Pole does wondrous things for your physical appearance. It tones your upper body, sheds pounds, and you look smokin’ while you’re doing it (see Why Pole Makes you Sexy Even when you’re not Trying to Be). But sometimes our pole bodies make navigating the normal woman’s world of fashion and beauty difficult. Here are the four most common problems polers have when trying to look good.

Dresses that don’t zip up over your huge lats

Your lats aren’t the first things to bulk up when you learn pole—most of us beef up in the arm and shoulder departments long before the upper back—but as you start to get more advanced, you may notice that your back seems wider. And all of a sudden you can’t zip up dresses. This is especially true for thin and petite women who are used to wearing tiny dress sizes. Solutions: You need a fabric that gives. A little stretch in the material will generally take care of this problem. Another option is dresses that lace up the back, corset-style. I’ve got a handful from my favorite shop in Paris and they are a god-send! If all else fails, at least try to find dresses with an underarm zipper instead of a back zipper. They are easier to zip up anyways!

Sleeves that don’t fit your bulging biceps

Sure is nice impressing the boys with your guns, isn’t it? Pole does incredible things for your arms. And now your shirts don’t fit. It can be really hard to find a nice fitted blazer when you are the Hulk. You slip on something that’s supposed to be your size in front of a mirror at H&M because who needs to wait for a dressing room to try on a damn blazer, and now you cannot bend your elbows. Solutions: You’ll look fine in a size up. Also, look for opportunities to wear sleeves tops and pair them with sweaters, wraps, and shawls. Or, weather permitting, don’t bother concealing your weapons.

Dry, ashy skin because you can’t moisturize

Lotion is a big no-no for pole dancers. Even if you don’t care if your ass ends up on the floor, you are gonna make some enemies if you go around slicking the pole up. This means that if you pole frequently, your skin is probably under-moisturized. It’s not fun in the middle of the day to see or feel that your legs are dry but not to be able to do anything about it because you have pole class tonight. Solutions: There are non-slippery lotions on the market, such as Dew Point and Corn Husker’s. And there’s no rule that says you can’t moisturize after pole!


One of the first things that happens to you when you get on a pole is that you get a bruise. And then another, and another. It’s true that over time your body adapts and the moves you’ve learned stop bruising you. But there are always new moves to learn, and new ways to beat yourself up. We polers are used to seeing bruises on ourselves and each other—we are even proud of our little pole badges. But they can be alarming to outsiders, who can make the worst assumptions about where we got them. Sure, you’re a proud poler and you might be happy for the conversation-starter (an excuse to talk about pole!), but on the other hand it can be distracting and awkward. Solutions: You may be able to conceal body bruises with some make-up. Pantyhose can be a help for leg bruises. Otherwise, restrict yourself to outfits that cover them up! These pole fashion and beauty problems can be a pain, but they’re not that bad. Really, they are mostly an excuse for polers to “humblebrag” about how jacked and tough we are! So next time you’re in a dressing room and you can’t get a dress to zip up, just remind yourself it’s because it can’t contain your pole awesomeness.
February 27, 2020 — Dave Morreale