Many students who show up for classes do not put much thought into what to wear. The usual advice they are given is to “wear comfortable clothing and shoes.” That isn’t specific enough as there can be many personal interpretations involving the word “comfortable.” Don't worry about the special uniforms at the beginning…so, the pressure is off about that.

Taiji is a martial art, and comfortable shoes, such as sports shoes with non-skid soles, (except running ones, as they are not even with the earth), are the best. Barefoot is not appropriate for proper learning of ANY Taiji movements, and socks are even worse (even with skids on the bottoms), because they're just not supportive and safe enough. This is especially crucial when a student is attending a Tai Chi for Arthritis & Fall Prevention class. It’s all about safe movement, stepping & balance, and that can’t be done barefoot.

Here’s a common problem. There are studios just about anywhere that have those nice wooden floors with no wear-marks on them at all, and the instructor emphasizes that NO SHOES are to be worn. You know the ones! Some will allow soft-soled shoes that have not been worn outside at all. Good luck with that because there’s always someone who forgets to bring those wonderful “special” shoes, so they are stuck with barefoot. Most instructors, except the real masters & sifus, would rather have students barefoot, even though it’s not the proper way to learn Taiji and Qigong. There are many hardcore instructors, (and apparently, I am one), that just say:
No Shoes, No Service!
These days most people think that Yoga wear is appropriate clothing for ANY movement class…but that’s not right for Taiji & Qigong. It’s tight-fitting and restricts movements (in a subtle way) too much, and inhibits the movement of Qi throughout the body. Have you ever seen any of those amazing practitioners on YouTube wearing Yoga stuff? No, you haven’t…you'll see them wearing nice flowing silky garments that look like PJ’s. (You don’t have to wear actual PJ’s, but you get the idea.)

I was in a panic once because I didn’t have the usual “formal” attire required for a last minute demo, so I wore my black silk Victoria’s Secret PJ’s, and nobody knew the difference because of how they were tailored! Loose fitting clothing, such as sweatpants and t-shirts, or sweatshirts, are the best for a class and your practice. Always remember, there's enough to worry about, so when you are just beginning, or even if you are a seasoned practitioner, the simple basics are always a good choice.

I love jewelry. I always have my diamond studs on, and perhaps a favorite necklace or ring. Bracelets have always been too noisy and distracting when doing movements so I never wear those. HOWEVER, there are some very serious masters that you may encounter on your journey who will insist that you do not wear ANY of it, not even your wedding rings. The reason behind that is those things are metal of some sort, and metal interferes with your Qi Energies & movements. How about that!