Gymnastic Leotards: Historic Facts

It goes without saying that every kind of sport requires specific apparel. The unique outfit is necessary for the athlete’s comfort, attractiveness and hence best performance. The sportswear uniforms have been changing throughout the centuries, developing innovative tailoring as well as involving new fabrics and design. In this brief post we would like to look at interesting facts and the history of a gymnastics leotard.

This may seem funny, yet the initial gymnastic apparel was created by a man. The skin tight garment which is now used mainly by girls is named after a French acrobat Jules LĂ©otard, who popularized the garment. Being a pioneer of the artistic gymnastics and one of the most famous acrobats of his time, Jules was looking for an impeccable outfit for his performances which should be perfect in all aspects. Eventually he tailored the first maillot (the original name of the garment) for himself in 1859. It allowed him to perform sophisticated tricks flawlessly, simultaneously exhibiting his well developed muscles to the audience. So, the contemporary gymnastic leotards for girls root back to the nineteenth century.

Although the revolutionary garment was initially created for acrobats, soon it has become very popular with other athletes. Unisex leotards were worn by dancers, gymnasts, wrestlers, cyclists etc. In a few decades the garment penetrated the casual wear market and appeared in the form of bathing suits and exercise outfits (1930’s and 1950’s respectively). By the late 1970’s this functional apparel has become a vivid symbol of a disco and aerobics craze of the time. Newly invented spandex and nylon on a par with traditional cotton have offered a wide variety of styles and cuts of leos.

Gymnastics Uniform Today

Undoubtedly, leotards are very practical and functional as swimsuits and exercise garments, although they are the most beneficial for gymnastics. They fit perfectly and bring a feeling of a second skin, since gymnastics requires an ultimate concentration. Loose pants, rubbing seams and other distractions can lead to mistakes and thus severe injuries. The perfectly fitting gymnastics apparel will never distract an athlete, but bring a complete sense of convenience and safety. Such a kind of uniform also winningly displays the perfect muscles, especially in artistic gymnastics.

You will find a wide array of gymnastic apparel available in the sportswear market today. They can be both sleeveless or feature long/short/enlarged sleeves depending on their usage. Leos can be made of different fabrics and may have no seams at all. There also exist simple modest workout outfits and those manufactured (very often handmade) for competitive purposes. The latter usually incorporate vivid decorative elements, tinsel, fringes and other kinds of fancy embellishments. Depending on the purpose of the garment the price can vary. As a rule, high quality leos are very expensive (even those for little girls), especially the competition outfits. However, you can always make use of one of the reliable online shops offering a great range of gymnastic leos for girls of all ages for reasonable prices.

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