leotard rankings

Leotard Rankings: Week 5

The criteria is a little different this season as we tweak some of our point totals to better analyze the designs. There will be up to three points for design, up to one point each for fabric and sparkle, school spirit and uniqueness and up to three points for overall appearance. This week Talitha, Rebecca and Allie are joining Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth to help judge.

Auburn: 8.075

Elizabeth: 8.500

Design 2.5/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.9/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

I really love this Auburn leo. The snake skin design on the body and leopard spots on the sleeves are subtle yet look neat in action. I also don’t typically love the combination of orange with blue/navy, but it works really well here in the ombre effect. This may be one of my favorite Auburn leos of all time.

Talitha: 8.8

Design 2.7/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.9/1, Uniqueness 1.0/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

I love the bodice of this leotard. It’s imaginative, unique and yet very Auburn-esque, a fantastic effort. What I find disappointing are the sleeves: For the leotard to be near-perfect, in my opinion, the color of the sleeves should have matched the shade of blue of the bodice.

Allie: 7.600

Design 2.4/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.5/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 1.0/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

This was another leo that I was not expecting to like as much as I do. This is a fantastic use of Auburn’s colors, and the animal prints used are subtle enough that they don’t completely take over. I think it all works really well together. 

Rebecca: 7.400

Design 2.5/3, Fabric 0.4/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 1/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

OK, we need to talk about this one. There was some very alarmist Twitter discourse from people who seem to think that some minor cleavage being visible in an actively jumping or tumbling gymnast in a, frankly, extremely modest V-neck means that an entire breast might emerge from the leotard AT ANY SECOND. It just doesn’t mechanically work like that, folks. Now that I’m done stirring the pot, good leotard! A few points off because I don’t think the lighter blue and navy really match, but I’m a big fan.

BYU: 7.350


Elizabeth: 7.100

Design 2.0/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

I don’t like this as much as some of BYU’s recent leos, but it’s still a good one. The Cougars have a way of designing leos that are wildly unique but not in a bad way. This one is no different.

Talitha: 6.300

Design 1.8/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.9/1, School Spirit 0.4/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

After seeing the initial Twitter closeups, I was not particularly impressed with this leotard. I changed my mind when I saw it in competition, though. The butterfly shape that the crystals create on the bodice is beautiful and the use of black mesh is how I like mesh to be used.

Allie: 8.100

Design 2.6/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 1/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.5/3

I love leos with some sort of deep V design integrated in them so this was a winner in my book. I did not think I would like the butterfly design as much as I do but seeing it in competition I think it is so elegant. If I was being picky I could do without the mesh cutouts on the sides. 

Rebecca: 7.900

Design 2.3/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 1/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.4/3

I like this a lot. It’s moody and elegant and doesn’t get stuck in the tacky zone like a lot of gymnastics leotards do when they attempt glamour. Lost a few marks for me with some slightly awkward waist-area mesh, but it’s not a crisis.

Ohio State: 7.100


Elizabeth: 9.800

Design 3.0/3, Fabric 1.0/1, Sparkle 1.0/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 3.0/3

This may be one of my top 10 leos of all time. Yeah, I said it. The white is fantastic, and the red rhinestones are the perfect accent to an otherwise plain leo. It’s so classy, and I can’t get enough. I’d also like to apologize for two of my fellow editors for clearly not appreciating this leo enough (jk).

Talitha: 3.600

Design 1.2/3, Fabric 0.3/1, Sparkle 0.2/1, School Spirit 0.3/1, Uniqueness 0.2/1, Overall Appearance 1.4/3

This is another leotard that looks better in competition than in closeups or photos. The red crystal belt in particular really stands out on the competition floor. Yet, I was not entirely convinced. The overall design, including the strappy back, is not bold enough for me. 

Allie: 5.100

Design 1.8/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.4/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.2/1, Overall Appearance 1.5/3

I do like the use of red gems on this leo, but it is just a tad too simple for me. It’s definitely a pretty leotard, I just feel like it’s missing something. 

Rebecca: 9.900

Design 3/3, Fabric 1/1, Sparkle 1/1, School Spirit 1/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 3/3

This is a real contender for best NCAA leotard ever for me, and I’ve been waiting for almost a year (since it was teased when season was cancelled last year) to enjoy it. Shimmery white is the literal worst leotard material and matte white is the literal best, fight me.

Oregon State: 6.375

Elizabeth: 7.600

Design 2.3/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2.5/3

Yes, this is a stock design, but I think this may be my favorite version I’ve seen so far. The ombre orange and black is fantastic, and I love the back. The design is pretty flattering too.

Talitha: 7.400

Design 2.6/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

I really like this GK design, especially because you can play with the sublimation on mesh effect on both the belt and the sleeves. Given its potential, I was slightly disappointed with the result—if only a bit more creativity with colors had gone into it, this leotard could have been gorgeous instead of just pretty. For my taste, moreover, the color of the crystals could have been slightly less flashy, as the effect is slightly tacky. Still a good effort, though!

Allie: 5.700

Design 1.8/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 1.4/3

I do like the use of the stock leo but the front vertical stripes aren’t visually appealing to me, and with the belt it looks too busy. The back saves this leo for me. It still has enough going so it is interesting without being too over the top.

Rebecca: 4.800

Design 1.5/3, Fabric 0.4/1, Sparkle 0.4/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

I just pasted in the exact ratings I gave last time we had a basic but ultimately fine stock design…no regrets. This is one of the better ones, but we’re accustomed to slightly more exciting things from the Beavs.

Temple: 5.700


Elizabeth: 4.800

Design 1.0/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 1.2/3

All I can think about is Grace McCallum’s leo from 2019, which I didn’t care for. The diamonds are way too big, and I dislike the dog collar. It’s a fine leo but not my favorite of Temple’s.

Talitha: 7.100

Design 2.3/3, Fabric 0.5/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

This leotard has all the characteristics of a design I would hate. But you know what? I like it! It is similar to a leotard Grace McCallum wore at nationals a couple of years ago, and as with hers, I also enjoy how bold and different this one looks. I especially like the fact that the belt, neck and wrist designs match, and the school spirit is there without being overpowering.

Allie: 6.300

Design 2.0/3, Fabric 0.5/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 1.8/3

The color of the body of the leo is gorgeous, and I am a sucker for school spirit, so I did enjoy the back of it. I don’t find the checkered design on the front that appealing. I think it may be too much for me.

Rebecca: 4.000

Design  0.2/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.5/1, School Spirit 1/1, Uniqueness 1/1, Overall Appearance 0.5/3

It’s a no from me. Temple has a lot of hits, and this isn’t one. Unlike Talitha but consistently, I also hated it when Grace McCallum tried the whole jester-chic thing. That’s also a BIG freaking T, but you can’t fault ‘em on school spirit I guess??

READ THIS NEXT: Leotard Rankings: Week 4

Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Talitha Ilacqua, Rebecca Scally and Allie DiBiase

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