Leotards are skin-tight garments commonly worn by ballet dancers, athletes, gymnasts and figure skaters. This one-piece clothing covers your upper body and leaves the legs exposed. You must have seen gymnasts wearing leotards in Olympics and other gymnastics competitions. Professional gymnasts must refer to the code of points before choosing the best gymnastics leotard for an event.
Although you could opt for a sleeveless garment over a full-sleeve one, wearing a leotard that’s either too high on the hip or even too low can be subject to penalization. As a matter of fact, see-through leotards are also against the rules.
In this article, I am going to use my 20 years of experience as a gymnastics coach to select top the 10 Gymnastics Leotard presently doing rounds of the market. If you’re buying this product for the first time, read my detailed reviews below before you make a purchase:
Best Gymnastics Leotards of 2017
D&M – Best Leotards for Girls
The D&M is a premium clothing line manufacturing quality gymnastics leotards in all standard sizes. These hologram leotards are made from top quality velvet stretch and lycra.
I particularly loved the velvet stretch variant which stretches as much as the gymnasts can stretch her body.
Keeping up with the dress code of most gyms and major sports events, these garments do not ride too high on the hip nor is it see-through. To make you stand out in the crowd, D&M offers a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from.
GK Dancing Swirl – Best Dance Leotards
Unlike standard gymnastics leotards, this one remains unaffected even after constant stretching.
The pink color leotard is a delight to look at and your daughter is going to feel like a princess wearing it.
As far as the fitting is concerned, I am yet to hear any complaint about it. You just have to figure out the suitable size from the size chart and the product you’ll receive would be exactly how it looks in print.
GK Glitz & Glam – Best Gymnastics Outfits
This is a go-to brand for many amateurs as well as intermediate level gymnasts training under me. The design appears to be quite comfortable and it conforms to the rules set by the gym authority as well.
A heavy stretch fabric, also called sublimated fabric, is used for manufacturing these leotards. Sublimated fabric is an ideal fabric for sports wears.
I have had the opportunity to speak to some of the existing customers of this product and most of them sounded very satisfied with the fittings. Do pertain to the size chart of GK Glitz & Glam to find out the correct size.
Look-It Sparkle Majestic – Best Long Sleeve
This is the most attractive outfit in this segment in my view. Whoever wears this is sure to grab the attention of the audience, thanks to the leotard’s flamboyant purple color perfectly complemented by a sparkle hologram shoulder and bling.
Now, some of you might think blings could cause itching but the brand uses a special “No sting bling” so, you need not worry about that.
Apart from looking pretty, it also fits really well, provided you find out the correct size from the size chart.
D&M – Best Rhythmic Gymnastics Leotards
Another extremely pretty active sportswear from the ever-so-popular D&M. This one might be slightly expensive but given the quality and comfort of the material, I’d say it’s totally worthwhile.
This versatile leotard is suitable for dancing and swimming as well. Another reason why I absolutely love this leotard is the comfort it provides.
The makers have made sure that it doesn’t feel tight around the arms which is an extremely common complaint about skin-fit garments like this. One small drawback is that it doesn’t come with a matching scrunchie.
TumbleWear – Best Kids Leotards
The next product on my list strikes the perfect balance between looks and comfort. While the blue and green color combination looks absolutely ravishing, the material keeps your movement unrestricted.
TumbleWear uses a specialty snowcone fabric which is 80% nylon and 20% lycra spandex for ultimate durability and comfort. Many seasoned gymnasts prefer hybrid materials like this as they last longer.
However, I would advise you to choose a leotard one size larger than your regular clothing size. It is because the leg holes are a bit smaller than they should be.
Stars and Stripes Leotard – Best for Toddlers
It is available in both sleeveless and full-sleeve variants which is great if you want to stock an extra pair for cold weather. Coming to the design, it is a little low back but not uncomfortably low.
Most importantly, the fabric is soft, durable and very pleasant on the skin. It is a mix of 82% polyester and 18% elasthane which makes it resistant to scratch.
Pelle Girls’ – Best Cheap Leotards
This brand not only offers the most affordable, high-quality gymnastics leotards but the sheer variety of colors and designs also leaves you spoilt for choice. At present, it is available in 10 attractive colors, ranging from Zack Attack Teal to Cherry Baby.
Pelle has made it a point to use only the best quality 4-way stretch fabric for optimal durability and comfort. The material is extremely stretchable, thus preventing bunching and wedgies.
Made in a hi-tech factory of the USA, all the fabrics used in making the leotards are cut by computers, leaving no room for human error.
Also, another reason the leotard feels super comfy is that the label is printed on the outfit instead of being sew-in. Solid stitching, rich colors and high resistant to pulling and twisting- the Peele Girls’s gymnastics leotards tick all the right boxes.
EFINNY Girls’ – Best Gymnastics Wear
These elegant gymnastics leotards from EFINNY are available in 3 color variants, out of which, the black leotard with a white stripe is my personal favorite. Girls who like sober designs instead of the flashy ones would love these leotards.
The outfit is a little wide on the posterior area but I guess that’d be fine if you wear undies or leggings with it, which most girls do anyway.
I’ve heard some parents complaining that the armholes are a little small. I think that issue arises due to choosing the wrong size.
Talking about the material, it is a mix of spandex and polyester, capable of withstanding constant stretching and twisting. Apart gymnastics practice, it is also ideal for hiking, biking, dancing, and swimming.
Happy Cherry Kids – Best Gymnastics Suit
If this is the first time your little girl is going to wear a leotard and you don’t want to spend too much, your search might end here.
But don’t let its price tag fool you to think that the quality of the product isn’t up to the mark.
The manufacturers have used top quality spandex material that’s lightweight, easy to wash, easy on the skin and most of all, has an amazing elasticity. Suitable for both practice and competitions, these leotards are a perfect bang for the bucks.
Gymnastics Leotards – Buyer’s Guide
Best Material for Leotards
When it comes to choosing the right fabric for your leotard, you should prioritize comfort over everything else. Each gymnast has his/her own preference when it comes to fabrics. Below, I have discussed different types of leotard fabrics in brief.
Lycra: Lycra leos are comfy and extremely stretchy. This fabric is highly pleasant to the skin and therefore, lycra leotards are best for those never-ending rigorous training sessions.
Spandex: A semi-stretchy material. Leos made from spandex would be a good option for amateur gymnasts as well as dancers.
Metallic Fabric: This type of material is a go-to choice for competitions and events as they come in a variety of colors and extravagant decorations.
Hologram Mesh: It’s better to avoid hologram mesh leotards as they are extremely prone to tearing if stretched on a daily basis.
Gymnastics Leotard is an integral part of a gymnast’s wardrobe. Considering the variety of options that are available to the modern consumer, it is easy to get confused. Therefore, what you should be looking at while investing in leotards are brand, shape, cut, fabric, sleeves, and measurements. Here’s a guide that will help you make an informed choice while buying leotards.
Unitard vs Leotard
Dancers over the years have traditionally used unitard and leotard as their only choice of costume. But for those of you who wish to use it for gym purposes, it often becomes a confusing prospect. Let me simplify things for you.
For starters, unitard and leotard are both single piece garments. In terms of design, they are extremely similar, the function and usage, however, will provide a clearer picture.
Firstly, the unitard helps cover the leg area, leotard has short or no leg area. Secondly, the unitard is made of materials like Lycra. The unitard first came into fashion in the early 1990s by stage dancers. Leotard was first popularized by circus performers but gradually grew popular among women users.
The leotard designed for men has a lower cut in the chest and the area between the stomach and thigh.
There are different types of unitards available. For instance, a unitard with short-cuts is termed as a biketard or a bootietard. There are also variations on straps and sleeves. But a leotard has a leg cut opening. Between the two, the unitard is way more popular but if you are looking for variations, the leotard should be your choice to be.
Factors that determine how you choose your Leotard
Right Fitting Is Important
One of the most important aspects of Leotard is the fitting. If a leotard is too tight then it would be too uncomfortable. However, if a leotard is too big then it would horrible to look at apart from the fact that your training sessions might not be as effective.
Some pointers that you can follow to ensure that you have a perfect fit include buying a leotard with a bit of growing room near the knee and the buttocks area.
Leo Styles Differ for Training and Competition
Training leotards and competition leotards differ on a variety of aspects. For example, a training leotard can have any type of patterns as per your fancy. However, gymnastics on the professional circuit is governed by laws and strategies. This entails that such leotards are flashy and made of solid colors. In fact, judges and coaches prefer glitzy costumes as competition material.
There are three types of sleeves that gymnastic leotards sport. These three types are sleeveless, three-quarter length and long sleeve. Each of these types has their own advantages and disadvantages.
The sleeveless variant allows efficient escape of body heat but is not preferred for competitions.
The three quarter length sleeve is just optimum for cold weather and provides the best features of the other two variants. Add to this the fact that it is a competition favorite and you have a winner on your hands.
Long sleeve leotards are more a question of comfort as they keep the gymnast warm and help tackle cold weather.
Leotard Back Styles
Like every other segment, you can also choose your leotards back from a variety of options. The most popular of these variants include:
The type of leotards back you choose also depends in part on the type of undergarment that you would wear under it. For instance, cami and keyhole backs expose the bra while the tank style doesn’t.
Choosing the Right Size
Here are some tips that will probably help you travel through this daunting task that is choosing the right leotards size. While buying the product, keep an accurate measurement of your chest, waist, hip, inseam, and girth. The girth is one of the most important areas that you should stress on.
The Bottom Line
It is important to remember in this regard that while fitting may be paramount when it comes to leotards, it is not above comfort. The product you invest in should at the end of the day be comfortable. An informed choice will obviously help you choose your dream leotard. Among the 10 products listed in this article, my top pick has to be GK Dancing Swirl.
Pretty design and easy on the skin- it combines the best of both worlds. It gets a tough competition from TumbleWear Girl’s Samantha Leotard which is popular for its durability and ease of maintenance. That’s all for today. I hope my reviews help you pick your dream leotard.