After writing the ballet inspired blog last week, this is one of many inquiries about leotards I have encountered.
1) What is a leotard?
A leotard can be also be called a one-piece or a bodysuit. It can be a pull up or it can have snaps at the crotch. I recommend wearing the ones with snaps – particularly when enjoying cocktails.
2) Why wear a leotard?
A leotard is the only way to get the tucked-in look without the shirt moving around, wrinkling and generally trying to get out of your pants. It is also the best way to get the tucked in look without clumps and bumps in side your skirt/pants/shorts etc. Pictured above is me in an American Apparel leotard.
3) How do you wear a leotard?
You put on your leotard and then you put on your skirt, shorts or pants. That is it. After that you can add a vest, jacket, blazer or scarf. Whatever you want.
4) Who can wear a leotard?
A body hugging leotard is only for those with a flat, smooth or semi flat and smooth torso. Because the leotard is so close to the body it will show all your lady humps, good and not-so good. That does not mean that the tucked in look is reserved for only smooth bodies. You can always blouse a tucked-in shirt or get a bloused leotard to camouflage your non flat belly. Though, it is difficult to find a bloused leotard these days.
5) Lastly, where to find the leotard…
American Apparel has an enormous selection of non-snap leotards in long sleeve, racerback, tank style and velvet. The cons… the fits can be an issue. The tank options scoop down low under the arms which can be too revealing for those with non smooth bodies – like this little lady. For the long sleeve version, the neck is so wide that it can slip down on your arm and annoy you. Lastly, they run small. I wear a large as a size 6.
Spiegel has a fabulous shoulder pad leotard that fits beautifully. They run big so as a size 6 I wear a small and could have probably gotten an XS. The cons, the white is completely see-thru. It even shows the shoulder pad. Don't get the white. The black and grey are fabulous, though. Last con, Spiegel is a terrible website to order from. The give your information to their partner companies so you get at least three or four e-mails after you buy something.
Dance clothing websites have them for good reasons. It is a dance garment. I have not tried any of them, but I found a lovely basic black leotard decently priced on DanceForLess.com. Forever 21 also has some cheap ones under $10.
Nordstrom has some Hanky Panky bodysuits, but they are mostly lace and a bit too 80's for my taste. Bloomingdale's on the other hand has a very chic and expensive Wolford New York long sleeve leotard. Unlike American Apparel's long sleeve leotard, this has a high crew neck that is probably more comfortable, but unlike American Apparel this one costs a couple hundred bones.
Most recently, Rebecca Minkoff sent a leotard down the runway a few days ago at Fashion week for Fall 201. Give it a hand full of months and this designer leotard can be yours. Obviously you won't style it the way it was shown on the catwalk – put some matte pants on.