leotard rankings graphic

Leotard Rankings: Conference Championships

It’s NCAA gymnastics season and the leotards are as sparkly as ever. And with new designs comes your favorite series: Leotard Rankings! Each week we’re analyzing leotard debuts to find our weekly faves. There will be up to three points for design, up to one point each for fabric, sparkle, school spirit and uniqueness, and up to three points for overall appearance. This week Emma, Ian and Tara are joining our editor-in-chief, Elizabeth, to help judge.

Don’t agree with our ranking? Make your opinion heard by voting in the fan poll at the end of the article each week or voicing your thoughts on social media. And, wondering where the new NCGA and USAG team leos are? Check out our ranking of those leotards the week after each respective national championship at the end of the season.

Michigan State: 8.750

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 9.400

Design 2.8/3, Fabric 1.0/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 1.0/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 2.9/3

This is fantastic. I love the tie-dye effect on the fabric especially, and the design on the front is super flattering and nice. The back is good too. An absolutely superb leo for the Spartans. Maybe my new fave?

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 9.600

Design 2.9/3, Fabric 1/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 1/1, Uniqueness 1/1, Overall Appearance 2.9/3

This is my absolute favorite leotard to come out of the Big Ten championship, and that’s saying a lot because I was also head over heels for Iowa’s. But come on, the tie-dye? The dual chromatic back? The arm cutouts? The not-tacky logo incorporation? THE NECKLINE? Michigan State knocks it out of the park every single time.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 8.700

Design 2.6/3, Fabric .8/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .9/1, Uniqueness .9/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

I love the sleeves on this so much, the rhinestones over the mesh give it kind of a window pane look that’s really unique. The neckline is really cool and unique here as well, and I think the velvet-esque pattern adds another layer of dimension. The two-toned strap on the back is also a really cool detail that brings in more colors without looking busy, 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.300

Design 2.1/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.9/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

This is growing on me. I don’t love the texture in the fabric, but it’s hardly noticeable on video. The side triangles work in this case, and the open back is nice.

BYU: 8.300

View of video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 7.000

Design 1.7/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

The front is meh. I don’t not like it, but I don’t love it either. The back, though, is fantastic. I especially love the tiny BYU “Y” on the mountain to mirror the one in real live—so clever!

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 8.700

Design 2.8/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 1/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

Absolutely outstanding. It should be a requirement that all Utah schools have a mountain leotard. The back is unique and so classy, and the front centerpiece is so flattering both on and off the screen.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 8.800

Design 2.7/3, Fabric .8/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit 1.0/1, Uniqueness .8/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

This leo is beautiful, and looked better during the meet than in the original video. That being said, the training version of this leo continued the mountain pattern on the front, which I would have loved to see make its way to the final product. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 8.700

Design 2.7/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 1.0/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

Yes, BYU! This is lovely. I love the front in its own right, but incorporating the mountains on the back really does it for me.

Temple: 7.950

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 8.200

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

I love this so much! The shade of red and subtle ombre is fantastic, and the amount of sparkles really takes it up a level. I bet it looked SO flashy in person. The back is a little weird, but I don’t not like it. A good one for Temple!

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 8.200

Design 2.5/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.9/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

I’m head over heels for this leo! It has the perfect amount of sparkle and the Temple logo is incorporated pretty seamlessly into the design. Plus, I am such a sucker for unique backs that don’t look like a nightmare to wear.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 7.800

Design 2.4/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .7/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 2.5/3

This is fairly simple design wise, but it works very well. Temple has a lot of really out there leo choices, so this feels a lot more tame in comparison. The back is nice as well; I enjoy the straps over the mesh. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.600

Design 2.5/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.6/3

I really like this! It’s not the most unique design overall, but I love the ombre and sparkles. Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with Temple’s colors.

California: 7.850

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 6.200

Design 1.6/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.4/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

The colors used are unique and nice. It’s like muted, dusty Cal, which is a fun change from normal. I don’t like the flower/branch design on the top though, and the fabric under the mesh on top looks a bit too much like a legit bra. I think it’s the way the top part of the sweetheart neckline is sewed.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 9.000

Design 2.8/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 1/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

I can’t decide if this or Michigan State is my favorite out of conference champs. This is BEAUTIFUL, and I’m 90% sure I have the prom dress version of this saved on my Pinterest somewhere. I love the sweetheart neckline paired with the slightly transparent mesh, and the flower design is so elegant and adds to the leo instead of being distracting. The teal is also such a nice complement to the floral design.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 8.200

Design 2.5/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .7/1, School Spirit .8/1, Uniqueness .9/1, Overall Appearance 2.6/3

Cal went for something different yet still very Cal here, and I am a big fan. This is easily one of the better uses of a floral motif we have seen this season, and the color is really pretty as well. I would’ve loved to see the vines continue onto the back, but at this point I’m just nitpicking. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 8.000

Design 2.4/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 1.0/1, Overall Appearance 2.5/3

I see you, Cal! It’s absolutely genius to do a leo inspired by Napa Valley, considering the proximity to Cal. The execution is great as well, between the colors and rhinestone patterns.

Western Michigan: 7.750

View images of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 8.700

Design 2.6/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 0.9/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 2.6/3

Maybe it’s because all other Western Michigan leos are stock designs, but I actually really love this. The back is great, the front design is great, the use of sparkles is great, and I like the application of nude mesh here, especially on the sleeves to make it look like they’re shorter and more angularly cut than they actually are.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 7.000

Design 2.4/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.5/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2.1/3

I love this…except for the nude mesh. I think I would really like this one if the mesh was black or white instead. I am a huge fan of the deep V neck though, and it really jazzes up the other elements of this leotard. I do commend WMU for always incorporating school spirit elements into its leotards, especially since its colors aren’t the easiest to work with. 

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 8.100

Design 2.6/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .7/1, School Spirit .6/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

I could go either way with the deep V on this one, I do like it, but I think I may have liked it more if the top was just all white. The back of this is gorgeous, I love the use of gold accents. It’s really hard to go wrong with white, black, and gold. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.200

Design 2.2/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2.4/3

The deep V paired with the inverted V waistline is a nice balance! Overall a good leo from Western Michigan with just the right amount of gold and capped off with a crossy back.

Denver: 7.625

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 7.300

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

I like this. Apparently the side sweeping design was popular for conference leos this year. The cut between the red and white fabrics is in a good place too, and while the back is a little weird, I mostly enjoy it.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 8.200

Design 2.8/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.6/3

I love asymmetric designs on leotards, especially when they don’t take away from the other elements. The back is so elegant and unique without being completely open, and the sparkles really just make the entire thing come together. LOVE!

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 6.900

Design 2.3/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .3/1, Uniqueness .5/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

By basically every metric, this is a really pretty leo. That being said, I don’t really think this screams Denver. The back is fun but just a bit too chaotic for my liking. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 8.100

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

I thought this one looked better in motion. The contrast between the top and bottom half of the leo is nice, and the sparkle pattern flows well. I’d like the back better if it was just the thinner straps, but I still like it.

Florida: 7.575

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 8.800

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

When I first saw this in person, I was in awe. Finally a superb Florida leo! I love everything about it, front he shades of blue used to the fun tie-dye pattern to the way the sparkles are placed to follow that pattern. My only small complaints are the places where the seams are on the white mesh and the fact that no orange is incorporated. I feel like a few (more?) orange rhinestones could have been thrown in or some VERY subtle orange added to the tie-dye effect on the body.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 8.800

Design 2.7/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 0/9/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

I really like this Florida leo, and it has been putting out some absolutely stunning ones this season. I love the deeper v-neck that doesn’t look too awkward but isn’t super booby, and the ruched back and watercolor front give this a unique element that looks good both on and off screen. 

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 6.200

Design 2.1/3, Fabric .8/1, Sparkle .7/1, School Spirit .7/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

I love the pattern here, and the back is really pretty, but the front of this looks like a strapless top that is slowly sliding down just a little bit. The sweetheart neck is a good choice for this, but it just starts too low and makes the whole thing look awkward. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 6.500

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

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t love this. The V cuts awkwardly, and the pattern is a little much. It’s still solid, just not my favorite. Props to Florida for doing something different, though, since so many of its leos look the same!

UCLA: 7.575

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 6.300

Design 1.7/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 1.8/3

The front is weird because there’s a lot going on, but it’s all sort of one note, so it’s almost a little boring? I love the back, as well as the shares of blue used though. All in all, a little overwhelming for a conference championship leo for UCLA.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 7.600

Design 2.4/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.5/3

I wish the blue to white ombre had been incorporated into the bottom half of the leotard, but this is overall a win for me. They really complemented the simpler base design without the sparkles being overbearing, but I still wish that design had continued in some form on the back to make it a little more intricate.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 8.400

Design 2.5/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .9/1, School Spirit .7/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

This is one of UCLA’s best leos of late for me, and unsurprisingly it’s also one of its simplest. The super sparkly front with the blue and white ombre sleeves looks amazing in videos. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 8.000

Design 2.5/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

This is very much my style, so it’s no surprise I like it. Between the ombre, strappy back, and geometric front, I love it all.

LIU: 7.500

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 8.800

Design 2.8/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

LOVE this! Another wrap design from conference weekend, but this WORKS. I love everything about it, from the mixture of blue shades and yellow at the top to the cut of the top to the asymmetrical sparkle belt to the subtle arms. LIU continues to win in the leo department.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 7.300

Design 2.3/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2.4/3

I am being spoiled with asymmetric designs this week. I am a sucker for teams who incorporate the bolder of their school colors into their designs to make it pop, and LIU does this perfectly while not making it an eyesore.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 6.500

Design 2.0/3, Fabric .6/1, Sparkle .6/1, School Spirit .7/1, Uniqueness .5/1, Overall Appearance 2.1/3

For what it’s worth, it’s really hard to go wrong with blue and yellow like this. While this isn’t my favorite design by any means, it stands out as a good and different use of common colors. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.400

Design 2.4/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2.6/3

I like this! The yellow gives it a pop of extra color without being overwhelming, and the starburst-esque design is nice.

Arkansas: 7.450

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 6.400

Design 1.8/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

I don’t know how to explain it, but the red fabric in person gave off such a cool, almost leathery effect. I also like the wrap design and how that theme extends to the back straps too. The only thing I would change is the white belt. I kept thinking it was a belly band like we wore when I was early on in my gymnastics career to remind us to keep our stomachs tight and sucked in when doing skills.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 8.800

Design 2.7/3, Fabric 0.9/1, Sparkle 0.9/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

I love that they added the stripe on the arms because I think it really makes the high neck design look so much less awkward in motion. The ribbed belt is perfection, and the sparkly collar and back straps really make this for me. Possibly my favorite Arkansas leotard ever, and that’s saying a lot!

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 6.800

Design 2.2/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .7/1, School Spirit .6/1, Uniqueness .6/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

A lot of Arkansas leos end up looking rather bland to me, and while this one is certainly different, it doesn’t feel like anything we haven’t seen before. It really reminds me of the one Utah crossed cowl neck leo, which besides being ugly was at least a bit more of an original take on this basic pattern. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.800

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

This is nice! The balance of sparkles on the front combined with the linear design is nice, and the band of red on the arms with “Arkansas” running down is a great touch.

Utah: 7.300

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 5.300

Design 1.4/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.4/1, Overall Appearance 1.8/3

This leo is not very Utah to me. It’s almost like a mix between an Arkansas design or a leo you’d see in elite. It’s fine but also pretty boring. I also don’t like the back straps. They’re so long and not attached except for at the ends, so when the gymnast bends back literally at all, it gets all loose and weird.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 7.800

Design 2.7/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0/6/1, Uniqueness 0.4/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

The drama. The boldness. The elegance. This is a simple but absolutely statement-making design, and the all-red really works. Plus, the back straps showing off the subtle ombre!! This may not be the most unique leo design, but I’m obsessed.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 8.100

Design 2.7/3, Fabric .6/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .6/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

Maybe it’s just because Kara Eaker is in the picture and this feels really reminiscent of some of the things that she wore in elite, but this really works for me. I’m always a fan of a high neck leo, and the rhinestone pattern on this is nice as well. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 8.000

Design 2.6/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2.8/3

I love this! It’s elegant, the ombre and back are gorgeous, and I love the design on the front. An overall win for Utah.

Michigan: 7.175

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 7.100

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

If this didn’t use a similar concept—navy body, splash of yellow, sparkles—as all Michigan leos, I’d like it a lot. But at this point I’m pretty bored. I don’t know how other teams manage to do new and exciting things with the same colors while most Michigan leos look pretty similar to one another. Anyway, this design specifically is good but not anything special.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 6.300

Design 1.8/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2/3

Ugh. The back. The sides of the back overlapping just looks off to me, and paired with the sweetheart neckline and the blocky ombre feels like a meh leotard. Objectively not horrible, but not exciting either.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 7.700

Design 2.3/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .7/1, Uniqueness .6/1, Overall Appearance 2.5/3

Honestly this is very Cal, but not in a bad way! It’s obviously not the most different in terms of Michigan leos, but Michigan’s base formula is one of the best in the county. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.600

Design 2.5/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.4/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

When I saw this, I did a double take thinking it was an older Michigan leo. That said, I really like this! The sweetheart paired with the crossy design on front is nice, and of course, I love the ombre, especially as a way to incorporate maize without it being overwhelming.

Arizona State: 7.125

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 7.400

Design 2.0/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.9/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 2.1/3

The back of this is fantastic. Leave it to Arizona State to continue coming up with unique ways of doing things. The front is fine. I’m not a fan in general of the rounded neckline, and I think I would have preferred one sparkle pitchfork on the sleeve vs. having them all the way down.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 7.400

Design 2.0/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.9/1, Uniqueness 0.9/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

We’re also being spoiled this week with the super unique back designs! I love the horizontal straps and the ASU logo as the centerpiece while not being plain or blocky. I am a huge fan of the rounded neckline on the front, but I wish the Arizona State text would have been a bit farther down and in a less blocky and awkward font.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 7.000

Design 2.1/3, Fabric .8/1, Sparkle .5/1, School Spirit .8/1, Uniqueness .8/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

This is on the simple side, but I think it accomplishes what it sets out to. The shiny fabric is a nice touch. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 6.700

Design 1.8/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.9/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

Another new leo, another solid one for Arizona State. The subtle gold undertone is nice, and I like how the sparkles accentuate the “Arizona State” on the front. The back is also nice!

Alabama: 7.075

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 6.800

Design 1.7/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 1.8/3

Alabama is a funny leo team. It either does something incredibly unique or every leo looks the same and is boring. There’s no in between. This leo falls into the boring category. It’s a crimson base with white arms. The design itself is sort of meh too.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 6.600

Design 2/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.1/3

If you had removed the Alabama logo, I think I could’ve instantly identified this as an Alabama leo… But that isn’t a good thing in this case. I know that this is a unique design, but it’s still boring. It’s a pretty leotard, and I love the crimson foil and the unique sparkle design, but it just feels overdone.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 7.200

Design 2.1/3, Fabric .8/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .7/1, Uniqueness .5/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

My immediate thought was that this looked exactly like another Alabama leo, but looking back I think I might have just been imagining things. That being said, this is still painfully expected for a team with so much lore and so many more design elements that could be integrated. I also wish the strip in the middle was mesh to match the sleeves.   

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.700

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

This is another one in this leo set that shares traits with an older Alabama leo, but I love it. The sparkle pattern on the front and back is my favorite part, and I love the addition of red rhinestones on the arms.

Oregon State: 6.900

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 9.400

Design 2.9/3, Fabric 1.0/1, Sparkle 1.0/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.9/3

I love this! The white fabric has the same almost-leathery effect that the Arkansas red had. I also love the sparkle pattern, use of varying sized and shaped rhinestones, and what might be a black velvet bottom? Fantastic.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 6.600

Design 2.0/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

I swear that this is an old OSU leotard. I generally like geometric sparkle designs, but when they’re done over and over, they tend to lose their appeal. It’s a nice leotard in general, but much like the Alabama leotard, it feels very OSU in a boring way. 

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 5.600

Design 1.7/3, Fabric .5/1, Sparkle .7/1, School Spirit .2/1, Uniqueness .2/1, Overall Appearance 2.0/3

Oregon State leos are starting to reach a Floridian level of sameness for me, with a few exceptions. If you showed me this leo without Jade Carey in it, I probably would have guessed like five other schools before OSU. That being said, I do think this design is inoffensive, if not both a little boring and busy. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 6.000

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

I like this, but it doesn’t wow me. The sweetheart neckline and rhinestone pattern are nice, and the fabric works well. A very solid leo for Oregon State but nothing super revolutionary.

New Hampshire: 6.900

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 7.100

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

I actually really like this, especially the New Hampshire outline on the sleeve and the mixture of shiny holographic fabric and matte blue. After photographing UNH earlier this season, I realized that the leos don’t come across as well in pics as they do in person. I think this one would follow that pattern.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 6.100

Design 1.6/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.1/3

I do like the asymmetric design, but it feels a bit too blocky to work on this leo. Extra points for the glittery New Hampshire outline, though those points are canceled out by the collar of this leo.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 8.400

Design 2.8/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .8/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 2.6/3

I will say I think this leo looks better from farther away than close up, it’s more of a get the whole picture kind of thing. I really like the mid-high neck and the asymmetrical design. I have to applaud UNH for not making this a mesh abomination, I’m sure that’s a route a lot of other teams would have gone down with this design. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 6.000

Design 1.7/3, Fabric 0.4/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 1.8/3

This is solid. I wish there was more color contrast, and I don’t fully love the design, though I love the addition of the state outline on the arm. 

Central Michigan: 6.675

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 6.200

Design 1.8/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 1.8/3

This leo is good not great. I really like the front and the effect the sparkles have on the overall look. I wish the contrast between the solid fabric and the mesh wasn’t so stark, but it’s not as off-putting as some designs.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 5.600

Design 1.7/3, Fabric 0.4/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 1.5/3

The V-neck, studded belt, and foil… It doesn’t show well on camera and it feels a bit tacky to me. I wish the mesh extended more onto the body of the leotard to make it look less blocky and awkward.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 7.200

Design 2.1/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .8/1, School Spirit .7/1, Uniqueness .6/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

The sleeves here are pretty, but they feel kind of out of place with the rest of the design. I honestly think this would’ve looked more cohesive if it had just been a tank leo, but I do think this leo is overall pretty. An unrelated note here, but I love the CMU logo necklace in the photo as well. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.700

Design 2.6/3, Fabric 0.5/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.7/3

Ooh, this is nice! I love the sparkle pattern and the belt works well in this case. The “Chippewas” on the back is a great incorporation of school spirit, too.

LSU: 6.625

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 7.400

Design 2.0/3, Fabric 0.8/1, Sparkle 0.8/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

If I only saw pictures of this leo, I’d probably have thought it was boring—at least on the front. However, in person, the white paired with the gold and purple popped. I LOVE the back. The front I could take or leave. I sort of want to see what this would look like with the colors reversed? Matte purple body with white to purple ombre sleeves and gold accents.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 6.300

Design 1.9/3, Fabric 0.7/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.5/1, Uniqueness 0.6/1, Overall Appearance 2/3

I should like this one, and I can’t pinpoint why I don’t. I really like the white body complemented by the purple, but I think the sparkle Vs are ruining it for me. I don’t know what rhinestone design would’ve made this better, but I know the current one just doesn’t work well with the rest of the leo. I do LOVE the back though! The mix of mesh and foil straps is really elegant and looks amazing in motion.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 5.500

Design 1.8/3, Fabric .7/1, Sparkle .6/1, School Spirit .5/1, Uniqueness .5/1, Overall Appearance 1.4/3

I’m sorry. This one is a no for me. Let’s start with the positives: I love the sleeves. That’s about where it ends. The back of this looks like an accident waiting to happen with one strap somehow getting caught on something throughout the course of the day. The front is relatively inoffensive, but I’m still waiting for a true hit out of the park purple leo from LSU. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 7.300

Design 2.5/3, Fabric 0.5/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.5/3

This feels like a leo I should love, but there’s something about it holding it back I can’t put my tongue on. The crossy back and ombre are definitely the stars of the show, and the sparkle pattern is solid.

Stanford: 6.500

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 6.800

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

I don’t not like this. The black with red accents is a good base concept, I’m just not sure I like the weird faux neck hole with the block S inside. I like the wrap design though, and the sleeves.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 6.700

Design 2.0/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

I really didn’t like this when they first debuted it, but it really grew on me as I watched it in motion. I wish the neck hole was matte instead of striped, but I really like the placement of the Stanford logo, as it doesn’t take away from the rest of the leo.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 6.100

Design 1.9/3, Fabric .6/1, Sparkle .6/1, School Spirit .6/1, Uniqueness .51, Overall Appearance 1.9/3

The striped motif is nice here, but I don’t think it fully pulls off the effect it’s going for. It looks more like a series of disconnected lines than any sort of textural effect. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 6.400

Design 1.9/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.5/1, Overall Appearance 2.1/3

This is somewhat similar to an older Stanford leo, but it’s still nice. I love the use of red sparkles along the waistband and how the design frames the Stanford logo on the chest.

George Washington: 6.150

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 7.800

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

I actually really like this. The “gold” George Washington has been using this season is a nice shade. I also like the sort of wrap design of this look. This leo is funky of GW leos old, but not in a tacky way.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 5.200

Design 1.2/3, Fabric 0.5/1, Sparkle 0.7/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 1.5/3

Finally, representation for spackling paste. Did it need to be represented on a leotard though?

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 6.000

Design 1.7/3, Fabric .5/1, Sparkle .7/1, School Spirit .6/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 1.8/3

There’s a lot going on here, but I imagine this is the type of thing that would look better during a meet than in pictures beforehand. It’s not bad by any means, but GW certainly has better leos. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated HeadshotTara: 5.600

Design 1.5/3, Fabric 0.5/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.6/1, Uniqueness 0.7/1, Overall Appearance 1.7/3

The stripes are almost too much for me, but they look better on video and show the gold color better which is the saving grace. It’s still not my favorite, but I don’t hate it.

Iowa: 5.950

View a video of this leotard here.

Illustrated headshot of Elizabeth GrimsleyElizabeth: 6.500

Design 1.5/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.8/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.2/3

The positives are the great use of gold, and the gorgeous strappy back. The negatives are mesh in the absolute weirdest places and a super odd front design. Why can’t an Iowa leo be good all around for once? If this had a normal front design with the cool back, it would be an easy 8-plus score from me.

Emma Hammerstrom illustrated headshotEmma: 7.100

Design 2.1/3, Fabric 0.6/1, Sparkle 0.6/1, School Spirit 0.7/1, Uniqueness 0.8/1, Overall Appearance 2.3/3

This one doesn’t look super great in still shots, but I really loved it in motion! I love the side cut-outs and foil gold outlines, but I wish the back cutout wasn’t so wide. I also could’ve done without the weird upside-down anvil piece at the top.

Ian LeWarn illustrated headshotIan: 5.300

Design 1.6/3, Fabric .6/1, Sparkle .5/1, School Spirit .6/1, Uniqueness .7/1, Overall Appearance 1.3/3

This is really a let down for me because the open back is beautiful, but the oblong side cutouts ruin the whole thing for me. Iowa is going in the correct direction by taking advantage of gold as an accent color, but I wish the front of this was simpler and let the accents shine. 

Tara Graeve Illustrated Headshot