Learning Latin Dance? What You Need for a Masculine Costume

As a man, you may be somewhat uncomfortable challenging certain ideas about what is masculine. That said, learning to dance might be one of those things you may consider unmanly. However, Latin dance is very sexy, heated, passionate, and aggressive, which are things most men would like to consider themselves. If you have decided to take up Latin dance, you will need the right clothes for it too. Here are just some of the things traditional and contemporary Latin male dancers wear.

The Gauchos

Men, regardless of what they wear on their top halves, usually wear gaucho pants on their bottom halves. These are tight-fitting black pants that emphasize your buttocks and other *ahem* endowments. They also allow those viewing your dance moves to see the perfection in the movement of your hips, a vital part of the sexiness in Latin dance. The gauchos are tight-fitting through the thighs but gradually loosen up and flare out just a bit from the knee down to the ankle. Black is almost always the only color the men are allowed to wear because the color is brought by the ladies' flowing and brightly colored costumes.

Three Shirt Options

Your three shirt options will be:

  • A very dressy, pleated front shirt, with a vest or a suit jacket worn over the top
  • A simple cotton shirt with a deep, plunging neckline to show off your chest (otherwise an unbuttoned simple dress shirt works too)
  • The Matador shirt, often worn during Latin dances like the Paso Doble, which mimics bull-fighting. It is puffy-sleeved number with lots of ruffled lace at the collar.

There are variations on these shirts so that you can customize your look and match it to the type of Latin dance you are performing (for example, plunging neckline for tango, dressy pleated shirt for flamenco, and so forth).


You should wear black, well-shined classic ballroom shoes. Your female partner can wear the fancier footwear, but your low-heeled shoes should be smart, should be easy to move and pivot freely in, and should not draw attention to your feet unless your choreographer and your costumer wants your feet to be noticed. Make sure the shoes fit snugly, but not so tight that your feet hurt when you move or that your heels get blisters after every dance class. The shoes should also not be so loose that you are trying to keep them on with every pivot, turn, passe, and lift.

Check out various vendors, such as Randall Designs, to find clothes that you'll feel and perform great in.