Leotard vs tights

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A leotard is a tightly-fitted article of clothing made of stretchy material that covers from the shoulders to the top of the thighs, a leotard may be sleeveless or have short sleeves or long sleeves. Leotards are worn by dancers, acrobats and others who are engaging in vigorous activity. The leotard was named in 1888 for the French trapeze artist Jules Léotard. The correct singular form of the word is leotard, the plural form is leotards.

Tights are a tightly-fitted article of clothing made of stretchy material that covers from the waist to the toes. Generally, everyday tights are a woman’s garment. Both women and men wear tights when participating in dance, acrobatics and other forms of physical entertainment. Men wore tights in historic times until trousers were invented. The word tights meaning this tightly-fitted article of clothing was coined in the early 1800s. Tights is both the singular and plural form of the word.


Ariana Grande puts on a racy display in leotard and silver raincoat as she takes to the stage for Capital FM’s Summertime Ball (The Daily Mail)

The prime example is when Martin – playing Pippin’s grandmother Berthe with impeccable comic timing – ends an audience sing-along of No Time At All by ripping off her robe to reveal a circus leotard. (The Globe and Mail)

“I began to research and found that many dancers have to dye their leotards in various ways, from using makeup all the way to using tea to dye them so that the leotards would match their skin tones,” she said. (The Huffington Post)

People claiming to be air hostesses are taking to shopping sites like eBay to flog their used shoes and tights to – well, we don’t quite know who’s buying them… (The Mirror)

While scrutinizing a feed of Kate Middleton pictures, her legs even-toned in what has been well-documented as super sheer (and totally imperceptible) flesh-colored tights, I find myself backtracking entire decades to answer this question. (Glamour Magazine)