A leotard is a skin-tight one-piece garment that covers the torso and body but leaves the legs free. It was made famous by the French acrobatic performer Jules Léotard (1839-1870), about whom the song "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" was written.
The first known use of the name leotard came only in 1886, many years after Léotard's death. Léotard himself called the garment a maillot, which in French has now come to mean a swimsuit.
Leotards are worn by acrobats, gymnasts, dancers and circus performers both as practice garments and performance costumes. They are often worn together with tights.
Leotards are entered through the neck. (Constrast with bodysuits, which generally have snaps at the crotch, allowing the garment to be pulled on over the head.) Scoop-necked leotards have wide neck openings and are held in place by the elasticity of the garment. Others are crew-necked or turtle-necked and close at the back of the neck with a zipper or snaps.
There are sleeveless, short-sleeved and long-sleeved leotards. A variation is the unitard, which also covers the legs.
Leotards can also be worn as lingerie and are eroticised by some people, often as part of a wider spandex fetishism.
A unitard is a skin-tight one-piece garment with long legs and sometimes long sleeves. It differs from a leotard in that a leotard does not have long legs.
Unitards are worn by acrobats, gymnasts, dancers and circus performers, as well as others.
Unitards can also be worn as lingerie and are eroticised by some people, often as part of a wider spandex fetishism.
In erotic or costume use, they are usually referred to as catsuits.
A catsuit is a skin-tight one-piece garment with sleeves and long legs, and sometimes with feet or gloves, sometimes with a hood.
Unlike a unitard, its use rarely involves sports, and it may be made of leather, rubber, PVC, or velour instead of spandex.
It is identical to a unitard in construction, but the term 'catsuit' tends to be preferred in fancy-dress costume or erotic contexts.
A latex catsuit is made from latex fabric. It is tightly fit, opaque, and stretchy, and covers every square millimetre of your skin.
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