The leotard is one of the most important garments in gymnastics. It is a special garment that is designed to cover the torso, yet leave the arms and legs free for maximum mobility while performing any form of gymnastics. They can be used in combination with belts, shorts or tights and are normally worn by both sexes, as it is a unisex garment. The leotard is useful in gymnastics by providing the best mobility and freedom of movement while performing. Many people use them to practice their routines to get the best practice with the wider range of movement and freedom. They are most often used by females because it is less difficult to hide their genitals.
Leotards are not difficult to wear and are easy to get into. The way to get into one is by entering through the wide neck. Legs enter through the bottom leg holes and arms slip easily into the arm holes. The sizes are pretty general and special options for well endowed women are also available. They can be worn with underwear and sports bras easily for women. The leotard is often skin tight and easily wrap around the body. The garment was first noted as being worn by gymnast Jules Leotard in the later 1800′s. He called the garment a maillot when he created it specifically for men. The word maillot is French for any tight fitting shirt or sports shirt that was available in that time. The word leotard was put in use many years after Leotard’s death.