Workout clothes no longer stop at leggings. Case in point? The jumpsuit’s sportier sister, the workout bodysuit. The glorified onesie is nothing new—cue classic workout videos starring Jane Fonda and Suzanne Somers—but today’s version brings the 1980s into 2022. The beauty of the unitard is that it is both surprisingly versatile and comfortable, depending on its silhouette and the fabric you choose.
For starters, you can take the activewear route and wear a workout jumpsuit while actually working out—as long as you choose wisely. These performance leotards can act as a second skin during low-impact exercises like barre, dance, or Pilates. (For high-intensity activities—or if you plan on doing inversions doing a yoga session—find a unitard with full-body compression, which can help support you.) Consider one-piece styles with breathable fabrics like a cotton-nylon blend, sweat-wicking capabilities, and built-in shelf bras, no sports bras needed. And don’t forget the neckline, which can range from scoop neck to V-neck and beyond.
To bring the unitard beyond the gym, it’s all about how you accessorize it. TikTok’s obsession with Aritzia’s unitard, for instance, will inspire you to try layering it with a white button-down, calf-length socks, and New Balances on your next errands run. (Throwing a hoodie or long trench coat in the fall over it also works.) You can even make a case for the unitard as evening wear by taking notes from the runway: Designers like Saint Laurent presented high-fashion editions backed by Hailey Bieber and Olivia Rodrigo, both of whom elevated the unitard with heels. Meanwhile, who could forget Kim Kardashian’s penchant for Balenciaga spandex suits, ranging from fuchsia to the catsuit covered in yellow caution tape (worn during Paris Fashion Week earlier this year).
To summarize, the unitard knows no sartorial limits. From classic longline unitards to fitted rompers, shop our edit of the best 16 workout bodysuit options below.
A longline unitard is a classic, one-and-done ’fit that will contour your body from head to toe. In both long-sleeve and sleeveless versions, these styles will provide extra coverage for barre class or happy hour. The body-conscious shape usually remains the same for every unitard, but you can experiment with different necklines and cuts to find a style that fits you (and your routine) best, be it a T-shirt neckline or a backless style.
That said, unitards are no longer exclusive to the gym, thanks to both designers and A-listers. The high-fashion catsuit has been trickling off the runway and into everyday life. Open-back designs, strategic cutouts, and strappy details will allow you to wear the unitard for every occasion.
Biker shorts may be a contentious fashion item, but we think it and its unitard rendition should not be missed. After all, it’s all the rage with TikTok’s fashion elite, many of whom have formed a cult around the Aritzia Divinity romper. The bike unitard also acts as a summer-ready alternative to leggings, which makes it ideal for low-intensity workouts.
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