English Ceilidh (ECeilidh)

What To Wear

by Steve Harris

This question is often asked by those going to their first ever ceilidh. This is my attempt at an answer.

There are two aspects to the answer:

1. You will get hot and probably sweaty 

English Ceilidh is a fairly athletic dance form that often happens indoors with inadequate ventilation. Dress in a way appropriate to that. Quite a few people wear shorts. Women have additional options. Although a short skirt might seem an obvious choice some women find long skirts cooler. Short sleeved shirts/tops are popular. Be aware that standard T-Shirts get wet through and uncomfortably clingy. A better choice may be a "polo" shirt. They may be thicker but with their open weave they may be better at getting rid of the sweat. If you had it in mind to have a haircut anyway, have it before the ceilidh. A lot of heat gets trapped in thick hair and sweat runs down out of it. "Sports" socks although absorbent tend to keep your feet too warm. Tights/stockings may keep your legs too warm as will high boots.  Consider not wearing anything on your legs. Clothing materials should not be too thick and while natural fibres used to be the obvious choice, there are many man-made fibres nowadays that let the heat and sweat out.

2. You need to be able to move

Ok, it's not ballet but you need to be able to move your arms and legs quite a bit. Any clothing that will restrict your movements will be a problem. So make sure that noting is too tight or restrictive.

3. Footwear

Perhaps the most controversial subject. Quick summary first:

Now, more detail:

So what shoes are right?

The answer to this depends on how you dance and what the floor is like:

4. Fashion Issues