Rhythmic Gymnastics Leotards Are Super Playful

The 2016 Olympics are well underway and the world is closely watching all the fierce athletes as they compete for the Gold, but there's something else they're watching — what the competitors are wearing. The Olympic uniforms have been getting more and more fashionable over the years, and perhaps the team most notorious for snazzy threads is the US Olympic Gymnastics team. But what about Rhythmic Gymnastics? Are Rhythmic Gymnastics leotards different than regular Gymnastics ones? The sport is just as stylish as any other.

The 2016 Olympic US women's gymnastics leotards have gotten a ton of buzz for their over-the-top bling and super cool patriotic design, but they're not the only ones with a bit of fashion flair. The Rhythmic Gymnasts are set to compete starting August 19, and while we haven't quite caught a glimpse of their Olympic duds, we can compare what they typically wear from previous competitions, to prove just how different the two sports are when it comes to apparel.

So what are the differences between the two uniforms? They may be subtle, but they definitely exist. The Gymnastics leotards may be covered in embellishment, but they are typically consistent with one silhouette — skintight, high-cut, and either long-sleeved or sleeveless, sort of like a one-piece swimsuit.


If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. They need their uniform to fit like a second skin, so there is nothing interfering with their technique while they're flipping and tumbling.


Rhythmic Gymnastics leotards, however, are a bit more playful and whimsical.


As you can see, the designs are a bit more involved, incorporating thing like a high neck, tons of intricate embroidery, and typically a little flared skirt.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Rhythmic gymnastics is all about unison in movement, according to, be it with a twirly ribbon or a spinning hula hoop, and the loose fabric in the skirt captures that movement well as the gymnasts do their thing.


The outfits are usually matched in color to the gymnasts' apparatus, further unifying the whole look.

Michael Regan/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

The outfits almost look like little party dresses, and they just get more and more stunning each year.