In most cases, leggings are worn over a leotard rather than under it. This combination is common in dance, gymnastics, and figure skating practice or warm-ups, providing added coverage and warmth. However, the choice ultimately depends on personal preference, comfort, and any specific dress code requirements for a given activity or class.
Leotards can be worn alone or under more layers of clothing….. such as tights and skirts… The same applies for leggings… Be sure to choose leggings that are the right length and that won’t show beneath your outer clothing.
Leggings are a great choice for under a leotard….. but you have to make sure the right fabric is used… The wrong fabric can lead to chafing and uncomfortable hot spots….. which is no fun for anyone.
Think of the leotard like an exoskeleton… It’s the core structure that everything is built around….. and it can be used in a variety of ways depending on your taste and aesthetic… If you want to wear leggings….. great!
Creative instructors have also come up with unique variations from the standard leotard-and-tights combo….. such as pairing thick winter tights with a figure skating skirt on top… So there are plenty of options out there.
Can You Wear Leggings with a Leotard?
You can wear leggings with a leotard….. as long as they are the right leggings… Do not wear thin yoga-style leggings or spandex under your leotard because those fabrics will cause you problems when your legs rub together… You want a thicker fabric that will not move against your skin or rub into your skin.
First….. you’ll need to know if they’re lined or not… If they are….. you can easily wear them over your leotard… If they’re not….. you won’t be able to wear them under your leotard and will have to find some other way to keep warm while practicing… You can also buy legging liners that you can wear under your workout clothes or your leotard and tights.
If you have to layer….. it’s important that you put the tights or leggings on first so that they are closest to your skin… You don’t want any bunching up of the material when you are wearing the rest of your dance attire on top of them.
It is important that you don’t put the tights on over your skin-tight dance attire because this will create a tight and uncomfortable fit for both of you.
You may want to check with your dance teacher before trying any of these options out in case she has different rules for her studio… The last thing you want is for her to think that you aren’t taking her class seriously!
Do Leggings Go Under Leotard?
Leggings are a great addition to your leotard wardrobe because they make it easier to transition between activities….. and they can be worn with almost any outfit.
Tights….. on the other hand….. can create an extra layer under your leotard when you aren’t actively moving….. which can make you sweat more… That’s why it’s usually best to wear leggings under a leotard.
However….. if you will be doing some dance moves where you need freedom of movement in your lower body….. then wearing tights is a good option.
When choosing a legging for your leotard….. try to find one that is thin enough to fit underneath without bunching up or creating too much bulk.
If you’re looking for a pair of leggings that will fit well under a dance outfit….. look for Spandex blends such as lycra or elastane. Leggings made from cotton or similar materials will be thicker and may not be suitable for use underneath a leotard.
If you’re looking for a fun way to add some color or personality to your outfit….. try buying colored tights that are thin enough to pass as leggings!
What Do You Wear Under a Leotard?
A fitted camisole….. tights….. or a long thermal shirt is the best option for under your leotard… Tights are preferred because they provide better support and coverage than a camisole….. but both options work well… If you need additional warmth….. consider thermal underwear instead of tights if you tend to be cold easily.
It’s also important to make sure that the clothing you wear under your leotard provides coverage where it should and does not show through your leotard material.
Wear the right support: Get yourself a bra made for high-impact activities… You want something that gives you support without being restrictive… There’s nothing worse than a bra that digs into your back when you’re exercising….. and this is especially important if you have larger breasts.
Most sports bras have wide straps designed to minimize bounce and give more support for larger sizes… Make sure that the band underneath your bust is snug enough to keep everything in place….. but not so tight that it restricts your breathing or causes pain.
Also….. if you’re planning on working out in the winter months….. invest in some long underwear to wear beneath your leotard… It’s easier than trying to layer clothes on top of each other while you exercise….. and it’ll help keep your body temperature regulated.
The right fabric: It’s important to choose fabrics made specifically for exercise or physical activity… Cotton can be comfortable….. but it doesn’t breathe well….. so it may cause chafing over time… Polyester or Lycra blends are better at wicking moisture away from your body and keeping you dryer.
What Goes on First Tights or Leotard?
The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems… The reason for that is because what goes on first….. leggings or tights depends on the type of leotard worn.
In most cases….. dance teachers say that it is better to wear tights over the leotard… The reason for this is that the tights can be washed and will last longer than the leotard… Tights also provide more warmth in cold weather.
A leotard has to cover only the upper part of the body while tights cover both the lower and upper parts of the body making them more comfortable… Also….. because of its tighter fit….. a leotard tends to be warmer than tights alone.
However….. if your daughter wears a fitted leotard with short legs then she can wear her tights over it… Wearing tights under a leotard with long legs will make her uncomfortable since she will find it difficult to put her leg into her shoe.
Why Do Dancers Put Tights Over Leotard?
Dancers put tights over leotards because they are more comfortable and look more stylish than a plain leotard by itself… The tights help protect the dancer’s skin from the rubbing of their shoes….. keep their legs warm….. and also make them look prettier… If you are going to wear tights over your leotard….. make sure it is not too tight to prevent tearing or snagging on the fabric of your leotard.
The reason is pretty simple… They do it to protect their skin from rubbing against the tights and getting irritated and itchy… It works just like an ordinary sock or pantyhose does for your legs when you wear shorts or skirts and there are no tights available.
Also….. if you wear your tights over your leotard instead of under your clothes….. they don’t get tangled with your body movements… Because they’re close to your skin….. they stick close to your body and move along with you.
This is particularly important in dance performances where there can be a lot of jumping around….. running….. and spinning… Without this convenience….. you might end up tripping over a loose end of your tights or even falling because of it.
In summary….. if you wear a leotard over tights or leggings….. it can still look great in the right setting… It’s all about finding your inner confidence and rocking it with pride!
That said….. tights do provide more support and are thicker around the calf area… This may come in handy if you are dancing for a longer period of time… They also keep your legs warmer in cold climates.
You may also be interested in… How Cold Should It Be to Wear Leggings? and Why Are Leggings So Attractive?
Louise Wilson is an accomplished author, passionate textile historian, and renowned fashion enthusiast with a rich background in the world of apparel.
Graduating with honors in Fashion Design, Louise further expanded her skills and knowledge by completing a master’s degree in Textile History. Her academic pursuits have led her to explore the fashion capitals of the world, including Milan, Paris, and New York, enriching her insights into the global world of fashion.
As an author, Louise’s passion for fashion has found its way into her writings, where she intricately weaves narratives of style, design, and fashion history.