We’re continuing a look into our editors’ favorite leotards of all time. Each editor gets to choose their top 15 designs, limit one per school, and this week is our Big Ten assistant editor Carolyn is sharing her faves!
No. 1: Alabama: My fave leo is one that just debuted this past season! It reminds me of lipstick. I love the colors, the ombre, the design and how the way the sparkles are placed makes it look even more elegant. Plus, school spirit is added with the “BAMA” on the arm. Perfection!
No. 2: Oklahoma: This was my favorite college gym leo of all time until Alabama debuted my No. 1 leo this past season. Everything about this leo is perfect. What initially attracted me was the stellar back. This leo came out before the trend of sparkly intricate backs were a thing, so it was definitely ahead of its time in the best way. I obviously have no complaints about the front and arms of this leo, as those are GORGEOUS too, but it just can’t top the Bama one.
No. 3: Temple: Possibly the most underrated leo on this list. I feel like no one knows about this leo and I am here to do it justice. It has such a unique design, and I love how the diamond pattern continues on the arms and the back. The material also looks so comfy.
No. 4: Michigan State: It is just so dark and edgy with the sparkles, the open back and the design that I FOR SURE think surpasses the light ombre one that everyone else loves. #sorrynotsorry
No. 5: Oregon State: This leo is just a simplistic masterpiece. I love how the sparkles fill in the design rather than another color, and the sparkly strappy back is a nice addition. Plus, you can never go wrong with symmetry.
No. 6: LSU: The colors on this one are just gorgeous! The Tigers should definitely use more light purple in their leos because it looks great. I also like how they included gold and the “LSU” on the back not in a in-your-face type of way.
No. 7: Michigan: When this Michigan leo debuted, I knew it was automatically my favorite leo of its. The sparkles make the design! Who doesn’t like that?
No. 8: Georgia: This design is so pretty! I love the cascading sparkles and the hidden red of this leo. I wish UGA wore it more often and gave it the recognition it deserves.
No. 9: Cal: Cal has a whole collection of gorgeous, modern leos, but this one is definitely my favorite. It looks so regal and dazzles on all the gymnasts. I always love a good symmetrical design.
No. 10: Utah: This leo is so different from what Utah usually comes up with, and I am here for it! I love how edgy it looks and how it looks good in any arena. Anytime a team uses the deep V design I automatically love it, but Utah makes it even better by making it all sparkles and adding an open back.
No. 11: Arkansas: Although this is an oldie and Arkansas can’t wear it anymore due to its current brand guidelines, I truly believe it is its best one. I didn’t think the V on the front and the keyhole back would look good together, but they somehow do! It looks so simple yet elegant on all the gymnasts.
No. 12: TWU: This black beauty is dazzling! I love the sparkles everywhere and the high neckline, but the splash of red on the back with the “TWU” is a great sneaky add and my favorite part!
No. 13: Illinois: I don’t think I’ve ever seen another leo like this one. It looks so delicate and beautiful. One thing I hate on leos is when the ombre looks rushed and this has none of that at all. Plus, how the mesh placement matches up with the sparkles? *chef’s kiss*
No. 14: LIU: I love every part of this (obviously, or else I wouldn’t include it in my top 15). How did LIU manage to create a gorgeous ombre effect with these three tricky colors? AND THEN MAKE THE ARMS MESH??? It is absolutely to die for.
No. 15: Penn: I know there are other teams and countries that use this design, but I think this is the best iteration of it by far! The colors work so nicely together, and although it seems like a lot at first sight, it is not really that bad.
Article by Carolyn Lien
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