I am a dancer. And dancers dance. Alright, so I grew up taking dance classes. In my 20’s a choreographer told me politely that I moved well. She couldn’t bring herself to call me a dancer. She crossed her fingers and said a prayer that my partner would dance well enough for both of us. (She ended up incredulously telling me that I actually looked good on stage and really pulled it off. Ha.) All that to say that I have been acquainted with spandex since I was 5. I am not “built” like a dancer. Although, I do have dancers’ feet with amazing turnout. I was the little girl in her tights and leotard with a T-shirt over it. I dreaded recital time because of the possibility of all that lycra with no coverage. I vividly recall a lilac, spaghetti–strapped unitard with a gauzy pink skirt. I think I was in 5th grade. That lilac was not a forgiving color. I danced for two more years then said goodbye to leotards.
I lived that life for thirty-ish years. Save the occasional use of smoothing/slimming undergarments and the one or two football games a year in 11th-12th grade when we had to wear a white body suit under our cheerleading uniform. I did not miss the unitard. I never wore anything remotely fitted to exercise. I watched Jane Fonda aerobic videos in my youth, but I was not the one with all of that on in the gym. No matter how cool I thought it looked.
And then Yoga. You know I wasn’t letting it all hang out in the yoga class. So my movement did not have the freedom it could have had. The constant rolling of leggings and T-shirts that inevitably ended up hanging over my face during down dog was infuriating and frustrating. A year ago I decided I was going to try a bodysuit, as they are now called. Y’all — it’s changed my life. Beyond Yoga was my first one. Their fabric is like BUTTER. So yummy. I threw on a slightly more fitted T-shirt over it and headed to class. I think birds sang. I didn’t fight with my pants one single time. Now I have several: a shiny black ode to Jane Fonda, a short one, plain ol’ black of substantial fabric that really holds in well and a terrible one off Amazon that is completely useless (0/10 for that one).
When I tell people I have a unitard on (yes, that is what I tell people…it does come up somehow) they laugh and think I am joking. Jim Trotter thinks it’s hilarious. But if you try it, you are never going back. I’m actually less self-conscious in it. Weird, right?
The only word of warning I will give is that when you are sweaty and the fabric is thicker and you head to the bathroom you might feel a little like Ross from friends trying to get his leather pants up. IYKYK.
ICYMI: Coffee Talk
In case you missed it — check out the Coffee Talk episode where Emily and Helen discuss unitards and other fashion trends. Take a listen below, and be sure to subscribe!