Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Clothing has long made a mark on society, from the modesty of the individual to a social level. And there are undoubtedly certain garments that are special, as they have a particular use, such as tights.

This type of garment is exclusively for sports use or prolonged physical activity, such as ballet, training, gymnastics or cycling, as they are the most comfortable way to perform these activities, as well as allowing greater safety when performing them, as they are designed to allow you to exercise without risk.

As all their designs are very similar, at first glance it is difficult to find differences and make a decision, in this article we will give you the necessary points so that you can make the best purchase of this product.




Summary

  • Leotards are garments renowned for their flexibility and freedom of movement. They are generally worn by acrobats, cyclists or dancers, in theatrical performances, gymnastics and daily physical activity training.
  • Leotards can vary based on the predominant material they are made of. This is important because it can make them more flexible, as is the case with lycra, or more resistant, as is the case with nylon leotards.
  • When buying a leotard there are several factors that can be decisive in choosing one over another, aspects such as the predominant material, design, style and hygiene are decisive when choosing.

The Best Leotard: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Having seen the most searched models on the internet by shoppers like you, you can now start to think about how and which leotard to buy in a way that suits your needs. However, there are still a few things you need to know in order to choose the ideal leotard for you.

The elasticity of the leotard is an important factor depending on the physical activity and age of the wearer. (Photo: Dean Drobot/ 123rf.com)

What are leotards and what are their advantages?

A leotard is a garment made of cotton, nylon, lycra, spandex or a combination of these, made of a thin, stretchy fabric that covers the trunk and legs and fits snugly around the body; it is worn by athletes, dancers or acrobats. Among its main advantages we have the flexibility and elasticity that this type of garment generates, which allows to improve the movement of the person who wears it, as they are elastic they reduce the possibility of suffering injuries in the body when carrying out the physical activity.

As simple as it may seem to buy a leotard based on its main characteristics, as has been highlighted in this article, there are several factors that you must take into account to buy them and make sure they will be definitive. The advantages and disadvantages are of utmost importance in this case.

Advantages
  • They have flexibility and free mobility
  • they are excellent body shapers
  • they are light and soft without tension points that can generate irritation.
Disadvantages
  • Depending on the quality they can lose elasticity
  • some cannot be machine washed or tumble dried
  • they can generate infections or fungus

Nylon leotard and Lycra leotard – what should you pay attention to?

Although the trend in leotards is for them to be made from more than one type of material, there will always be one predominant material and the most common ones to be found are nylon and lycra. Lycra and nylon tights are the most common and popular basics you will get, and even when combined with other fabrics they will have more presence, as they are two materials that have the characteristic of flexibility. However, each works for certain actions, and it’s good to consider this when shopping.

Nylon tights:

The durability of nylon tights is, without a doubt, the most determining factor of this material, since, due to its composition and strength, it is very resistant and does not tend to break or deteriorate easily. However, although its durability and resistance is very remarkable, the more the nylon leotard is, the more it takes into consideration a very determining factor: elasticity, because, compared to other materials, its elasticity is lower. As for humidity, nylon allows perspiration and does not retain odours so easily.

Lycra tights:

Lycra -or spandex- is the preferred material for tights, when we talk about elasticity these are the first choice, due to their composition they keep their tight fit over time and their durability is above those made of cotton and nylon. But not everything is flexibility, among its most notorious disadvantages is the inability to keep moisture generating bad smells for long periods of time of use. This alters the hygiene section, so you should be more careful if you use this type of leotard.

Nylon tights Lycra tights
Elasticity Medium, Compared to other fabrics High, they are the most flexible.
Resistance High, they are long lasting High, they are long lasting.
Humidity Allows perspiration, does not generate bad odours Does not retain humidity, generates bad odours.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate the different leotard models

Finally, there are certain points that you should take into consideration in order to compare the various leotard models and make the best decision. These criteria are vital for you to make the right purchase.

  • Size
  • Design
  • Style
  • Hygiene
  • Usage

Size

The size is an extremely relevant detail in the case of leotards, as the wrong size can cause discomfort or irritation, so you must be sure that the leotard fits your body.

Babies:

The correct sizes in the case of babies go by age, so the measurement as such will tell you this feature in your baby. They are the easiest to buy. It is recommended that you buy one size above their age, as they grow very fast.

Children:

The age of the child can guide you as to the size, however, one feature you can look for is the waist. From 2 years to 6 years it is between 46 cm and 53 cm. From 7 years to 12 years it is between 56 cm and 63 cm. While at 14 years it is between 66 cm and 71 cm.

Women:

When the leotard is for women, the measurements are shown in letters. For example, size P in the waist is between 56 cm and 61 cm; size S goes between 61 cm and 66 cm; size M between 66 cm and 71 cm; size L between 71 cm and 76 cm and XL between 76 cm and 81 cm. The difference with the children’s sizes can be seen in the bust.

Men:

The sizes are letter sizes, and the difference with the children’s sizes is also in the bust. In this case, the waist has the following measurements: size P from 66 cm to 71 cm; size S goes from 71 cm to 76 cm; size M goes from 76 cm to 81 cm; size L corresponds to 81 cm to 86 cm and XL is from 86 cm to 91 cm.

The flexibility and durability of the leotard material determines the lifespan of the garment. (Photo: Andrey Guyanov/ 123rf.com)

Design

The design depends on the activity to which the leotard is to be used. You will find different types of leotards which, although they are very eye-catching, are not suitable for all disciplines, regardless of the material, because in all materials you will find different types of design.

Minimalist design:

One-colour designs, generally white, black and skin-coloured, however, in minimalist designs you will find metallic colours, two-colour, printed, this type of leotard resembles ballet and theatrical performances.

Shiny design:

This type of leotard is more suitable for ice skating, artistic dance, daily training, since in this range you will find more flashy prints with many colours, themes related to the fashion of the moment, lace, glitter, feathers and pearls.

Style

Although the style is according to the taste of each client, it can vary depending on the model that best allows you to develop your activity, and although all styles meet the need and satisfy it, it will depend on you how much you need or want to cover your body.

Sleeveless:

The most common style of leotard distinguished by the use of straps or straps, V-cut or turtleneck in the front and open back, usually come with almost transparent areas for the legs, although you can opt for those that expose them.

With sleeves:

As the name suggests, they come with sleeves that completely cover the arms, eliminating straps or braces, these generally cover the back while maintaining the same level of exposure as the front.

Full body:

Ideal for theatrical performances. These leotards include a cap that covers the entire body except for the face. They usually have a minimalist one-colour design. Although depending on the activity you may need to wear one or more leotards, it is advisable to have at least two different leotard designs, to ensure that in special situations you have the one that meets the style that suits the occasion.

Hygiene

This element is elementary when buying a leotard, by this we mean the physiological conditions of each individual. If you are a person who sweats a lot or a little, this will be a determining factor when buying a leotard. If we take into account that we sweat a lot, Lycra leotards are not your best option, because they do not retain moisture and very easily generate bad odours.

This could lead to some embarrassing moments. If the above is your case, we recommend another material such as Nylon or cotton to be predominant. You can use one that also has lycra in its composition, but that is not the predominant one, so you will get the flexibility of lycra without the moisture problem.

The recommendation we give you in the hygiene factor is that you look for a combination of the fabrics that best suit your physical condition, bearing in mind that all of them are good. A leotard made of predominantly lycra and cotton will give you maximum flexibility and freshness, avoiding moisture, fungus formation or infections.

Use

Depending on where the leotard is to be used, it may vary. The material or shape of the leotard does not vary, but the motifs or designs do. Normally in artistic presentations, this garment should stand out, as it is the one that makes the artist stand out, so there may be differences.

In the case of practice leotards, whether in ballet, artistic dance, skating or any other discipline.The use of sequins is very typical, as they sparkle during the presentation.

Conclusion

It is normal to see colours such as dark blue, pink, white or black. If we look at the presentation leotards, they are very flashy and bright. They have extravagant motifs, including geometric figures or curved lines, as well as different colors, such as electric blue, yellow, orange or red. it is very common for them to have very minimalist designs, even in one color, because the important thing is how the discipline is performed and not to stand out in front of an audience.

(Featured image photo: Agencyby/ 123rf.com)

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