Can I dress you up in my leotard?

The '80s trend returns with superstars like Madonna making the leotard hotter than ever.


Sarah Goldstein
May 26, 2006 8:43PM (UTC)

A fun piece in the Los Angeles Times tells the history of the leotard, that body-hugging suit of '80s lore, which has made a comeback in recent years spearheaded by designers like Jean-Paul Gaultier, American Apparel and, now, the lycra-material girl herself, Madonna. The article is a truly fascinating glimpse at the ebb and flow of a fashion trend beginning with 19th century trapeze artist Jules Léotard and moving on to disco fever and finally to the haute couture runways of today.

The Times suggests that one of the reasons the leo has had such a lasting effect is because "it [suits] a range of sizes" and can be dressed up or down accordingly. One of the most famous incarnations was Donna Karan's leotard for the boardroom -- "with the ease of a T-shirt and the polish of a blouse, it smoothed out all the bumps and ripples on the body, giving women the freedom to climb the corporate ladder in their power suits," writes the Times.

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Or, for the best wear of all, push your ponytail to the side, slip on your leg warmers and get physical, physical.


Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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