirt is necessary.

o 3 Buy a dress shirt. Jazz style shirts are button up, slim fitting and generally of a white or cream color. Tuck the shirt into your slacks. Do not allow shirt tails to flap about.

o 4 Wear dress shoes when you go on a jazz outing. Black “wingtip” dress shoes are the most common footwear. Black and white two-tone shoes are also favorites.

o 5 Try a vest. Vests are not necessary and they are not for everybody, but if you find a vest that fits well and you can pull it off, you will find that it looks very cool.

o 6 Put on a tight, single-breasted blazer. The blazer should be black, grey or white, depending on your outfit as a whole. The more classic the blazer looks, the better.

o 7. Wear a hat. An old fashioned Fedora, such as Frank Sinatra wore are the epitome of jazz style.

Dress for Jazz as a Woman

o 1 Dress in formal, evening attire. The basics include: darker colors (maroon instead of red), dresses, heeled-shoes and “up-do” hairstyles. Bee hives are very acceptable.

o 2 Wear a knee-length dress with elaborate hemlines. These dresses tend to be of dark colors and leave the arms and shoulders bare. Strapless or spaghetti strap dresses are common.

o 3 Find some high-heeled shoes with thin, stiletto heels. Mary Jane ankle strap shoes and shoes with buckles or bows are classic jazz fashion choices. Sequin and diamante trims are common, too.

o 4 Research some style tips from the “flapper” fashion of the twenties. Short hair is still a common hairstyle in jazz circles today.

Tips & Warnings

• Many contemporary jazz fans like to pay tribute to the past eras of jazz. Most of the jazz dress you see mimics the vintage fashion of earlier jazz periods. Check out some histories of jazz and see what kind of clothing styles you like. Take a look at the Vintage fashion outlets such as The Bournemouth Vintage Emporium and Definitely Mary in Boscombe.

• Anything you wear should be appropriate for dancing, so choose your clothes wisely. Do not wear clothes too tight or too loose fitting. Men should try to find jackets with smaller arm holes for more movement and women should seek dresses that allow for free flow around the body.

Enjoy your Jazz! Clark Antony – Cool Jazz Fashion Correspondent.

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