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Can You Bowl in a Dress?

can you bowl in a dress

People bowl in many different ways. Some people lunge toward the lane in wide strides while others gently tiptoe in short steps. 

In fact, most people might say that free range of the legs is an important part of the game. And if you are worried about your stance, I would not suggest wearing a tight, short dress to the lanes. But if you think about it, doesn’t all the power and control of the ball come from the arm and wrist? 

Because bowling requires the use of the arms more than the legs, you can definitely bowl in a dress. But there might be some things you want to consider before slipping on your favorite little-black-dress and heading to the alley. A bowling dress should pass the test of comfort, good range of motion and proper length!

How Should I Dress to Bowl?

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Ideally, you should wear something you are comfortable in. For many, that would be loose pants or shorts and a T-shirt.

Closed Toe Shoes

Although you have to rent shoes from the alley, it is smart to wear sneakers or another closed-toed shoe there. That way, you do not have to buy new socks to use with your rental shoes because you will already be wearing some! 

If you pick a more casual dress instead of a night-on-the-town type, it might pair nicely with some low-rise sneakers or even boots! You will be changing into those tacky bowling shoes anyway and those will clash with your outfit no matter what you do!

Remember, you are going to a bowling alley, not a night club! Stick to keeping your look fun and casual!

Another thing you may want to consider if you decide to wear a dress is bringing socks with you. This can save you the hassle of buying socks at the bowling alley and you can still wear your cute date night shoes afterward!

We recommend bringing your own bowling shoes to the alley. They are more comfortable and stylish than any rental bowling shoe you will come across. We recommend SaVi Women’s bowling shoes as they come in a variety of colors.

Comfortably Loose Clothing

If you do choose to wear a dress, make sure you have enough room to move. Remember, bowling is a physical activity that requires proper range of motion of the arms and legs.

Before you head out, do a few tests to make sure you can move the way you need to. Try these exercises while standing in front of a mirror to determine proper fit.

The Swing:

Stand with your arms at your side with palm facing out. Slowly lift your arms until they are in line with your shoulders. Then do that exercise in reverse, starting from center and pushing your arms back as far as they can comfortably go.

This will help you determine if there is any tightness in the bust and shoulder area. This is important because the main motion in bowling is swinging your arm. If it hurts to do that, you are not going to have a fun time!

The Lunge:

This is nothing special… Just a regular lunge! Start in a standing position with feet hip width apart. Step one foot out in front of you like you are about to do a split and bend that knee to a 90-degree angle.

Come back to center and repeat on the other side. This will test to see if there is any tightness in the bottom of the dress (if you are wearing a maxi) or if the dress is too restricting in the hips or thigh area. That means no pencil dresses!

Choose the Right Length

The last thing you want to do when bowling is be showing too much skin. Besides the fact that most alleys crank the air all the time, nobody really wants to see all your lady bits while they are enjoying time with their family!

Pick a dress that is long enough to cover all your important parts while still being loose enough to not be restrictive to your legs. You may even want to consider wearing leggings or shorts under it if you feel your dress is pushing the limit!

And remember the “toe touch” rule! If someone can see your bum when you touch your toes, the dress is too short for physical activities! And this does not just include bowling. If the dress does not pass the “toe touch” test, put it back on the rack!

Is Bowling a Good First Date?

Have you have ever been on an awkward date where you felt pressured to keep the conversation going because you were not doing an activity that sparked conversation? Bowling is a great fix for never experiencing that again (unless your date is just awkward… But we cannot help you there)!

Because only one person can approach the lane at a time, bowling takes the pressure off having to keep the conversation going. But if you do feel the need to talk a lot, cheering on your date or lightly joking about gutter balls or your stance can be great ways to break the ice and lead into the usual get-to-know-you conversation.

Another plus of having a first date at a bowling alley is you can do other things besides bowl. There is usually an arcade, billiards tables, a concession and a bar too. So even if you do feel like you picked the wrong dress for bowling, there are other options for a killer date night that does not have to stop at the lanes!

Final Thoughts

Bowling in pants and a T-shirt is easy. But who wants to go out on a date in pants?

Wearing a dress to a bowling alley can be simple, comfortable, and stylish if you pick the right one. And following the three rules of comfort, range and length are great starting points! And if you are still having trouble deciding if your dress is appropriate, try reading the dress code for your alley like the one here!

Remember that you are gong bowling to have fun! Not to impress people. Dress or no dress, wear something you are comfortable in and enjoy yourself!

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