How to find the right size when shopping for gymnastics leotards?
There are all kinds of styles like open-back gymnastics leotards, leotards with shorts, asymmetrical designs, classic shape leotards, long sleeve leotards, and strappy back training leotards. There are also plenty of colors and fabric options available like stretchy lycra spandex, sweat-wicking, shiny velvet, or mystique nylon for the right combination of function and comfort.
If you have been wearing gymnastics leotards for some time, you also know that
stretch fabrics are different based on their spandex containment. For example,
a leotard with 20% spandex and 80% nylon-like tricot can stretch and create a more loose, comfortable fit. And in contrast, a leotard with 16% spandex containment and 84% polyester will expand less and have a more "compression" fit.
Different gymnasts prefer different competition fits. Some go for a "close to
skin" style with a considerable polyester containment that will compress their body and leave no wrinkles during a performance. Others lean towards a comfortable fit with room to move and extend your body.
The important thing is that you should always check the composition of the fabric and strictly follow measuring instructions.
Why is girth the most crucial measurement for gymnastics leotards?
Every gymnast is different. Some have petite figures with delicate short arms and legs, while others stand tall and flaunt their graceful elongated bodies. As everybody is unique, so are measurements.
It's amazing how large of a role body proportions play in choosing the right size. A gymnast can have either a long or short torso body type, but they can also have narrow shoulders and a wide waist, which means they don't fit into a specific size.
That's where girth comes in. The girth is the measurement that goes from the top of the shoulder, then between the legs, and finishes back at the top of the shoulder. It essentially measures how long your torso is.
And as gymnastics leotards for girls are pieces of stretchy material, their width is not of such great significance because it is adjustable in a way. What matters with leotards is length, and that's what girth measures. That's why girth is the most crucial dimension when figuring out your gymnast size.
So if you're ordering your gymnastics leotard the torso measurement should be the deciding factor.
How to take accurate measurements?
All you need to take an accurate measurement is a flexible tape measure and around 3 minutes. The measurements should be taken when the athlete is not wearing any bulky clothing like jeans or sweatpants. We recommend measuring the gymnast in their undergarments. The athlete should also focus on a straight posture while measuring. Avoid slouching as it interferes with measurement accuracy. The measurement tape should be snug to the athlete’s body but not too tight on circumference measurements.
Here are the measurements you should take to find a gymnast’s leotard size.
Girth: Measurements are taken from the center of the shoulder, down the front of the torso, going between the legs, and finally ending at the starting point.
Chest: Measure over the fullest part of the athlete’s chest with their arms relaxed at your sides.
Waist: Measurement is taken at the natural waistline, on-or-around belly-button.
Hips: Measure around the fullest part of the hips and buttocks while the athlete is standing with their heels together.
Precise measurements are key to a great fit.
3 Steps to Determine Size
Take precise measurements.
- Choose your gymnast size based on torso measurements.