There are several types of tutus for the ballerina. They can be long or short, stiff or flowing. Most tutus are made of tulle which is a fine net-like fabric that is often starched. The three most popular types of tutus are; Romantic, Classical Pancake and Classical Bell. For ballet classes students usually wear a simple ballet skirt that only has one layer that is loose and flowing. The skirt can wrap around and tie or simply pull on over the leotard. With little dancers a lot of the time the skirt is attached to the leotard. This way you only have to buy one outfit. Little girls love tutus! When ever we have special performances for the parents in my classes some of the girls go all out! There are so many cute tutus today. They are becoming more popular as a gift item. Some have jewels or flowers on them or even inside the layers of fabric.
The Classical Pancake Tutu is short and extends straight out from the hip. It has many layers of fabric and a wire hoop to keep it very stiff.
The Classical Bell Tutu has many layers of fabric. It is longer than the pancake tutu and does not have a wire hoop.
Tutus first appeared with the romantic era and Marie Taglioni. This was the birth of the romantic tutu. At the time it was considered to be a very short skirt falling above the ankle. As time passed the tutus became even shorter to reveal more foot and leg work by ballerinas.