Like most kids, dance class was just one of many activities that I did on a weekly basis. Ballet, gymnastics, ice skating... the list goes on and on. All of these hobbies required a uniform, a different colored leotard was set aside for each. White, pink, red, blue and black; my wardrobe was filled with stretchy, one-piece cotton numbers.
While I slowly, but surely, abandoned each of these active pursuits, the leotard stuck with me. Throughout middle school, I continued to wear them for school plays, halloween costumes and the rare ironic aerobics class. However, it was when attending a musical rehearsal in high school that I first discovered the practical use of wearing a leotard: it could also be worn as a bodysuit. I loved wearing them with a skirt as they provide coverage in case of a Marilyn Monroe moment and always stayed smoothly tucked. I went through a loving phase with one particular black leotard that was a hangover from my dancing days, but eventually forgot about the practical item.
As a liberal arts college student, the leotard resurfaced. This time, worn in the hipster-variation. American Apparel's finest was the perfect solution for any dress-up party - a black leotard was an instant cat costume and a nude-colored one was present at "Scantily Clad" (don't ask). The spandex, sparkly, and often brightly colored one-pieces were horrifying, but also reminded me of my long-lost black leotard.
Now I still wear leotards -- as fantastic slips. I have a flesh-toned one piece that works as the perfect camisole and a black one with shorts, but I can't help feeling a tinge of dance recital nostalgia every time I put on a leotard.
Me, age 8, in a leotard and tutu from Capezio. Best birthday present ever, Grandpa!