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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Wardrobe frustrations


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I have worn bathing suits for ballet class before because it was easier to find my size in a long on the occasions and I found bargains. I am too large for Capezio and Body wrap Longs.

I was not thinking leo shopping until one of the several bathing suits I just I ordered for water aerobics (hopefully enough to last most of a year) showed up and I tried it on. The fabric is different than the usual bathing suit and the design screams leotard to me. It is black with an "X" back and white piping on the straps and down the princess seams. Very flattering I am told. It is even fully lined and has a built in soft bra which actually fits.

One drawback is that it might be hot to wear in class with that lining.

Another drawback is that it is one of the anti-chlorine damage fabrics that Land's End puts out and it seems like a total waste not to use it just for the water, even though it looks and feels like a leotard. The price was greatly reduced from normal but I don't think I have ever gone over $30.00 for a leo ??? and this was still $49.99 on sale plus shipping.

I keep thinking I should order another color for the water and wear the black for ballet but 49 Bucks????

Anybody ever go anywhere near that high for a leotard?



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Unfortunately, I think I paid around $40 for both of my leotards that truly fit because they're the Danskin plus size ones. That was the ONLY thing I could find that fit at the time. It makes me so angry that I have to pay SO much more than everyone else for a leotard that's only a fraction larger. So yes, $50 is more than I pay for leos but when it's all that fits, you get stuck. :-/


Those Degas leotards the younger set are so gaga over are considerably more than $50. I say try it for 1 dance class and 1 water aerobics class and see where you like it best. There's also nothing that says you can't wear it for both. Different weeks of course.

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The Bal Togs leos I have purchased from Riversedge Dancewear are available with or without shelf bras. All BT items offered by Riversedge are special orders and take awhile to ship but they are available in several fabrics and a couple of dozen colors. You can also order them with alterations (eg. longer girth) which I always take advantage of. The cost of adding the bra is $3.00 and each alteration, ie. adding extra length to the girth, adds $10.00. I typically pay between $30 and $35 for a Bal Togs leo from Riversedge in the length I need (which is super duper long.)


I have also purchased plain, scoop neck tank leotards made by Leo's from Riversedge, which have a shelf bra and are actually long enough for me in the regular sizing. They are plain jane, but less than $20.


With my full bust and long torso I have to have enough length with any kind of fancy strap leo (otherwise they pull way down in front) and I have not found any "ready made" brands that work for me, even in plus sizes--they end up too wide but still too short. So, the custom ordered Bal Togs are my only source (to date) for prettier styles that fit.

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Great info to know lovelylight! I, too, need longer leos (or I feel hunched over). I am used to shopping via Discount Dance - so I will have to check out Riversedge!!

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I have ordered plus leos from Rivers edge and had no idea you could get extra girth length.

This is fabulous information. I wonder thqat the saleslady on the phone didn't offer me the information.

I did find out the hard way that the plus tights they sell were waaaay too short.

The leotards I got cut it close on potential wardrobe misfunction at the bust. Of course they discontinued the brand that fits in the width best.

I don't wear any of the ones with wide shoulders or sleeves because they pull down hard and hurt my shoulders. I really need adjustable straps for my high square shoulders.

I actually moved the straps on the land's End bathing suit because they were tight, while the body was just right. It just has a narrower X on the back now. Easy Fix.

I have not seen the Degas Leos that I recall and I guess I don't want to now....Yikes!

I think I remember seeing those pricey Danskins now.

Now I am just thinking how well the Land's End product may hold up and don't feel so in sticker shock.

I guess I shouldn't if I pay that for a swimsuit that just needs to not dissolve to quickly. I don't even care if my bathing suits are ugly if they fit and hold up.



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I found out about the alteration service when I inquired about men's leos that might work for me--my measurements are pretty close to the upper range of a man's medium, including the girth, so I thought a man's leo might fit, as long as the styling wasn't too weird (like a neckline cut down to the waist in front! :P ) That's when they told me I could order a longer girth.


To request an alteration on a Bal Togs item from Riversedge, add an explanation in the "notes" section of the checkout page, eg: "Make girth 3" longer on Bal Togs Velvet Camisole leotard. I understand this will be an additional charge." Riversedge will add the alteration fee to the order total charged to your credit card. As I mentioned previously, the fee for each alteration is currently $10. My husband and I danced together in my school's spring recital and I ordered all our attire from Riversedge. My dress was made longer in the girth and he also needed alterations on his velvet shirt (sleeve length and torso length,) which were no problem.


Laschwen, have you tried the Primasoft tights in the plus size? They are not available in plus in the convertible style, so if that is the style you prefer they won't work for you, but I find them to be generously sized; along with my full bust I have full legs as well. My daughter and I both like the Primasofts, which are stretchier than the Capezio Stretch & Holds which I used to wear. I gave up on the Capezios because they just weren't long/wide enough, even in a plus size, and I felt like I was wearing a girdle in combination with support hose, and still having to tug them up all the time. The sizing for Primasofts is a true no-brainer--the standard one-size-fits-all fits anyone from child size to adult large and the plus size fits from xl through 2x or 3x. They really do stretch that much, and don't bag on smaller people. My daughter is 10 and in an emergency I can squeeze into hers, though I much prefer my own! :D

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That surprises me. I find that Bodywrappers tights are ridiculously tight. Maybe other people like the supportiveness, but I feel like my circulation is being cut off, especially when I roll up the convertible feet to calf height. Primasoft fits better in my opinion, but I am not that much outside of the typical ballet body, despite the fact that I'm usually a tall/extra large.


Have you tried Ebay for leotards lately? I buy quite a few (when I know the fit of the makers-- usually only Mirella and Bodywrappers, sometimes Capezio), and lately I've seen a lot of plus size leotards on there for very reasonable prices.

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Wow what great replies.

I did take a look at the Degas Leos. I don't understand their sizing but I saw some pretty Leos.

Prima Soft were the tights I ordered from Rivers Edge. They made it only halfway up my thighs. I do have a 36 inch inseam to grapple with along with being an XL/1X. Danskin Plus seems to be my only choice there. I have been known to cut the feet of them and pull up too.

I am going to Sears to return 2 Lands End swimsuits today and since I will have some cash left on a gift card I got I plan to re-order another of the leotard looking swimsuit in a coral color and relegate the black one to Monday Ballet, where they use the air conditioning and see how it goes.


I will remember to order from River's Edge in the future. That is the best info ever. Thank You.





P.S. I ordered a mens cap sleeved unitard once in an XL and, though it seemed long enough, it cut up into my armpits very badly. I did get a good laugh about the mens leos. They would mostly be indecent without a T-Shirt or something....and those thongs. UGH!

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