How come women don't wear leotards any more?

I came of age and went to college in the late 1970s. I can remember when women wore leotards as outerwear everyplace they went. Long-sleeved ones, the most elegant kind. The last time I can remember seeing leotards worn outside was circa 1982.

The trend seems to have started among women college students in the Northeast during the 1940s and 50s. That was when Martha Graham established the leotard as standard dancewear. (I read this once in a history of modern dance.) The college women as well as Greenwich Village bohemians found them so stylish as well as comfortable that they took them from the dance studio to the streets. That lasted through the 60s and 70s until the early 80s, when long-sleeved leotards mysteriously vanished from everywhere except ballet school.

Women looked so excellent in them, why did they have to quit? Will they ever return?

One word for me: Cellulite

I love the look of a leotard under a sleeveless dress, and I still wear them occasionally. But they’re a bitch to get out of when you have to go to the toilet (and for some reason they don’t seem to be making them with snap-crotches anymore). I’m sure that’s got at least as much as cellulite to do with why women don’t really wear them these days.

Are you talking about tops or bottoms? Bottoms, what TubaGirl said. Nobody really wants the whole world to see exactly what you look like from the hips south.

Tops, before they invented the snap crotch, you had to take the whole thing off to pee. After they invented the snap crotch in the late 1960s, turning the “leotard” into the “body suit” that is probably what you’re thinking of (especially the dressy frilly ones), the lack of ventilation of wearing something that tight tended to increase your chance of getting yeast infections.

Do you realize that if you wear a leotard you have to get completely undressed to go to the bathroom?

Before the feminist movement, women’s undergarments were complicated enough that this wasn’t that big a deal, but when we stopped wearing the heavy-duty undergarments, we simplified our lives in other ways as well.

Of course, Eve may have more to add to this…

Besides, for us tall gals, we got tired of having a perpetual wedgie. Ouch!

I forgot…

There are leotards with snaps in the crotches that periodically make a comeback, but they can be almost as frustrating as wearing a regular leotard. (Note these are only for regular clothing and not for exercise)

I also don’t want you to see my rolls of fat. Even a little bit of my belly. One would need to be very svelte to pull that off. Also they usualy design the top leotards too short for tall girls. If I can feel the leotard pulled up to my speen, it is designed too short. I don’t like it pulling my shoulders down either.

I stole them all. I am love my football field of leotards, I can jump and jump and get all rolly on it.

BRb…I have to bury my face in it.

I, for one, am glad they’re gone! I didn’t think it was attractive for them to squash my 36DD breasts into one huge lump in the middle of my chest. It looked like I had a big old pork roast in my shirt. Even when I was in ballet class, I felt like an idiot…“check out ‘pigeon chest’ over there…”

Psst! A hint. If you’re wearing a leotard, or a one-piece bathing suit, or something similar… you don’t have to get undressed to pee. You can just pull the bit between your legs over to one side.

Put me down in the “hate having a permanent wedgie” camp. Bad enough finding a one-piece bathing suit that’s long enough.

I hated dance class because of leotards. Can we say “camel toe”? Now can we say “disgusting”?

Geez, now I feel either retro, masochistic, stupid or all three.

I own three or four snap-crotch “bodysuits,” all of which I picked up at the thrift store for $.99 each. I like them a lot. I have alarge-ish chest, but they don’t get squooshed. I have a bit of a belly and (ever woman’s favorite!!!) mmm, yummy BACK-FAT, but I wear 'em anyway. Of course, I only wear them on good self-esteem days, but at those times I tend to think, “Anyone who doesn’t want to look at my delicious curves can close their eyes tightly and kiss my ass.”

On bad self-esteem days, of course, I wonder what the hell I was thinking even BUYING them…but they don’t wedgie me any more than underwear do, they’re comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about them coming untucked.

That really doesn’t work if you’re wearing a dress over the leotard. It’s just too difficult doing that and holding your dress up at the same time - and I’d rather not pee on my dress, thanks…

Thanks for your answer, Hamadryad! I applaud your delicious curves as well as your healthy self-esteem.