What Should a Man Wear to a Milonga?
Men who were not dressed in suits were refused entry into milongas in the 1920s. Today, it is common for gentlemen to wear jackets, button-down shirts, and pants when they dance. Latin dance shoes in good condition are a necessity. Substandard casual attire was not accepted back in the day and can be looked down upon at a Milonga today.
Latin dance shoes tend to have more height than ballroom shoes. It's essential to break the shoes in before going to the Milonga by wearing them to lessons or practice since you will be dancing for 2+ hours. There are numerous reputable brands. However, I recommend trying on the shoes in person to see that they look good and feel good.
Fabrics to avoid are wool since it can get very hot dancing. Solid patterns with fabric made of cotton and silk have a lot of breathability. Patterned shirts such as stripes, polka dots, and paisley are a way to stand out and show your artistic side!
Baggy pants are a popular choice for tango dancers because there is a lot of room to move. However, I've seen men wear skinny black pants with some stretch so they can move. Black is a popular color since it goes with everything and is slimming. However, grey and blue is also a great color.
I highly recommend not wearing shorts no matter how hot the venue is. If a follower is doing a gancho and executes it incorrectly, you may end up being stabbed by her heel. Make sure your trousers don't have a turned cuff because this may cause you to trip.
Men wearing a nice suit jacket is sophisticated. Men wear suit jackets in cooler climates. However, in environments where it is hotter, dancers will wear just the button-down shirt with pants. I understand that dancing can get extremely hot, but men who invest in a nice suit jacket stand out at a Milonga.
Tango vests are a great way to sharpen up your look and avoid the appearance of sweat stains on your back.
If you are going to wear a tie, wear a bow tie! They are simply adorable. I would avoid long ties because the follower could accidentally pull at the tie, which could potentially be a choking hazard.
Suspenders are seen in all the noir tango movies and keep your pants up!
Today, dancers can dress more casually at a Milonga. However, looking good is correlated with more accepted invitations to dance. If you want more time on the dance floor, taking care of your appearance is a way to market yourself as a capable Tango dancer at a Milonga.