I don’t collect anything, but if I did, I would collect leotards. No question about it. I own several and they’re the best things I own.
Pretty much every gal I know “used to dance,” and by that most of us mean we took some ballet in elementary school and eventually quit because the cool girls moved on to rec soccer and boys. Dance girls didn’t get laid. Didn’t you see “Black Swan”? Ya girl Nat was thirsty.
But now the cool girls have co-opted those leotards. Once worn only in the dingy solitude of a mirrored ballet studio, where I assume older Eastern European women scream numbered positions at ballerinas’ feet and nobody eats, now leotards can finally bask in the glory of their very own day in the sun. And by sun, I mean the dim fluorescents of the nearest hipster dive-bar.
Do y’all own a leotard yet? Or rather, maybe we should refer to them by their newly adopted identity in this the year of our Lord Nasty Gal -- the “bodysuit.” The only difference between a leotard and a bodysuit is the word itself, and I prefer leotard. It’s nostalgic. Plus, I can call them “leo’s.”
If you don’t like wearing tight clothes, than you’re gonna have a bad time with leotards. They’re tight. That’s the point. You can find them with looser top halves, but they’re never gonna feel the way a sweatshirt feels. (Speaking of sweatshirts, check out Baze’s fantastic ode to them here!)
The tightness is one of the best parts of a leotard, because you can wear leo’s under shorts or a skirt (especially when they’re made of really thin fabric) and not worry about constantly re-tucking them as they ride up. I hate the way bunchy things look when layered, like when you can see a shirt tucked in under a pencil skirt.
If I’m wearing tights, I’ll tuck my shirt into my tights just to smooth things out a bit. With leotards though, there’s no issue! Nothing’s gonna come untucked, and it’s just one smooth, long line all the way down.
Look at how great this leo looks under my cat print shorts.
I know some of you are still trapped in the desolate hellscape of an endless winter, and for that I do feel badly. I live in the Deep South, and what we lack in social progress, we make up for in warm weather from, like, March through November. We had a nice week or so of winter this year!
But I can promise you -- warmer weather everywhere else WILL eventually return! When it does, you better be prepared with some skirts and shorts. Unless you live somewhere that’s cold always, in which case -- why do you do that? And how??
Look, I found you some cute shorts and skirts to wear with your leotards this summer! Everything’s under $50, because I love you and I care about your future.
There are so many possibilities between all those bottoms and all those leotards. I got excited thinking about putting all the shorts and skirts in one column, and the leotards in another, which is how I ended up here.
Leotards are also handy if you own a lot of sheer clothing. I know I’m not a hip, young kid anymore because every time I walk into any store in the mall, I turn into my mother and spend my time picking up various items and alternating between loudly exclaiming, “I can’t tell if this is a shirt or a dress!!” and “Jeez, can I find one top that isn’t totally see-through??”
Actually, I know I’m getting older because I can’t remember the last time I went to the mall, and just imagining it is giving me hives. Youths, man.
I did get this sheer floral dress at a Macy’s in the mall a few years ago. It’s a high-low dress, which is a trend I always hated and will never accept into my heart. However, it opens in the front like flower petals and has a pretty lace-up feature in the back, so I bought it on a whim.
It had some cheap lining sewed into it, and I hate attached lining so I cut that out ASAP. I hate attached lining. Now, if I were Jessa from "Girls," I would wear this baby with nothing but lacy neon panties and a bra beneath it. But I am not. Instead, I typically pair it with a leotard. With a black bra and panties, it’s sort of cute in a witchy way but I’m over the phase of my life in which I show everyone my bra at Wal-Mart.
A leotard under a sheer dress is perfect for summer time though, or paired with tights for when it’s still cold.
Of course, as with anything I truly love, there are some setbacks to the leo:
1. Some of them are gonna ride up your vag in a weird way. That means they’re too small. I hate panties in general, so I don’t find these much worse than anything else touching my bits.
3. Some of them are made of really thin material, and can be sheer when photographed or in certain lights. To counteract this, buy leotards made of thicker, quality material or wear a bra underneath. I hate bras too, though.
4. That feeling when you feel a trickle of sweat drip down between your boobs and for a second you think it’s a bug and you freak out but then you realize it’s your body melting and you’re less freaked out but still, like, UGH. That has less to do with leotards than just sweat in general, but when you’re wearing something tight, you’re gonna sweat more. It’s healthy, I think. Toxins, hot yoga, etc, right? I don’t know. Boob sweat is my life from, like, April through October.
OK, group. How do we feel about leotards? Which leo is your favorite?
You can find Rachel on Twitter rambling on about leotards, fizzy water, and other things she loves too much. Follow her @rachie_claire.