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Flashback Fashion: How to Wear a Unitard

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Revisiting how to wear a unitard? Why on earth would we do that? After all, it’s been 10 years since women went crazy for a cotton spandex jersey unitard for $38 at American Apparel. And five years since J Lo rocked a glittery unitard for New Year’s Eve. Can we not close the door on the unforgiving bodysuit that only very tall and thin women can wear?

Well, yes and no. Yes, because there are few women who can effectively pull off the unitard-as-outfit. But no, because the unitard can be a very comfortable, functional, and even stylish layering piece in cold weather. And since winter’s just around the bend, it’s the perfect time to lay out the dos and don’ts of styling unitards.

How to Wear a Unitard

Do wear a unitard as a base layer for warmth. A unitard is nearly undetectable beneath a maxi dress or wide-legged pants — making it a nice way to warm up without bulk. If warmth is your end-game, choose a breathable cotton unitard in nude or black.

Do wear a unitard as a base layer for style. When warmth takes a backseat to style, pair your cute unitard with a flowy kimono or a high-waisted denim skirt. The key (to avoiding the trashy look) is to select companion pieces that are loose and fall away from the body.

Do wear a unitard to sample sales, or the thrift store. A body-hugging garment is an advantage when you need to try on clothes and there’s no fitting room nearby. Random designer jean find at Costco? If you’re wearing a unitard, you can throw off your top layer and try those jeans on right over your base layer — no fitting room, no problem. That’s guerrilla shopping for sure.

Don’t wear a unitard to any long events, including road trips. A body-hugging garment is a disadvantage when you have to use the bathroom. And it’s downright miserable when the only option is a  public bathroom.

Don’t wear a cotton spandex unitard by itself unless you’re going to dance class. A high-style unitard might possibly be a stand-alone outfit, if you have a rockin’ body. But a plain old cotton unitard? Just say no.

Don’t wear a unitard to have tea with your devout Catholic mother-in-law. The unitard is a racy, sexy garment — an inappropriate choice for traditional occasions and traditional company.

Are you inspired to try a unitard, or deadset against it? Let us know!


Tuesday 15th of March 2011

Yay (well minus the pee pee problems but, I hate public bathrooms anyway). I can see it with a nice little jean skirt and some super cute shoes.

Chris Kennedy

Friday 17th of September 2010

As a guy, I love wearing my unitards. I got only three. One retro flexitard one that's black with hot pink & teal slanted stripes on the chest & legs, and two adidas ones, one blue and one black. :) And I plan on getting alot more, as my birthday is coming up next month in October. :)

I also got alot of leotards, one gray from American Apparel, four from Danskin, and alot of others. I love wearing them also. ;)

I wear them when I exercise, and when I do aerobics. :) I also got over 30 pairs of leg warmers, and countless pairs of slouchy socks. :)

Warmly yours, Chris


Sunday 24th of May 2009

HEY…i wear a unitard…i have several…i love them…and if i say so myself i look damn good in it. i would say as long as you have the body for it, it’s fine…there’s a lot worse you could wear…even if you don’t have the body just wear what you want and don’t worry about other people. other people tell me i look damn good in it too. it’s easy to accessorize, it can be formal or it can be really casual. here’s what i don’t understand….if i wore a black leotard with black leggings over it…no one would think that was weird…but because it just happens to be connected OMG…I saw Tyra wearing one with a zipper down the middle…and she looked damn fine. and i think this particular unitard comes from american apparel and anything from that store is fabulous. so bascially: unitards=fabulous


Wednesday 4th of July 2007

Big fat NAY! I think they’re not bringing EVERYTHING from the 80s, just the ugly and unflattering stuff. -_- And I don’t know about being young. I’m 17 and, although I really like my body shape, I don’t have to wrap myself in a bad version of the cat suit to show it off. I have much classier and fun clothes that do the job without making me look stupid. Even as a teenager, I still think this “new fashion” is fit for the circus or the ballet, not for the streets. PS: Some people really don’t seem to know what their bodies look like. I’ve seen many rather big chicks wear things like this with skirts or shorts and someone really needs to tell them…it does not get any more unflattering than that!


Thursday 11th of January 2007

I agree - as a stand alone piece, this is a Nay.  And if you want a layered look you can achieve the same thing with a pair of black leggings and a matching v-neck t-shirt, which has the bonus of more versatility and no bathroom issues.

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