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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Fit question for leotards--Ainsliewear

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Hi guys, so I just got my first ainsliewear leotard in the mail this week and the fit isn't quite right. It fits great everywhere but the length. It's not so bad that I would want to exchange this one but I do want to order other leos from the same brand and my measurements do not align easily on the given size chart so I thought I'd ask for some advice (I have also written the company but have not yet heard back). The main issue I have is that my bust-waist-hip measurements are all at the minimum end of the medium size on the dot but my girth measurement is the minimum measurement on the large. Through my journey ordering leotards online, I'm learning just how crucial the girth measurement is. I would be nervous to go up a size, however, as my other measurements are all considerably smaller than the size range for the large.


So...would I be better off staying with an otherwise good fitting leotard that is slightly short, or ordering the larger size for the girth when it may be too big everywhere else?

Edited by Sparrow
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Is there a store local to you that has this brand where you can try the large? That's really the best way to find out. (If you like it, I hope you'll buy at least that one from the local store, even if it's a bit more money.) I also have measurements that don't match charts and, yes, girth is critical. The leo should be okay with the side to side, as they are designed to stretch (so shouldn't be too loose) but testing one locally, or biting the bullet and ordering one online, is the only way to be sure.

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I have the same problem, and I don't always find that ordering the size that corresponds to my girth is the best solution. For Ainsliewear I found out that it just doesn't work for me. There was too much excess fabric in the waist and bust area when I ordered according to my girth. My best suggestion is finding brands where your measurements seem to match up a little more. My solution has been ordering from Elevé. They don't list it, but you can request any size in "long." In my case my measurements line up with an XS, but my girth aligns with a S so ordering an XS-long keeps the bust, waist, and hip measurements of an XS with the girth of a S. The cost is not that much different than most Ainsliewear leotards. Good luck to you!

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Unfortunately, the nearest dance wear store that I know carries ainsliewear is just over 1 1/2 hours drive from me and I don't have a car on campus. I did talk with one of their customer service people this morning and, since I already have a leotard on its way back to them to exchange, I just asked if they could send me a large instead of a medium so I can try it. I do worry that you may be right, txstudent (also, where in Texas? I'm from Arlington!), though I don't want that to be the case because I love their aesthetic so much! If the large is really much too large I'll probably just return it for a refund, or see if I can get it taken in. And if all else fails, I can still get their tops and skirts/shorts. T^T

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update! My large came in today and it's perfect~! It is amazingly comfortable and I didn't even hesitate to buy the others. Just wanted to put this out there in case anyone else is looking at ainsliewear and unsure whether or not to go up a size when the only problem is the girth.


A little OT but I also ordered some mdm intrinsic slippers this week! I've been having a (possibly nerve) problem in my foot so I think these should help give me a little support and work on strengthening my feet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I forgot to ask which style you ordered and if you felt like it was still the right size after taking a class or two in it. I find that most leotards, even ones that are already a little too big, tend to stretch out during class just from having a warm body moving in them. I'm curious to see if there are consistent sizing differences between certain styles, currently my chart (quite small since I have a limited number of experience!) looks something like this--if I measured by girth I would be a medium, and by all other measurements a small or petite:


Ditta in winter green: runs large to their size chart, as I have a petite and the small was too big


Tara in black with Italian floral bust: maybe runs true to their size chart, petite too small, no small available in store to try on


Eve in magenta: runs large to their size chart, petite was perfect and small was too big


I think color is also important because I remember reading somewhere that black fabrics can sometimes run a little tighter, and I doubt that most manufacturers create separate patterns for leotards in black fabrics versus other colors just for cost reasons. My take away from that is that either black leotards will tend to run small or more colorful leotards will feel a hair roomier.

Edited by txstudent
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I only have two right now both worn once to a class and the others were just shipped yesterday (to my house, since I only have two weeks until the end of the semester). I'll let you know my thoughts on the first ones now and try to update once I start my ballet classes back home.


Tara (Black) with Royal Lace--Medium: When I tried this one on, it felt great around but the hem around the leg openings liked to roll up and I could feel the straps digging into my shoulders a little. When I wore it to class with shorts, I didn't really notice the straps digging, so I can see what you mean about stretching when worn.


Tara (Black) with Soft Floral Black/White--Large: When I tried this one on, it felt great. No digging in, no rolling leg hems, not as snug around the middle as I'd like but not unpleasantly so. I wore this to jazz on Tuesday with a pair of shorts and a loose shirt over it. It still felt comfortable all through class, though I couldn't see whether it was too loose with this outfit. After class though, I did notice several fabric folds in the waist area when I leaned over.


The other leotards that are on their way are the spaghetti strap leo in the Black/White soft floral, the pinch front leo in Slate Grey and the Stacey leo in the black mod dot fabric. I have stuck largely to black because I already own skirts in black, silver, bright purple and a purple leopard print and I wanted to make sure that the leotards and skirts would mostly all match interchangeably, so I can't help with the color vs. black question.

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Thanks! This is helpful, as I have people often ask me about leotard sizing for different brands and styles.

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Glad to help!

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  • 2 months later...

Now that I have officially worn each leotard at least once, I wanted to update this post. At the beginning of summer I found some older limited-run Ainsliewear leotards at my local dance shop that were from the same collection as my silver skirt and two shorts. They only had them in mediums, but I decided to take a chance since I hadn't been having issues with my other medium. For the most part, these new leotards are very consistent with my experience with my original Taras.


My mediums (Spaghetti Strap in Grey Palace Jacquard; Cap Sleeve in Silver Palace Jacquard--Holiday Collection 2013) feel snug when I first put them on, but feel comfortable once I start moving. I do see distinct red marks where the elastics sit on my shoulders but I don't worry about it.


My larges (Spaghetti Strap in Black/White Soft Floral; Pinch Front in Slate Grey) feel comfortable when I put them on and, if they do stretch when wearing, it's not enough to feel loose or uncomfortable.


All of these were worn with skirts. The one exception has been my large Stacey in Black Mod Dot. Because it uses different fabrics sewn into an almost geometric pattern at the waist, it felt the best out of all my larges. It was long enough that it didn't dig and narrow enough that I could feel it hugging my curves like my mediums do. I also felt that this structural look would look strange with a skirt or shorts so I just wore tights with it. However, after an hour or so, I noticed something strange. I could see the line where the tights stopped at my waist (They are Gaynor Minden and sized up for length so I normally don't have this problem), which was at a different place than the sewn horizontal line. Once I noticed it in the mirror, I found it pretty distracting because it looked really strange. I'm not going to let this stop me from wearing it but I will keep it in mind so I will know to expect it.

Edited by Sparrow
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