We’ve all stared at the old dance costumes pushed to the back of our closets, wondering what to do with them. It can be hard to let go of the nostalgia for your earlier dance recitals. Sure, there’s a special memory attached to each and every costume, and maybe your kids will want to wear them for dress up or their future dance solos some day. But the truth is, we can’t hold onto all of our costumes forever. Even if you aren’t the sentimental type, how do you get rid of them? And even if you do want to get rid of your costumes, how do you avoid them ending up in a landfill somewhere? Before you go to clear out your tutu’s, make sure they’ll be put to good use! Here are some ways you can sell, donate or upcycle your old ballet costumes, and clear the clutter in your closet.

What to do with old ballet costumes?

Sell them!

There are so many dancers looking for dance costumes at a reasonable price. Costumes can be pretty pricey, so there are plenty of people that would love to take yours off your hands. Find your local dancewear store and they’ll help you sell your costume to another dancer and sometimes even offer you discounts on new dancewear in return. Or if you’re looking to sell your costumes remotely, there are apps like Depop and Poshmark that are great resources! Anyone from the internet will be happy to put your old costumes to good use, whether it’s for a party or Halloween. This way you’ll be sure to get a bang for your buck.


Give to a worthy cause. Find your local thrift store and donate them there, or seek out organizations like Donate2Dance, who find homes for not only your used costumes, but dancewear and shoes too! Visit their website to see where their nine drop-off locations are. Your leotards could be used by a dancer who really needs it anywhere from New York to London! If you’re looking for a way to contribute to your own dance community, you can even donate your costumes to local studios, or see if anyone at your own studio is interested! If all else fails, you can also donate to any local Thrift Store. Who knows? Maybe your jazz costume will make the perfect party outfit for someone in your town!

Save them for Halloween!

Turn your red leotard into a ladybug costume or maybe something out of the box, like a strip of bacon! Do you have a rip in your tights? Dress up like a zombie! And better yet, if your ballet costume had a theme, just roll with it! Whether it was a princess or a butterfly, you’ll be a strong contender for best costume at the next Halloween party you jeté to. Think outside the box and you could be using the same costume for many years to come. Also, see options here for an additional supplier that’s perfect for any party.

Make them into something new!

Are you in the mood for a DIY? Look no further than your ballet costumes. You spent a pretty penny for those costumes, so they are made of pretty decent and versatile fabrics you can craft into anything from scrunchies, to a brand new outfit. Why not make something old, new again? Take this opportunity to craft and make a new skirt or maybe a cute new top! Your friends will be asking where you got your brand-new look from, and you can show off with your newfound talent of making something on your own, AND upcycling that skirt you wore at your dance recital three years ago. It’s a win-win.

Final Thoughts: What to do with old ballet costumes?

Costumes can pile up through the years and let’s face it. You’re not wearing them to your prom or out to dinner any time soon. Even if your dream is to pass your costumes onto your future ballerina children, there’s no reason to have a whole stash of them tucked away! Save your favorite costumes and let the rest go. If it doesn’t spark your joy, it will spark someone else’s! As long as you don’t throw them away, you’re doing your part. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Not to mention, you’re helping the environment by upcycling it to a stranger all while putting a smile on their face.

If you’ve made your peace with your old costumes or dancewear and are looking for something new to strut your stuff at the barre in, check out these tips on how to find the best ballet attire.

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