Did you recently start doing gymnastics? Are you currently searching for that ideal outfit you can take to the gym? Then a good leotard is what you need.
Leotards are one-piece, skin-tight garments that dancers, gymnasts, athletes, and the like wear during training or competition. Leotards cover the body from the crotch up to the shoulders.
With the pandemic slowing down the sports and athletic industry, the demand for leotards is also taking a hit. Nevertheless, the importance of leotards remains.
But the question is how do you pick the ideal leotard? What are the key factors you should consider when buying one?
Continue reading below for some valuable tips for choosing the best one for you.
The Purpose of the Leotard
Like any gym gear that you buy, your leotard should serve a particular purpose. Hence, you should first determine why you are using the leotard for.
Are you going to wear it for practice? Or are you suiting up with it for an upcoming competition? If it is the former, then go for a practice leotard.
These leotards come with less flashy designs but get the job done for regular use. There are reputable manufacturers like United All Around that develop quality leotards for training purposes.
On the flip side, competition leotards feature flashier designs. These are the ones you see during a gymnastics competition.
The manufacturers ensure that the design will accentuate the movements of the athletes. This allows the latter to showcase their muscles and artistry further in the eyes of the judges.
Fit and Comfort Count
After determining the purpose of the leotard, you need to consider the fit and comfort. But how should a leotard fit you? They should be comfortable enough for you to perform strong salutes and cartwheels.
Training leotards are often more comfortable compared to competition leotards. But despite being comfortable, they still retain the right amount of tightness.
On the other hand, competition leotards tend to be tighter. As we mentioned earlier, these leotards aim to showcase the cuts of your muscles. Hence, they ought to be tighter than their training counterparts.
Also, leotards should not come with excess fabric that may cause discomfort. The key is to get your exact measurements when choosing leotards. You do not want them to be too tight or too loose on your body.
Make sure to give it a good try before buying. Take note of how the leotard stretches on your waist, arms, shoulders, and crotch. You want to feel comfortable when stretching these key areas.
The Right Design
There are different designs for leotards depending on the purpose. If you are into classical dance like ballet, then a camisole leotard is your best bet. It features thin straps with varying designs at the back.
There are also leotards with ruffles or skirts. The manufacturers place the skirt on the waist portion of the leotard, right below the bust line.
You may also find tank-type leotards. These are common across different dance disciplines because of their comfort and simplicity.
Furthermore, you can find leotards that come with long or short sleeves. These are excellent options if you are after accentuating your body while dancing.
Having the right design is only part of what makes a leotard ideal. It must also come with the right materials to cover the other aspects. When we talk about the materials, it is the fabric that you should examine.
Most leotards feature a mix of cotton and spandex. These two elements provide the right amount of balance in stretch, comfort, and breathability. They facilitate the form-fitting and flexible characteristic of leotards.
However, other combinations cater to other requirements. The lycra and nylon combination are perfect if you want something colorful and eye-catching. But if you want to shine on the stage, a leotard with a metallic material will give you that reflective touch.
If you want a more muted approach, go for a leotard with cotton and lycra. This combination gives you that matte finish.
And if you’re already performing in the big stage, you can go for a customized leotard. Here, you can personalize your outfit similar to that of the US women’s gymnastics team.
Mind the Colors
If you are joining a dance or gymnastics class, they may have a set of predetermined colors that your leotard should feature. In such instances, you have no choice but to follow the dance school’s colors.
But if there’s none, try going for a color that complements your hair color and skin tone. Though there are a variety of colors to choose from, the safest options are pink and black.
Quality is Paramount
The quality of the leotard is a culmination of all the materials and other elements that make up the gym leotard. And when it comes to this aspect, quality should be paramount. It should be non-negotiable.
Thus, pick a good brand that uses top-notch materials. A good leotard should last you for years, as long as you also provide proper care and maintenance.
Additionally, save up for more than one leotard. Match the type leotards that you wear according to your skill level.
But keep in mind that you don’t need to go for the most expensive ones available. For beginners, you will find basic tank leotards that are comfortable and affordable.
What the Coach Says
Last but not least, consider what your gym or dance coach has to say. A good coach can give sound advice when it comes to picking the ideal leotard. Your coach can guide you in the best materials, garments, and patterns to pick.
He may even refer you to sources that offer excellent deals and discounts.
Become a Better Dancer
Picking the ideal leotard is crucial in both training and competition. It ensures comfort and flexibility while increasing your stage impact. But having the right gym gear is only a small portion of becoming a better dancer.