As the mother of a pre-teen acro gymnastics athlete, I have been advised (by her) of the apparent necessity for owning a leotard in EVERY possible colour of the rainbow!
Of course, it is not just about the colour. The fit, style, material, and comfort of the suit should all be considered when selecting the “perfect” leotard. Coming from the dance world where a professional seamstress would measure the dancer to ensure a perfect fit, I was a little apprehensive when we transitioned over to the gymnastics world where I was advised that I would be responsible for the measurements of her competition bodysuit.
YIKES, so much pressure!
How to Accurately Measure for Leotard Orders from Saucy’s World and Jagwear
- GIRTH: (the most important measurement for the size and comfort of the fit)
Measured from the centre of the shoulder top, down the front, under the torso, up the back, to the original starting point on the shoulder top.
- CHEST: Measured around the widest point of the chest.
- WAIST: Measured around the narrowest point of the waist.
- HIPS: Measured around the widest point of the hips, below the waist.
- BICEP: (for long sleeve only)
Measured at the largest point around the upper arm.
- SLEEVE: (for long sleeve only)
Measured from the edge of the shoulder where the sleeve begins to where the sleeve would end at the wrist.
There are several local dancewear shops throughout Halton Region that offer an abundance of options for leotard selections. Some of these shops include InStep Activewear, Stardust Dancewear and Costumes, and Dancewear Burlington, just to name a few. My personal experience for shopping and purchasing gymnastics leotards has been exclusively online with Saucy’s World and Jagwear. I have not been disappointed with either company. They both offer the highest quality materials for female leotards and singlets for males. Be sure to consider the fabric type too when making your selection. Some fabrics, such as lycra, spandex, or nylon may wash better than others and some of the shinier fabrics, although flashy and attractive, may not stretch as well as the athlete may need or prefer.
My anxiety quickly subsided once I visited a few of the manufacturers’ websites where they outlined clearly how to take proper measurements to ensure a perfect fit.
MEASURE TWICE, ORDER ONCE!
Sizing of gymnastics leotards and singlets is NOT the same as regular clothing sizing charts, so extra care should be given when measuring and ordering that all important bodysuit. The measurements needed include girth, chest, waist, hips, and for the long sleeve suit, the bicep and sleeve measurements are required as well.
Some of the more popular brands for leotards that I have recognized around the gym include Saucy’s World, Jagwear, Motionwear, and Mondor. Of course, Holmes Athletics is my go-to site for all of our workout wear, such as shorts, tanks, t-shirts, track suits, and training equipment such as handstand pegs (a definite must-have for acro athletes). These products from Holmes Athletics are of the highest quality materials and workmanship. My daughter’s oversized and super-soft Holmes Athletics grey classic hoodie is her absolute favourite!
Most of the suits worn by the more advanced levels of acro gymnastics, Age Group and Jr/Sr Groups, are custom-ordered leotards from Blesk in Russia. Parents of these athletes have the added responsibility of manually enhancing these suits with additional bling consisting of Swarovski crystals and other gem stones. They spend countless hours researching the bling and adding it to the suits. This also involves coordinating with each of the pairs/trio partners to ensure the bling placement matches on all of the suits. These parents worry about the correct sizing and must ensure the order is correct and the delivery is on time. Each of these advanced-level athletes require at least 2 suits (AG 11-16, Balance & Dynamic), and any level above that would require 3 suits (Balance, Dynamic & Combined), at a cost of up to $1,000 per suit.
Several measurements are required for these custom-ordered suits and detailed instructions along with an illustration, as seen below, are provided on the Blesk website .
Safety in acro/aero gymnastics is paramount.
Luckily, we have not needed any athletic tapes, braces or supports, but, should these items be necessary one day, they too may be purchased locally at any physio therapy office/sports injury clinic, drug store, grocery store or at some of the larger department stores like Walmart.
10 THINGS A GYMNAST’S GYM BAG SHOULD NEVER BE WITHOUT
- water bottle
- nutrition bar
- athletic tape/support
- extra leotard
- hair ties/elastics
- bobby pins
- hair spray
- lip gloss/balm
- a favourite good luck stuffie
Article by Tracie Aaron
Illustration by Carly Aaron