Leotard vs Unitard

Leotard vs Unitard

When it comes to choosing dancewear, there are a lot of options available. Two of the most popular styles are leotards and unitards. While they might seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two that can make a big impact on your comfort and performance. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both leotard and unitard and explore the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Overview Of Leotards

leotard vs unitard

Leotards are a classic dancewear staple that has been around for decades. They’re a one-piece garment that typically covers the torso, with straps that go over the shoulders and sometimes a low back. Leotards come in a wide variety of styles, including short-sleeved, long-sleeved, and sleeveless. They can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, spandex, and nylon.

Benefits Of Leotards

One of the biggest benefits of leotards is their versatility. They can be worn on their own, or paired with a skirt or shorts for a more modest look. Leotards also come in a variety of colors and prints, so you can choose one that suits your personal style. Because they’re form-fitting, they allow for a full range of motion and won’t get in the way during jumps or turns.

Drawbacks Of Leotards

While leotards can be great for many dancers, there are some drawbacks to consider. Because they’re tight-fitting, they can be uncomfortable for some people. Additionally, if you’re performing a dance that involves a lot of rolling on the floor, a leotard might not provide enough coverage to protect your skin.

Overview Of Unitards

Unitards are one-piece garment that covers the entire body from the neck down, including the arms and legs. They can be made from a variety of materials, including spandex and lycra. Unitards often have a high neck and long sleeves, but some styles may have a scoop neck or be sleeveless.

Benefits Of Unitards

One of the biggest benefits of unitards is that they provide full coverage. This can be particularly useful if you’re performing a dance that involves a lot of rolling on the floor or if you’re self-conscious about certain areas of your body. Unitards also provide compression, which can help improve circulation and support muscles.

Drawbacks Of Unitards

While unitards offer a lot of coverage, they can also be restrictive. Some dancers may find that they limit their range of motion or make it difficult to breathe. Additionally, because they cover the entire body, they can be hot and uncomfortable during long rehearsals or performances.

Leotards and unitards are commonly worn by dancers, but they can also be used for other physical activities such as gymnastics, yoga, and aerial arts. In fact, leotards and unitards are often preferred by athletes as activewear because they provide comfort, flexibility, and compression during physical activity.

Additionally, these garments can be worn on their own or as a base layer under other clothing, making them versatile options for dancewear and activewear. While leotards are often chosen for their minimalistic style, unitards offer full coverage and can be particularly useful for activities that require more movement and stretching, such as aerial arts.

leotard vs unitard

Choosing Between Leotards And Unitards

So, which one is right for you? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, the style of dance you’re performing, and the level of coverage you need. Here are some things to consider when choosing between leotards and unitards:

  • Coverage: If you’re performing a dance that involves a lot of rolling on the floor or if you’re self-conscious about certain areas of your body, a unitard might be the better choice.
  • Range of motion: If you need a lot of flexibility and mobility, a leotard might be a better option since it won’t restrict your movement as much as a unitard.
  • Comfort: Both leotards and unitards can be uncomfortable if they don’t fit properly or if you’re not used to wearing them. Try on different styles and materials to see which one feels best for you.
  • Style: Leotards come in a wider variety of styles and colors, so if you’re looking for something that’s more customizable, a leotard might be the way to go. However, unitards can also be stylish and can give off a sleek and modern look.
  • Temperature: Consider the temperature of the room or venue where you’ll be performing. If it’s hot, a leotard might be more comfortable since it provides more ventilation. If it’s cold, a unitard can help keep you warm.

Ultimately, the choice between leotards and unitards comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your performance. Some dancers prefer the freedom of movement that comes with a leotard, while others appreciate the full coverage and compression of a unitard.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are leotards and unitards suitable for all types of dance?

  • Yes, both leotards and unitards can be worn for a wide variety of dance styles, from ballet to contemporary to jazz.
  1. Can leotards and unitards be worn for casual wear?

  • While they’re designed for dance, leotards, and unitards can also be worn as part of a fashion-forward outfit.
  1. How do I know which size to buy?

  • It’s important to try on different sizes and styles to find the one that fits best. Look for a snug fit without any wrinkles or sagging fabric.
  1. Can I wear underwear under my leotard or unitard?

  • While some dancers prefer to go commando, it’s perfectly fine to wear underwear underneath your dancewear if you prefer.
  1. Can I wash my leotard or unitard in the washing machine?

  • It’s best to check the care instructions on your specific garment, but in general, it’s recommended to hand wash leotards and unitards to prevent damage to the fabric. If you do choose to machine wash, be sure to use a delicate cycle and mild detergent.


Both leotards and unitards have their pros and cons, and the right choice for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. When choosing between the two, consider factors such as coverage, range of motion, comfort, style, and temperature. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to select the dancewear that helps you feel confident and perform at your best.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *