What to Wear to a Daughter's First Dance Recital

If thought the spotlight is on your daughter, you should still look your best.

Photo: Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images

Don't be stumped on what to wear for your daughter's first dance recital. With potential costume disasters to worry about, stage fright to combat and tutus to transport, the last thing you need to be thinking about is your own outfit. Be polished and comfortable while helping your child get ready for her stage debut, but focus more on the important things, like being the first to leave your seat for the standing ovation.


Choose clothes with a great cut and fit -- or take your old things to a tailor. No one wants to look like they've just put on 15 pounds, least of all at a dance recital. A poorly fitting pair of pants or baggy dress will have you looking dumpy even if you're a regular on the treadmill. Look for classic lines and quality fabrics that will stand the test of time. Discreet elastic waistbands on pants or skirts will keep you comfortable as you wait for your daughter's turn on stage.

Relaxed, Yet Polished

A first dance recital is a big deal for your daughter, so make sure your clothes are comfortable enough that you can sweep her into your arms for a big hug after her performance. But don't sacrifice fashion points. Unless you have to go directly from work, steer away from office wear in favor of something a bit more casual. Try a flowy printed top with fitted jeans or an embellished T-shirt with straight-leg dress pants.

Hair and Makeup

Helping your daughter with her hair and stage makeup might take all the time you have for getting ready, so keep your own beauty routine simple. If you prefer the natural look, swipe a multipurpose makeup stick in a neutral color over lips, cheeks and eyelids for a quick glow. If your personal tastes are more dramatic, emphasize one feature, either eyes or lips, with a strong color for a look that pops. Throw your hair back into a smooth ponytail to echo the dance theme of the evening, or slip on a simple headband if your hair is shorter.

Final Touches

Accessories are a fun way to show your personal style. Whether it's through a colored belt, some chunky bangles or a signature ring, make even the simplest outfit a stunner with the right add-ons. Have your children made you jewelry in school or daycare? Mix a hand-beaded bracelet in with something more elegant, which is a great way to let your daughter know you're thinking of her. Don't forget a watch, so you'll make it to the recital on time, and a large tote for carrying your daughter's dance costume or change of clothes.

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