History of the Bodysuit

Jules Leotard’s Invention

The bodysuit of course has its roots in athletic apparel for sports such as gymnastics and ballet. The version we wear today looks almost exactly like a leotard that is typically worn during these activities, albeit less functional. Leotards, and thus the bodysuit, originated in the second half of the 19th century. They were invented by their namesake, French gymnast Jules Leotard, to wear when performing on the trapeze. Of course, early versions of the garment were a bit different than how we would recognize them today. The first iteration was short, close fitting, but not skintight, low cut at the neck, and gusseted between the legs. It was typically made from worsted wool or silk.

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