Unitard vs. Leotard: Do You Need Both?

Unitards and Leotards are two different dance attire with a few similarities. Some dance schools specify unitards and leotards both as the necessary uniform, while some may keep them optional. You need to understand the similarities and differences between the two to make the right choice when needed.

Keep reading as we are breaking down the similarities and differences and explore the reasons that make them necessary dance attire.

What are the Similarities between Unitards and Leotards

Before we discuss the differences between the two dance attires, let us first see their similarities. The similarities make us think that both of them are the same and we do not need to choose between them.

·       Made of Spandex or Lycra – Both unitards and leotards are made of similar clothing materials. Most commonly, you will get unitards and leotards made of spandex. The spandex is an elastic fiber that allows unitards and leotards to stick to the body.

·       Both are Skin Tight – Unitards and leotards are both skins tight, which is why they are essential for dancers and athletes. This skin-tight attire allows dancers to move and stretch their bodies without external hindrances.

·       Are available in varied neckline options – Whether you prefer a V-neck, scooped, or sweat heart-shaped neckline, you can get the options in both unitards and leotards. There’s no restriction in the neckline design in both the dance attires. You can get the one that suits your preference.

·       Are available in varied sleeve designs – There aren’t any restrictions in sleeve design either. Unitards and leotards are available in sleeveless, full sleeves, and even halter or camisole strap designs. Your choice of sleeves won’t restrict you to choosing either a unitard or leotard.

Differences between Unitards and Leotards

After knowing the similarities, we can proceed to the differences between unitards and leotards. After all, these differences will let you make the right choice between a unitard and a leotard according to your needs.

·       Areas covered – The most significant difference between a unitard and a leotard is the difference in the area covered by the outfit. While both cover the torso, the unitard extends to the legs. The lower part of a leotard resembles underwear and does not cover the legs. Unitards cover the legs and mainly extend to the ankle.

·       Dance style – Leotards are considered the dress for the ballet dancer. Unitards are attire used by many other contemporary or modern dance styles. They are called the uniform for contemporary dance style.

Why Unitards are considered an Important Dance Attire

Unitards and Leotards are considered important dance attire for many reasons. Let us briefly discuss some of them.

Helps in perfecting the Moves – The most important reason why dance classes need students to wear a unitard, leotard, or both is that they help in perfecting the moves of the learner. Dance unitard and leotard are attire that allows the instructor to clearly follow the lines created by the learners’ bodies. This helps them pinpoint any minor mistake thus perfecting the dance moves of the learner. Loose dresses easily conceal body movement and will not help dancers be perfect in their moves.

Makes it easy to Dance – Unitards and leotards are just like a second skin to the body hence they do not restrict a dancer’s movement. A person can be as free in their unitard as they are in their skin and can move their body without any hindrance. Any other loose dress or attire will restrict some dance movement or make it a little uncomfortable. Moreover, unitards keep the muscles warm enabling the dancers’ movement to be more fluid and graceful.

Are unitards worn only by dancers?

No! Unitards are seen as a uniform for dancers, but it is not only the dancers who wear this skin-tight apparel for easing their body movement. Gymnasts, swimmers, figure skaters, aerialists, wrestlers, and other athletes wear unitards as they make their tasks easier. All these people require restriction-free movement of the body hence unitard is a requirement for them.

How to choose the right size of unitard?

Choosing the right size of unitard is exactly the same as choosing any other outfit – you will look at the size chart. But, looking at the size chart and knowing your exact size is much more important while buying a unitard as compared to any other outfit. You need to pick a close-fitting unitard to help you move gracefully without concealing your moves. But, you have to ensure that the close-fitting is not too tight, as excessively tight apparel will restrict your movement and make you feel tied.