What To Wear To A Barre Class

Words by Isobel Coughlan

So, you’ve finally signed up for a barre workout. This is an exciting fitness step! Get ready for stronger muscles, better definition, and an enjoyable workout.

However, the positive vibes can easily be overrun by stress about what to expect and, more importantly, what to wear. But don’t worry. We have the lowdown on everything you need to know before your first barre class.


I’ve been there — my first barre class was great! But I wish I had a guide to tell me which clothing actually works best for the workout. Without further ado, here’s what all newbie barre class attendees should know before starting. Scroll down to find out more.

First Up, What Is Barre?

You’ve signed up for your first barre class. But what actually is barre?

Barre fitness (or ballet barre) is a type of hybrid workout class that combines elements of strength training, ballet-inspired moves, stretching, and elements of pilates. Don’t confuse this with ballet, though. Ballet is a dance, whereas ballet barre is exercise.

Barre classes focus on high-intensity, low-impact movements, and some use weight training. Ideal if you want to increase your flexibility, build muscle strength, up your endurance, and improve your posture. Plus, the outfits are cute.

What Is the Best Kind of Clothing for Barre?

Restrictive clothing? Not. Around. Here.

When taking on a barre workout, allowing for movement should be your top priority. Barre involves lots of full-body movement, such as balletic poses, arms in the air, and legs in arabesque. Your best bet is to find fitted yet flexible clothing. Avoid any baggier styles, as these can get caught up while stretching.


Vendor: Girlfriend Collective Zoe Tank - Ultramarine
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Vendor: Pointe Studio Phoebe Ankle Grip Sock - Bone
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What To Wear to a Barre Class

Before you start practising your raised tucks and plie bends, you’ll need to dress the part. Here’s everything you need to know about ballet barre clothes.

Sports Bra

Sports bras are essential for any workout, including barre class. While this class doesn’t need a high-impact bra, you’ll still need chest support to keep you comfortable and confident. Low-impact sports bras are an excellent option for low-key support.

The Girlfriend Collective’s Paloma Bra Classic is a barre-approved pick that's breathable, sweat-wicking, and comes in over ten colours. For a quick-drying option with 4-way stretch, the Beyond Yoga Spacedye Slim Racerback Bra is a good choice.

And if you want something a little different? The Girlfriend Collective Bianca One Shoulder Bra is for you. This sports bra has a cute asymmetric design, and it’s made from supportive, sweat-wicking materials for a comfortable yet compressive feel.

You can shop our full collection of light support sports bras HERE.

Crop Tops

While you can wear just a sports bra to barre classes, many enthusiasts add a cropped tank to their ballet barre clothes for extra comfort.

For barre, the only real parameters you need to consider are flexibility and breathability. So, avoid any restrictive or thick tees. Cropped tanks are usually a safe bet, and here are some of our favourites for barre.

The Vuori Halo Performance Crop is a perfect addition to any workout wardrobe. This subtle v-neck crop is simple and allows you to move with ease. It even has a built-in bra with removable cups if you want to forego the sports bra. P.S. it’s cute for street style, too.

Beyond Yoga’s Spacedye Slim Racerback Cropped Tank is another barre-ready top that keeps you cool throughout the workout. Made from the brand’s popular Spacedye fabric, this top has 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, UV protection, and comes in seven colours.

Prefer non-cropped tops? The Girlfriend Zoe Tank could be for you. The premium workout tank effortlessly fits your body, allowing for flexible movements and comfort, minus the crop so you can be confident fully covered. It also features a built-in bra to keep the silhouette chic and practical.

You can shop our full collection of crop tanks HERE.


Leggings are universally voted the best bottoms for barre class. Being able to stretch is key, so really compressive leggings might not be suitable here, most barre attendees opt for supple sports leggings. Think yoga leggings rather than running ones.

The Vuori Daily Leggings are a good option if you’re looking for bottoms that are extra soft and breathable at the same time with an adjustable drawstring tie. The Varley Let's Move High Waisted Leggings are also great for barre class, as these leggings have 4-way stretch, are breathable, and are made from recycled materials. Eco-points for any green readers!

Alternatively, Sweaty Betty’s All Day Wrap Waist ⅞ Leggings are ideal for getting your barre on. With the brand’s iconic squat proof and sweat-wicking technology, a supportive wrap waist design, and supple fabric, you can do all the moves without worry.

You can shop our full collection of leggings suitable for barre HERE.

Grippy Socks

Barre socks (AKA grippy socks) are the final piece of the puzzle. If your class doesn’t allow barefoot workouts, you’ll need to invest in some appropriate socks that offer support with a slip-free finish. Pilates socks and yoga socks also work for this purpose.

Consider the Alo Yoga Women’s Throwback Barre Sock if you want a minimalist look. These socks have comfy cushioning and floor-gripping properties.

If you’d rather pick a pop-sock style option, the Pointe Studio Happy Grip Sock might be more your speed. These socks are made from soft, combed cotton and have a sturdy PVC grip. Point Studio also offers the Josie Grip Strap Charcoal Sock, which provides a full-foot silicone grip and a Mary Jane-like strap style. Ideal for something a little different.

You can shop our full collection of socks for barre HERE.

The Best Barre Classes in London

Now you know what to wear to a barre workout, it’s time to dive in. Find a summary of London’s best barre classes below or read more here.


Barrecorre is dedicated to all-things-barre. Whether you’re experienced or a complete newbie, this studio is on hand to help you get stronger and leaner while having a good time. Classes are available in nine London-based studios, or you can sign up for Barrecorre On Demand to access over 100 unique online barre workout videos.

> Find out more about Barrecorre here.


Psycle is dedicated to providing a modern take on traditional barre classes. The constructors here aim to help you sculpt your body, boost your metabolism, and challenge your mind through expert routines and full-body workouts. Perfect for anyone serious about increasing strength and muscle definition.

> Learn more about Psycle here.

Paola’s Body Barre

Paola’s Body Barre strives to help attendees strengthen their bodies while also transforming their minds through self-focused time. The barre classes here constantly evolve, ensuring you’re always experiencing something new and awakening new muscles. Since opening in 2013, Paola’s Body Barre has won the Tatler Gym Awards for over four consecutive years.

> Get to know Paola’s Body Barre here.

The Takeaway

Could barre class be on the cards for you? This ever-popular workout is essential for anyone wanting to train strength and conditioning while also working on flexibility. Whether you practise from home or a studio, make sure you’re in a barre-approved fit. Enjoy!

Want more expert advice? Head to The Sports Edit blog here.