Leotard? Biketard? Unitard? What’s the difference?
In our “Studio of the Month” (SOM) series, we’ve been exploring many different styles of dance apparel. But recently, when we’ve asked what type of leotard a customer might be looking for, we’ve gotten some confused looks when we ask, “leotard, biketard or unitard?” So this month, our focus is to clear up the confusion…
A Leotard is a unisex skin-tight one-piece garment that covers the torso but leaves the legs free. It was made famous by the French acrobatic performer Jules Léotard (1842–1870), about whom the song “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” was written. Ballet leotards come in many different cuts. The three main variations are the sleeve length, the neckline, and the leg cut. If you’d like information on those, please let us know and we’ll be happy to forward them to you.
A Biketard is similar to a leotard and typically has short legs that only come to the mid-thigh. Simply put, it’s a combination of a leotard and shorts. Though available for adults, they can be seen often on children taking dancing or gymnastics classes.
A Unitard, in contrast to the leotard and biketard, is a body-length, single-piece garment, usually made of stretchy fabrics like Lycra, which closely adheres to the body. Some have long sleeve while the tank style is more popular.