What Can Children Wear to a Rock and Roll Dance?

In the movie version of the musical "Grease," the group Sha-Na-Na declared that "Rock 'n' roll is here to stay." Decades later, rock and roll is still going strong and is still used as the theme for many a dance. Whether your child channels bobby-soxers at a sock-hop or Mick Jagger at a rock star-themed event, you can usually find a suitable outfit without many visits to vintage and thrift shops.


Common clothing at a 1950s-era dance for a girl would be a Poodle skirt and a short-sleeved blouse with a Peter Pan collar and a cardigan and a white T-shirt and cuffed jeans for a boy. An edgier, later era, rock-and-roll dancer would wear animal print tights or dark jeans for a girl, and "pleather" pants or dark jeans for a boy, with an over-sized white button-up shirt.


Girl 1950s-era bobby-soxers love their saddle shoes or plain white canvas shoes with turned down ankle socks, while gentlemen prefer black shoes or penny loafers. Dancers of both genders can also rock out in post-1960s gear as they edge toward the 1970s and 1980s. Flat, black boots, lace-up work boots or platform boots. If your dance will be on a slick surface, add a non-slip grip pad to the bottom of footwear to prevent accidents.


For a bobby-soxer look, a girl might have a ponytail and tie a small scarf around it, while a guy will wear his hair slicked back in a ducktail – 50s greaser style. You can achieve a more contemporary look for girls and boys with long, loose hair or hair that’s teased and affixed with hair spray that corresponds to the bright polyester clothing of the era. If you have short or hard-to-style hair, you can buy a costume wig.


A 1950s-era bobby-soxer would be likely be found with a white handkerchief in a pocket and her male counterpart sporting a folded-up cover of "Billboard" magazine in his back pocket and a 45 record clutched between his hands. Later-era performance-conscious rock stars use a plush boa constrictor, sunglasses, an inflatable guitar, temporary "I heart Mom" tattoos and fake leather wrist cuffs.