Finding the Perfect Match: A Guide to Leotards

Perhaps one of the most exciting and most underestimated challenges about being a dancer, especially a ballerina, is leotard selection. However, I have a way to find what you are looking for in a few simple steps.

An older ABT leotard that has not lost its quality over the years. (Photo by Ballet Zaida)
An older ABT leotard that has not lost its quality over the years.(Photo by Ballet Zaida)

Step 1: Know Your Brands
It is true, no two leotards are the same. I have broken down the pros and cons of a few brands I have in my own ballet closet by price range from lowest to highest.
Capezio ($15 – $35): The leotards from this brand range from normal cotton fabrics to comfortable and stylish nylon leotards. One of the best factors is that many styles from this brand have a higher cut leg which makes your legs look much longer. In the past, Capezio has also collaborated with American Ballet Theatre for exclusive leotard collections which included some of my favorite leotards.
Bloch ($19 – $35): Although I am not a huge fan of cotton leotards, Bloch is a brand that I would highly recommend for such. The sizes fit exactly as they are supposed to and this company makes normally boring cotton leotards interesting with unusual cut outs in the back, shoulder, and sleeve areas.
Mirella ($19 – $56): Known for its constant use of iridescent nylon and spandex fabric, Mirella is a brand that moves up in both quality and price. While some of its styles may seem simple on first glance, the fabric quality is incredible which makes leotards from this brand last for quite a long time.
Yumiko ($50 and up): This is a brand that is widely hailed in the dance world for its customizable leotards. All leotards from

A detailed close up of one of my Yumiko leotards. (Phot by Ballet Zaida)
A detailed close up of one of my Yumiko leotards.
(Photo by Ballet Zaida)

Yumiko are handmade to meet your own personal specifications of size, color, fabric, style, and lining. Even though they are pricier, Yumiko leotards are more than worth their cost.

Step 2: Know Your Colors/Styles/Fabrics
A few elements that I discussed with various brand are colors, styles, and fabrics of leotards. It is crucial to know what types of these work best on your body. For instance, if you want something that wicks away sweat and moves easily, you may want to stay away from cotton.
Additionally, you may want to see which colors complement your skin tone. For me, I look best in blue, red, pink, purple, green, and black. I try to stay away from colors that are too bright such as neon yellow or orange.

One of only two halter leotards that I own by Capezio. (Photo by Ballet Zaida)
One of only two halter leotards that I own by Capezio.
(Photo by Ballet Zaida)

Also, think about what style you feel most comfortable in. I prefer to not wear halters because they tend to hurt my neck, but tank and camisole styles feel excellent.
It all comes down to your body and being able to feel beautiful in the studio.
For more ideas, check out NYCB’s Katheryn Morgan’s blog or Discount Dance Supply.

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