When you watch the gymnastics competitions, you would notice how these gymnasts are very confident in their costumes. These tightly skin-fitting clothes enable the gymnasts to move freely and confidently, in both trainings and competitions. But this costume is not only for gymnasts; many other types of athletes and performing artists get to wear the costume as well when performing. Since gymnastics requires a lot of challenging movements, the gymnastics leotards are the most fitted clothes for such performances.
Gymnastics leotards are really designed to resolve the problems with uncomfortable movements due to wearing loose clothes while performing. This gymnastics leotard is a piece of apparel that can be worn during sports and athletic performances. The design of the garment is as simple as one-piece apparel usually covering the chest and the abdomen but exposing the legs. There are leotards designed with long sleeves while some are short-sleeved or even sleeveless ones. Until not long ago it was mandatory that competition gymnastics leotards will be long sleeved but this requirement is already removed. If the athlete is shy or not comfortable with the skin exposure, you can find them wearing sort of tight cycling shorts to cover the legs. A modified version of this gymnastics leotard is the unitard which comes out with long leg coverings and long sleeves to fit this specific requirement of some athletes.
One thing to note is that these garments are unisex. It has been an issue of controversy over the years whether they should also be worn by men especially since most adverts and sales mostly target women. Various design houses have, however, come out to refute these claims and have even gone forward to not only market the garments to men but also design various leotards that are able to conform to the physical needs of male wearers. The only major difference between the men and women leotards is that men’s leotards are low cut around the groin area and are very low cut below the chest. They are also usually polo necked though this has since moved become another unisex feature of the garment.
The gymnastics leotard is worn for a wide range of activities. Gymnasts, thespians, circus performers, acrobats, athletes, and dancers can wear them. You can also put them on when going to the gym as they offer great support for the body. If you wish to wear the leotard as a casual garment then you can accessorize it with a belt or other additional garment that suits your fashion sense.
The gymnastics leotards actually came from France in the 19th century. Sports, especially the acrobatics, became popular in France not only because of the quality performances made by one person, but also because of his invented costume used during his performance. It was Jules Lotard who introduced this type of costume to the world of sports and is remembered until now.
He designed it to display his muscles and to enable him have unrestricted movement during his performance. At the time he referred to the garment as ‘maillot’ but as time went by and many years after his death the name leotard was coined. The garment was originally restricted to men’s acrobatic shows but was later incorporated and modified into a women’s garment. The result is the current one-piece swimsuit that is worn by women when swimming or the gymnastics leotard used for the various types of Gymnastics. Around the late 20th Century, wearing a leotard was not only restricted to sports or other physical exercise but had become a fashion statement in most parts of the world.