leotard rankings

Leotard Rankings: Figure Skating Costumes

Last offseason we looked at dance leos and rhythmic outfits and this year so far we analyzed cheer uniforms. Then we found our faves and determined which teams in college gymnastics we thought would be most likely to wear each design. We’re continuing the trend this week by taking a look at figure skating costumes and how they could possibly make great leos, especially since we know some coaches already take inspiration from the designs.

Score: 9.267

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Elizabeth: 9.8/10

This is just absolutely fantastic. I love every bit of it except maybe the thick collar, but that’s sort of a staple with figure skating so I’ll let it slide. It’s very similar to my all-time favorite Florida leo (which it was apparently inspired by) that it only ever wore a couple times, which I’m still mad about.

Carolyn: 9.0/10

I just KNEW this one would be included, and since I have to say it whenever I see it: Did you know that this costume actually inspired Florida’s leo for the 2015 Super Six? It would only make sense for Florida to wear this costume since it basically already did.

Katie W: 9.0/10

Echoing Carolyn here with the Florida reference from the 2015 Super Six. I did not know that it actually influenced the design, though. You can never go wrong with a sweetheart neckline and blue ombre.

Score: 9.200

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Elizabeth: 9.7/10

Why the red doesn’t start until her boobs finish is beyond me, but I do like the overall design. The angular lines are great, and the silver rhinestones work well with the red and nude fabrics. It reminds me a lot of a Nebraska leo. If that’s not Big Red, I don’t know what is.

Carolyn: 9.5/10

Love it! I appreciate the appropriate use of nude mesh and sparkles in this one; there aren’t any sparkles just there to cover up something like on the yellow costume. For this costume, I can totally see Stanford wearing it!

Katie W: 8.4/10 

The crystal bodice design is absolutely stunning, and the skirt is simple yet elegant. I don’t love the low neckline, but other than that this costume hits the mark. Arkansas has debuted a few shiny leotards this season, but I would absolutely love if they made one similar to this. It would be stunning and may just be the team’s best one yet.

Score: 8.067

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Elizabeth: 8.2/10

I love the one-arm look here, as well as the swooping deep V neckline. The thick rhinestone collar isn’t my favorite, but it works well with the rest of the costume. I could see UCLA doing a play on this, and making it work.

Carolyn: 8.0/10

I’m loving all of the sparkles! This dark blue shade is gorgeous, and the nude mesh in this case is acceptable. When thinking of a team that would wear this, I thought of BYU because this costume looks so similar to this leo it debuted this season.

Katie W: 8.0/10

I really like this one. I think the one-arm look provides a unique touch, but also makes it have more of a sophisticated feel. The pop of color on the skirt is also great and something that could be replicated on a leotard with the bottom half or back. Iowa comes to mind immediately, as the team debuted a fantastic, simple black leotard with mesh for every skin color in 2021. 

Score: 6.767

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Elizabeth: 8.0/10

This is very black swan. While the legit feathers are a bit much, I do like the overall concept and sort of dark and mysterious look of the design. I know I already said Iowa for another leo, but I could see the Hawkeyes doing a design similar to this one as well.

Carolyn: 7.5/10

My first reaction was: Did this costume inspire GAGE’s day two leo from this year’s elite national championships? Probably not. Nevertheless, considering how dark and edgy Georgia is, I think this one would fit its brand perfectly.

Katie W: 4.8/10

I’m not huge on feathers, and the ones on this design seem exceptionally flaky. I love Carolyn’s note about GAGE because if we were picking a club gym, this would certainly fit with its past leotards. In terms of NCAA gym teams, I’m leaning toward UCLA with the unique concept and storyline behind the majority of the program’s designs. 

Score: 5.600

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Elizabeth: 8.3/10

I actually like this a lot. It reminds me of Oklahoma’s doily leo that’s since been retired. The detailed rhinestone design is so intricate and really elevates the costume to a whole other level.

Carolyn: 0.5/10

Oh? I’m really not liking this one! I don’t even know what team would wear this because I feel like this design hasn’t ever been done in leos before.

Katie W: 8.0/10

Color aside, I really love this design. It’s busy, but it’s also busy with only one pattern and one color, which makes a huge difference in the overall presentation. BYU has done some floral patterns lately that have looked nice. I think this intrinsic design with the dark purple or blue would be stunning on a leotard.

Score: 4.967

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Elizabeth: 7.1/10

I like the simplicity in this. It sort of reminds me of an old-school Florida leo. The matte fabric is great, and I like the touch of white around the neckline as well.

Carolyn: 3.0/10

It is nice and pretty and simple, but I just need more. If there were some black lace added to the neckline or somewhere on this one, I could see SEMO wearing it.

Katie W: 4.8/10

Unlike some of my fellow editors, I don’t love old-school leotards. Nothing about them gets me excited unless it comes with a cute coach/parent storyline. This one tends to remind me of Georgia, as the program has a few old-school type leotards that are worn every season. 

Score: 4.767

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Elizabeth: 4.9/10

This sort of reminds me of an early 2000s design we’d see from Alabama or Utah. It’s a little bit gaudy, but that’s not a bad thing. The silver makes the design pop, and the black tones down the wild factor. It’s also similar to Michigan’s recent off-the-shoulder design from this past season.

Carolyn: 6.0/10

Ooh. After Rutgers got a thousand new leos in recent years, I think it could take this one and use it somehow, maybe by adding some red sparkles or a big “R” somewhere?

Katie W: 3.4/10

I just can’t do the nude to design contrast with this one. I want to say Stanford could be a potential taker, though.

Score: 4.400

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Elizabeth: 3.2/10

This is a little too wild for me. I need a little more solid to be paired with the zebra/tiger pattern to get on board. As for a team that might wear this… Towson has a leo with tiger stripe arms that is sort of similar. I could see it improving upon this design.

Carolyn: 6.5/10

I’m not too fond of the use and placement of nude mesh on this costume, but I like the different shreds of hanging fabric. It reminds me of Missouri and how it used to have this leo, so I think Missouri would wear this one.

Katie W: 3.5/10

This one overdoes the mesh for me. I like the uniqueness of the print, but it’s not aesthetically pleasing to my eye. I honestly agree with Carolyn on Missouri for the potential team. Missouri seems to have the tiger stripes down to a science with its leotards. The team might be able to capitalize on this design. 

Score: 4.200

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Elizabeth: 6.6/10

Colored rhinestones! More college gym teams need to take note. I actually don’t hate the nude + rhinestone pattern as coverage thing either, which surprises me a little. The shape of the design is a bit meh, but this has potential. Maybe Iowa can take the concept and run with it. We know how much the Hawkeyes love nude.

Carolyn: 2.0/10

Ohhhh. I’m not really into the sparkles only being there to cover things. Don’t like that at all. The skirt looks fun and all, but from the stomach up, I just don’t like it. If a team were to wear this one, however, I can see Illinois putting a spin on it considering it loves sparkles.

Katie W: 4.0/10

As a former dancer, I’ve been accustomed to viewing nude with rhinestones and it’s grown on me over the years. I just hate everything about the neckline with the collar and random splurge of solid color. If we can take this outfit and change the color, I could see LSU rocking the rhinestone and nude look. 

Score: 3.800

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Elizabeth: 3.4/10

You know what this makes me think of? Auburn’s awful ruffles leo. The feathers are obviously ridiculous, but I don’t hate the sweetheart neckline or the silver stripes. Everything else is sort of laughable though.

Carolyn: 7.5/10

Oh my gosh! I have never seen this one before! It reminds me of a bird cage! If it weren’t for the feathers, then I’d sort of like it. I can envision Cal using this one.

Katie W: 0.5/10

I don’t have anything good to say here. It is way over the top with the feathers, and I despise the bodice design. I don’t want this for any team, but the lines down the bodice remind me of some Oklahoma leos with the vertical line look.

Score: 3.067

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Elizabeth: 2.8/10

This is a little too throwback for me, which is not something I ever thought I’d say. It reminds me a lot of those older Penn State leos with the angular necklines and block logos on the chest.

Carolyn: 1.5/10

I personally don’t like it, but if it were for a team…WESTERN MICHIGAN. I can see the gold accents now!

Katie W: 4.9/10

I actually like this one better than the previous old-school leotard. It reminds me of a simple classic dress you’d wear to Christmas as a child. Southern Utah could tackle this design, as the team seems to strive for simple looks with limited design/extra colors to it.

Score: 2.933

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Elizabeth: 5.5/10

This reminds me a lot of a Russian ballet costume. I like the extra fabric on the chest and the gold accents, but overall it’s a little too old-fashioned for me. Maybe Georgia would have a similar design back in the day. If not, it’s certainly something Oklahoma might try to pull off.

Carolyn: 0.5/10

I don’t have any strong feelings on this one other than “meh.” If Denver were to use its actual school colors, then this one would fit right in.

Katie W: 2.8/10

Another old-fashioned look that I can’t get behind. I genuinely can’t even see a team in something similar, but Texas Women’s keeps coming to my head, so I will go with that. 

READ THIS NEXT: Leotard Rankings: Cheer Uniforms Part 1

Article by Eliazbeth Grimsley, Carolyn Lien, Katie Walsh

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