They Did The Bodysuit First
Slight difference: they call it a leotard.
As a child, I did gymnastics for years. No, I wasn't exactly Olympic material. Being upside down terrified me almost as much as my gruff, no nonsense teacher and the stoic gym owner who I've literally never seen smile. However, one thing I had in common with past's/today's Olympic gymnasts is the outfit: the tight, slicked-back bun and the shiny, body-forming leotard.
I remember how much I loved the leotards. I could barely land a cartwheel and they had to drag me kicking and screaming to the high beam (and even then I didn't do much more than straddle it and hold back tears), but one thing I loved about going to gymnastics class every Saturday morning was perusing the leotards.
They hung in the lobby, each shinier, more sparkly, and brighter than the last. I would finger them in awe, begging my mother to let me buy a new one and being met with the slightly annoyed, "Maybe if you really try hard in class today." Sigh. I was so misunderstood.
I loved going out in public wearing my leotard. As I got older and realized gymnastics was not where it was at for me but ballet definitely was, I traded in my purple and blue patterned leotard for a simple, sophisticated black one paired with baby pink tights and ballet flats. I felt grown up, chic, French, and I waltzed into the Jack in the Box right next to my dance studio still adorned in my getup, taking the confused stares I got in stride--I looked fabulous. Little did I know that twelve years later, girls and women all over the world would be strapping on their own leotards, sport or not, and calling them bodysuits. Voila--instant fashion statement.
Today, stores everywhere are falling in the footsteps of Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and myself (yes, I like to group myself in with medal-winning Olympic gymnasts. Is that a problem?) and offering their own version of the adaptable wardrobe piece.
Maybe we can't all do the splits, but we can wear the costume and tell ourselves we can do the splits. The great thing about bodysuits? You don't have to be a freak like me and walk into a fast-food joint looking like you just went for the weirdest swim ever: throw on a ripped pair of jeans, a wrap skirt, or a funky pair of shorts and you've got yourself an outfit: an outfit that gives you confidence, grace, posture, and the heart of an Olympian.
With denim cutoffs.
Convinced? Come on, live a little! Bodysuits can be found anywhere and everywhere: Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, H&M, Zara--pick one up and make it work for you. Thoughts? Talk back!