Most gymnasts love it: leotards! Picking out a leotard that's perfect for you can sometimes be a bit tricky. Here are 7 tips to help you in your search for your new leotard.
1. Determine your budget in advance
If you know in advance how much you want to spend on a leotard, you can search more easily and ensure that you never spend more than intended. There are different price categories for gymnastics leotards, from a few tens to a few hundreds of euros. A more expensive suit is not automatically better than a cheaper one. And a cheap suit is not always a good buy. So look carefully at the quality of the packets and whether it is in proportion to the price. You can also consider whether you are prepared to pay a little more for sustainability and good working conditions.
2. Think about what the leotard is for in advance
Are you looking for a leotard for yourself, for someone else or for a group? And is the leotard for training, a competition or a demonstration? Thinking about this can help you make decisions more easily. If you buy a leotard for yourself to train in, it's only about you loving your new leotard. But if you are going to buy the same suit with a group of people, it is important to discuss what you want and what you don't want. You have to keep in mind that not all your wishes are possible.
Is the suit for yourself for a competition? Then you can think about what kind of gymnastics outfit would go well with your floor exercise. For a demonstration or performance, you can also look for a gymnastics outfit that fits the theme. A gymnastics outfit can contribute to the performance. Just think of Céline van Gerner's Cats floor exercise at the 2018 European Championships. Her movements, make-up and outfit made it a complete picture.
3. With or without sleeves
A leotard with (three quarter) sleeves and a leotard without sleeves have different characteristics. One is not better than the other, it is very personal what suits you best. Here are some characteristics to help you make a choice:
- Tracksuit without sleeves
- Cooler than with sleeves
- Often cheaper than with sleeves
- No problems when using leather straps/loops
- No tight fabric around your arms
- The favourite for training
- Gymnastics outfit with (three-quarter) sleeves
- Warmer than without sleeves
- Long sleeves can get in the way of leather loops, but with three-quarter length sleeves this is not an issue.
- The frequently chosen option for competitions
- Underarms are covered
- More room for the design and glitter ;)
4. Colours and fabrics
Just like shopping for regular clothes, you can choose a leotard in a colour that suits you. Blue, red, pink, black and purple leotards are the most common, but there are leotards in all colours. So if you want a green or brown leotard, it is also possible, but you will have to look a little harder.
Gymnastics leotards are made of fabrics that stretch in all directions. At the moment, glitter fabrics and lycra are very fashionable. In the past, leotards made of spotted velour were popular, but we see these less and less. Smooth velour and mesh/mesh can also be used for leotards. Glitter fabric is the most beautiful, but also the most vulnerable. Lycra and velours have a more matt look, are slightly softer and generally stay longer.
With some brands, you can change the colours or fabrics. So if you love the design of a leotard, but would rather have it in another colour or fabric, you can. Sometimes this changes the price of the leotard. Please inquire before ordering, so you do not go over your budget.
Style is very personal! Do you go for curls or clean lines? For busy or for quiet? And do you go for symmetrical or asymmetrical? And there are many more options. The most important thing: choose a style that makes you feel good, then you will radiate it!
In doubt between two packages? Then do the 'I can't choose' trick. Put on one leotard and stand in front of the mirror. Take it in and close your eyes. Then hold the other leotard in front of you and open your eyes again. Then look at yourself in the mirror with the second suit. If all goes well, you now have a favourite. Still can't choose? Then both suits are perfect for you and you can't make a wrong choice.
There are many different brands in different price ranges and with differences in style and fit. Big brands come out with a new collection once or several times a year. These suits often cannot be altered and are made in large quantities. If you want something more unique or want to design something yourself, look for smaller brands. In consultation, almost anything is possible there!
7. Size and fit
The last step is usually to choose the size. This can be very tricky and you cannot automatically go for your normal clothing size. Torso length is usually the determining factor for leotards. The most accurate way to determine the size of a leotard is to try it on! Fitting can be done in a shop, by appointment in a sewing atelier or at a competition. Is the brand not nearby? See if there is a gymnast in your group with a leotard of that brand you can try on.
If fitting is not possible, use the brand's size chart or contact us for personal advice. And when in doubt, always choose the larger size. If the standard fit doesn't suit your posture you can often have the fit adjusted at smaller brands. For example a longer torso or narrower arms.
Once you have found your perfect leotard, don't forget to take good care of it so that you can enjoy it for a long time. So be sure to read the washing instructions that come with your leotard!
Have fun choosing your leotards and of course enjoy your gymnastics! Do you have any questions or do you like to chat about leotards? You can always contact me via Ingeturnd.