Leotards are awesome and everyone can wear them. It’s time to borrow them from the world of dance/gymnastics/ballet and make them a cool addition in your wardrobe. You may have some concerns at first, and I definitely had a few before I bought my first one, like, It will be skin tight and make me look absurd, and how do I even pee in this thing? Here’s a bit of myth-busting: Your body is perfectly lovely and deserves all the clothes you have ever wished to wear. And don’t worry—if you’re lucky, some leotards come with snap crotches, so they are a breeze to pee in. If they don’t, well, I’m sure you’ve worn a one-piece bathing suit before and managed.
Still, you might wonder, why a leotard over a regular ol’ top? Well:
- A leotard eliminates bulk. Have you ever tried getting a tucked-in shirt to stay flat? It’s super annoying, and pretty much impossible. With more fabric comes the tendency to bunch up, and you cannot wear a tight little pencil skirt or leather leggings with folds of fabric showing up underneath.
- It stays put. Even if you do get your shirt to behave, chances are it won’t stay that way. A bodysuit knows its place in your ensemble and stays there until you tell it otherwise.
- It flatters your body. As just touched upon—that fear of looking absurd in something so tight—leotards are actually quite slimming. That snug fit is exactly what you want, because it acts as shapewear, holding in what needs to be held in while accentuating what needs to be shown off.
I admit, it takes a certain amount of guts to style a leotard in some of the ways I’m about to recommend, and it might require you to overcome your fears, especially if you’re not entirely comfortable with your tummy or curves. Pulling together enough confidence to set aside your fears takes time, but when you actually get there and step out into the world in your bodysuit—giving the world not one single fuck—it’s one of the most liberating feelings on earth.
The first leotard I wore in public was a little low-cut thing with a completely open back that left little to the imagination. I slipped on some skinny jeans and my finest heeled sandals and promptly hit the Toronto streets with my best bud, and let me tell you: I have never felt more comfortable and carefree galavanting through a completely new city being obnoxiously touristy. I felt scintillating that day—I talked to people, danced around the mall, got my first tattoo, and even had the nerve to flirt with my tattoo artist. Nothing could kill my fashion-induced high. I was on fire and giving the world a virtual middle-finger. That leotard was something of a turning point, and after that day I promptly went on a hunt for every color bodysuit I could get my hands on.
Here are a few pointers to wearing a leotard no matter what your size or style—create your own bodysuit-centric outfit and have a gorgeous time wearing it!
With Sheer Pieces
Sheer pieces are great for highlighting the fact that you’re wearing a leotard and not just a regular cami/tee/top. Sheer maxi skirts are great for this look, or you could even throw on a sheer dress overtop.
Sometimes your leotard just wants to be inspired by its dancewear roots, so don’t be afraid to pair it with a tutu. It can definitely be done without looking costumey, if you accessorize correctly. You can class it up by wearing high heels, a sleek, polished up-do, and your glammest jewelry, or dress it down by throwing a jean or leather jacket overtop and slipping into some flats. If you do want to go the more theatrical route (an excellent one, in my opinion), wear a sequined leotard with a tutu and dazzle without a care.
If you feel less inclined towards sparkly things and still want to make a statement with your leotard, try one with a bold motif or print. I especially love this cat-print one—the tail on the back is adorable!
On Its Own
Okay, yes, this is the most terrifying fashion suggestion you’ve probably ever read, but hear me out. While I understand not wanting to wear your one piece out during the daytime, you can totally make it work at night. Just slap on some tights (or don’t), heels, a statement necklace, a hat, whatever your little heart desires. At the very least, you can definitely rock this look at a music festival or a concert-type venue.Accessorize with a kimono and some flats and you’re good to go. Or for a slightly more covered-up feel, take a page out of Kourtney Kardashian’s book and wear a long satin-robe cinched at the waist and some thigh-highs. And don’t forget: you can also look for leotards with a bit of leg coverage for more of a romper look.
Of course you can wear a leotard as a part of everyday outfits, too—just style it as you would any other top—with a skirt, shorts, jeans, or trousers.
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