Leotard Styles

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Leotard Styles

Leotard
Andersen Ross / Getty Images

If you are a serious dancer, chances are you have an entire collection of leotards. With so many styles to choose from, it's hard not to purchase a new leotard every now and then.

Leotards come in several styles, fabrics and colors. The style and cut you ultimately choose will most likely depend on your body type, so never buy a leotard without trying it on. Also, be sure to ask your teacher if a dress code exists that must be followed. Some teachers require certain leotard styles and colors, but some allow for individual preferences.

When you try on a leotard, keep a few things in mind. A leotard should fit you perfectly. It should not be too tight, too loose, or uncomfortable whatsoever. Be aware that different brands in similar sizes will fit you differently. If you find a leotard that you love but seem to be in between sizes, opt for the larger size. Some leotards have adjustable straps to achieve a better fit. Some leotards even have a hidden drawstring in the chest area for custom adjustments.

One popular trick for tightening loose leotards is to join the straps in the back. You can purchase bra clips that pinch the straps together in the middle of the back, or simply tie the straps together with a ribbon or rubber band.

When you begin shopping for leotards, remember that all leotards have potential. Even though a leotard may not look that great on a hanger, you may be pleasantly surprised by how great it looks on your body. The following gallery will help familiarize you with the many different types of leotards.

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Halter Leotard

Halter
Tracy Wicklund

The halter leotard is one of the most popular styles. Halters are easy to put on and are flattering to many body types. Many girls prefer halters because there are no straps to worry about and they allow the entire back and shoulders to be exposed.

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Camisole Leotard

Camisole
Tracy Wicklund

The camisole leotard has classic "spaghetti-straps" styling, creating a soft and delicate look. Camisoles are especially popular among ballet dancers.

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Tank Leotard

Tank
Tracy Wicklund

A tank leotard is sleeveless with thick shoulder straps. Tanks are great for bigger busted dancers who require a little more stability and coverage. Look for a variety of necklines.

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Short Sleeve Leotard

Short sleeves
Tracy Wicklund

Back to basics, a short sleeve leotard has sleeves much like a t-shirt. Short sleeve leotards are a favorite among young dancers, whose arms look cute in cap sleeves. Some dancers, however, find the sleeves cumbersome and distracting.

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Long Sleeve Leotard

Long sleeve leotard
Tracy Wicklund

A long sleeve leotard is perfect for a cold, wintery day. long sleeve leotards give the arms a long, flowing look.

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One Shoulder Leotard

One shoulder leotard
Tracy Wicklund

Known as one shoulder, off-the-shoulder, or asymmetrical, this leotard is great for dancers who like to be different. One shoulder leotards have an artistic flare that lend themselves to many dance styles, from jazz and contemporary to character and ballroom.

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Mock Neck Leotard

Mock neck leotard
Tracy Wicklund

A mock neck, or mock turtleneck, leotard has a close-fitting, high neckline. Mock neck leotards tend to lend a classy, sophisticated feel. This leotard style is flattering as it gives the illusion of a longer neckline.

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Zipper Leotard

Zipper leotard
Tracy Wicklund

A zipper leotard contains a working zipper. The zipper is often located in the front near the neckline or in the back. While most leotard zippers are used mainly for decorative purposes, some zippers make changing quicker and easier.

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Embellished Leotard

Embellished leotard
Tracy Wicklund

An embellished leotard s perfect for the dancer who wants to stand out during class or make an impression during an audition. Embellished leotards are made more attractive by the addition of decorative details or features such as sparkly rhinestones.