So you’ve got a tried and true practice leotard that you love. It’s comfy, fits you well, and is broken in. You wash it and throw it around like it’s no big deal and it’s held up well. But now it’s time to get a new competition leotard. Maybe you think you should buy another one of this exact leotard and just put some decorations on it yourself. However, fitting a competition leotard is not quite that simple. It becomes less about personal preference and more about judge’s preference, and that can be a complicated thing to decipher.
How It’s Different from a Practice Leotard
Practice leotards you’re going to be wearing every day, hopefully for a long time. Chances are the only people you’re performing for in a practice context are your coach, friends, and maybe your parents. While you still want to look neat, and you want your coach to be able to see your movements, you don’t have to be quite as put together as at competitions. Gymnastics clothes can be extremely expensive, you it’s natural to want to get a leotard that will last you a while for practice. You can buy a leotard that has some growing room and use it for a long time as you fill it out, if you are still growing. In addition, some people just feel more comfortable in a slightly looser leotard.
Competition leotards do not have this much leniency. A competition leotard should fit perfectly. There should be no room for growth or baggy areas, but it should also not be tight to the point of discomfort. You want to make sure that your competition leotard accentuates your performance and your movements, rather than distracting from them. It’s surprising how distracting an ill-fitting leotard can be, or even detrimental. Odd folds or twists in the leotard can misrepresent the gymnast’s movement, or even lead to a malfunction that can be embarrassing and distracting to the gymnast. For competition, it may even be advisable to use products like butt glue and body tape to keep the leotard in place. This ensures that the leotard stays where it should, and allows the gymnast to focus on their performance rather than worrying about if their leotard is going to stay in place.
Gymnastics competition leotards can be intricate to buy, so going in with your measurements and a preferred style is probably a good idea. Finding a perfect leotard is an intricate process, but there’s a great competition leotard out there.