Not being old enough to have participated in the Jane Fonda glory days of the leotard-as-workout-wear, my first experience wearing one to the gym was under slightly different circumstances: a costume party. For Halloween, my whole kickboxing class at the Y decided to go full 80s. There's nothing I love more than dressing up, so I went all out with a gold lamé leotard over leggings—belted, of course—high tops and sky-high hair. I expected it to be fun and a good workout (it did not disappoint!) but what I hadn't expected was how amazingly comfortable it was.
Oh yes, you heard me right: Working out in a leotard felt amazing. Since then, because I care (too much) what people think of me in public, I've mostly stuck to more traditional workout wear like running capris, shorts, and tank tops. But over the past year, I've started to work onesies back into my workout wardrobe. (Psst...We have The Best Leggings for Every Workout.)
It started with a ballet class that required a leo and tights. The tights I could definitely do without but again I was pleasantly surprised by how functional the leotard was. After that, I started sneaking my onesies into yoga class, camouflaging them with a pair of shorts over the top. It was bliss. No longer did I have to do downward dog on one hand so I could pull my shirt down with the other. There were no more hurried adjustments of waistbands between poses. And, best of all, when I went upside down I no longer had to worry about a too-loose top slipping over my head and arms, essentially hog-tying me. (Turns out there's no official yoga pose called "upside down blind squirrel stuck in a sock," but I still like to think I made it look good.)
But what about the rumor that bodysuits give you terrible camel toe and make it impossible to pee? For me, that hasn't been a problem. I have a long torso but as long as I buy "tall" sizes, there aren't any front (or back) wedgie issues. Plus, I wear shorts over mine. As for the bathroom, I normally don't have to pee in the middle of a workout, but if it happens, I just pull it to the side. It's fine. And these small inconveniences are more than made up for by the functionality and comfort a leotard provides.
So now I'm on a mission to spread the joy of working out in a leotard. Mostly because I care about your comfort, but also because the more ladies I can convince to join me, the less I'll look like a time warp.
Here are six reasons you should try a workout onesie too:
It's a legit trend.
Like all good fashion trends, the bodysuit is definitely having a comeback. Everyone from Beyonce to Kate Hudson has been wearing them, and there are four one-piece outfits in Beyonce's new workout wear line Ivy Park (more about the Ivy Park collection here). There's even a yoga clothing company called Onzie! Is it a little silly? Yes. Is it lots of fun? Also yes.
They don't roll up.
No more slippery tank tops slowly creeping up your tummy or doing the "window shade roll" when you bend over. Bodysuits stay down no matter which way you twist and turn. It's a game changer for women who love yoga.
They hold you in.
I wouldn't call them shapewear (they're way too comfy for that), but because there's no seam in the middle, there's less bulging. Plus, the elastic does hold you in a little and smooths things out.
No tricky waistbands to fall down or ride up.
Have you ever been sprinting and realized that while you're running forward, your bottoms are headed downward? With a onesie, you never need to worry about pulling up your pants again. Or even wearing pants! No pants dance!
You don't need to worry about matching.
Onesies are, well, an outfit all in one. You can pretty much get dressed in the dark and not go wrong.
They're more flattering than you think.
Probably the thing I hear most about workout onesies though is, "I could never wear one, I don't have the body for it!" (Which, by that standard, I probably shouldn't be wearing one either.) But I am here to tell you that it is a myth that you have to have a model body to wear a bodysuit—or to wear anything you love, for that matter. For one thing, gym wear should be about comfort and functionality first and foremost, so wear whatever you feel good in. Second, the right leotard can be very flattering and they come in many lengths (shorts, skirts, full leggings), colors, and fabrics. Not to mention, it's perfectly acceptable to throw on a pair of shorts or a tee over the top to get the best of both worlds. Either way, don't knock it 'til you've tried it!