It’s that time again: Pros & Cons! I often get bummed by articles that write headlines such as, “Why ____ is the BEST!” or “The Best Thing EVER For EVERYONE”. I don’t think things are so black and white. Even if I like something, there are generally also some things that I don’t particularly care for. And in most cases, I go with it because the pros outweigh the cons. Or, as I would put it, the hurrays outweigh the what-the-heys. The same is true for almost anything in life – including bodysuits.

In my latest installment of this on-going series, we are dissecting the bodysuit. From what it is, to its purpose, and of course, to the pros and cons. Take a look below, make your own informed decision, and decide if – after you weigh all your own pros and cons – the bodysuit makes you say hurray! Because when it comes down to it, it’s all about saying hurray inside, outside, and underneath.

What is a bodysuit? 

It’s that time again: Pros & Cons! I often get bummed by articles that write headlines such as, “Why ____ is the BEST!” or “The Best Thing EVER For EVERYONE”. I don’t think things are so black and white. Even if I like something, there is generally also some things that I don’t particularly care for. And in most cases, I go with it because the pros outweigh the cons. Or, as I would put it, the hurrays outweigh the what-the-heys. The same is true for almost anything in life – including bodysuits.

In my latest installment of this on-going series, we are dissecting the bodysuit. From what it is, to its purpose, and of course, to the pros and cons. Take a look below, make your own informed decision, and decide if – after you weigh all your own pros and cons – the bodysuit makes you say hurray! Because when it comes down to it, it’s all about saying hurray inside, outside, and underneath.

A bodysuit is a piece of clothing similar to a leotard or one-piece swimsuit. It covers your torso and hips and often connects with hooks and eyes or small snaps in the crotch. This allows you to open the bottom for trips to the bathroom without having to take off the entire garment, or to put it on over your head and then attach underneath.

Bum coverage: Bodysuits can have many different types of bum coverage. The bodysuit of your choice can have a thong, bikini, Brazilian, or any other back in the panty portion. It’s rare to see a bodysuit with a boyshort attached, but they do exist! They can also be high cut up on the thigh, or low cut.

Material: Bodysuits can be made of almost any clothing material. From soft t-shirt material to all lace. They can be sheer or opaque, plunging neckline or high neck, open back or lace up, long sleeve or sleeveless. Often bodysuits are made of stretchy, snug, or body hugging material. Usually they are made from the same material throughout the entire garment. Sometimes the top is a different material than the bottom! This especially happens if the top is more flowing or a button up shirt, which is then attached to a stretchy panty.

Lingerie vs. Daywear: Bodysuits can be worn for day or night! Some bodysuits are more suited for daytime because of their material or style, while others may feel more sexy and fun for a night out, or even to wear as lingerie. A lingerie bodysuit may also be called a “teddy”. Personally, I think you can mix and match as you please. I love wearing sheer or lace bodysuits as part of my outfit when I’m out and about.

What is the purpose of a bodysuit? 

Typically the most practical reason for wearing a bodysuit is to have a “tucked in” top without having to worry about it becoming untucked, the blouse material bunching, or shifting. For both practical reasons and fashion reasons, it stays tucked in and offers a seamless look. As noted above, another purpose of the bodysuit is for personal pleasure and seduction. Read: SEXY.

Pros & Hurrays

  • Tucked in. The most obvious hurray of a bodysuit is what they were designed for: they stay tucked in! No need to worry about your blouse popping out and having to thrust your hand down your skirt to keep it in place.
  • Seamless look. Because they stay tucked AND attach underneath, they can stay smooth. Even if your tight tank top stayed tucked into your pants, it can still shift and bunch. A bodysuit has a better chance of staying sleek and snug.
  • Sexy. Maybe it’s because they’re body hugging. Perhaps it’s because they can be sheer or low cut. Or maybe it’s just because they are sassssssy.  There’s something sexy about bodysuits. Glam up an outfit or keep it for the bedroom. Either way, HURRAY.
  • One piece. I’ve heard over and over again that wearing a bodysuit is easy to wear because you can wear it as a blouse and underwear in one. This makes it easy for someone to “throw on” something over it – a skirt, jeans, or anything else.
  • Coverage. Bodysuits are great for wearing underneath a sheer blouse or gown. They’re skintight and stay out of the way and let the sheer layer on top really shine without showing more than you want to. Think of it as a slip for your torso!
  • Layering. Because they tend to be snug, they’re great for layering! No bulky material to have to worry about. This is especially useful for layering under plunging necklines, low cut armholes, or another snug layer of clothing.
  • Style. Bodysuits are POPULAR right now, so there are some super stylish options out there.
  • Snaps. If you’ve ever worn a romper or pantsuit, you know the horror of having to undress completely in order to use the bathroom. Ugh. With a bodysuit, the snaps underneath allow you to undo and simply open up or slightly lift the panty portion and get your bizness done.
  • Shape. Some bodysuits come with built-in shapewear or panels for a thin physique. Usually, however, these shaping garments are not super stylish. It’s the stretchy and zero structure styles that tend to be of-the-moment.

Cons & What the Heys 

  • Length. This is a similar issue to that of one-piece bathing suits. If your torso is short or long, it can be tricky to get a great fit. Usually, going with something made of a very stretch material is the best way to get a snug fit. Alas, that’s not always an option or a solution. And that can result in terrible wedgies and discomfort, or bunching.
  • Snaps. Ok so maybe they make it easier to go to the bathroom, but they are also in a very precarious and delicate place. And if they’re cheap or the gusset design is less than stellar, these little items can cause all sorts of discomfort.
  • Thigh cut. Let’s say your bodysuit is high cut on the leg and you want to wear it with low cut jeans. There’s a risk that the high bodysuit and low jeans will display hip. Not that there’s anything wrong with showing hip, but it’s not usually what people are going for when they wear a bodysuit.
  • Snug. The majority of bodysuits are very snug and made of tight, stretchy, sometimes thin material. That means that every little bump underneath can show through. From your bra band, to a little roll action – it’s all gonna show. For some, this is actually a pro! But if you’re looking for something that stays tucked in and has a more flowing, loose fit on top, try a bodysuit with a more drapey top to it. As always, wear what makes YOU say hurray.
  • Sizing. Generally speaking, straight size people with a mainstream body shape won’t have an issue finding a bodysuit to fit them. However, if you’re plus size, petite, tall, or any other “not so mainstream” size, it can be difficult to get something stellar. This is especially true because the majority of bodysuits do not have adjustability other than stretch. You can’t adjust the straps or waist, for example. So for someone short waisted like me, they can be a bit short from crotch to navel, and too long from shoulder to waist. Same thing goes with bust sizing. Because they’re not typically bra sized, they have a similar issue to bralettes or sports bras that size Sm/Med/Lg – the ratio of band to bust is not always the same in the bodysuit as your actual body. Don’t even get me started with the full figured crowd and the issues they have finding bodysuits that fit their shape. Luckily, some brands are stepping up their game and making more options, but alas, these are few and far between.
  • Support. Most bodysuits do not come with built in bust support. Not even a shelf bra! If a bodysuit doesn’t come with built-in bra support, and you like lift and support, you’ll be best off wearing a bra underneath. I’ve had to get real creative when it comes to finding a bra worth showing off through a sheer, plunging, or low back bodysuit. In the end, however, I felt more supported and held if I wore the bra than if I went without.

From Hurray Kimmay Readers & Friends

I have always been pretty slim and tall, and sizing is an issue. Bodysuits never tend to be long enough and do not provide any support, so they make me look pretty flat in the chest. I had one black body suit that worked well under a dress so I would just leave it unsnapped and tucked into my underwear, or cut the enclosures off and tuck into my stockings. Not ideal at all but worth it for that particular need. Perhaps offering a tall version would be useful. Finding tall size zero/two is probably pretty impossible.

-Stephanie P.

I love bodysuits. I wear them a lot in summer and throw on a pair of shorts or a skirt over the top and rarely use them as undergarments. I like to get ones that are versatile (hence not lacy) so I can wear them casually or throw on a skirt, nice jewelry and heels and glam it up. I like backless ones. I think they’re sexy and so my style. I prefer well-made ones as cheaper ones can have awkward crotch clasps and be ill fitting on my torso. I hate when they ‘ride up’ in places (usually a sign they’re too short in the torso for me). I used to buy them from American Apparel – I own pretty much every style they’ve ever released. Now I find them at Urban outfitters or Forever 21. What I wish existed were affordable ones ($25-$45) that were well made and well fitting with a variety of different fabrics.

-Tasha Hunter, 32, fitness and nutrition coach

Always loved the bodysuit except when called to take off, unsnap, etc.

-Debra M. 

HAVING TO USE PUBLIC RESTROOMS AND TRYING TO SNAP THE CLOSURES BACK TOGETHER FOR 5 MINUTES STRAIGHT IN A TINY STALL THAT INEVITABLY WILL SPARK A CLAUSTROPHOBIC ANXIETY ATTACK. That’s all.

Nicki Vrotsos, lingerie model {on her way to be Victoria’s Secret’s first transgender Angel}

Whenever I where a bodysuit I’m acutely aware of the material outlining all of my body, and I tend to put it in that category of clothing that suits naturally thin people and not myself. But I like the one’s made of lace that have lots of cleavage because they make me feel hot. But not meant for outside use. Also, I was about to complain about having to take all your clothes off to pee and I’m realizing right now that that’s why there’s crotch snaps … silly me.

-Taylor B. 

Great idea but it does not work for me. I have long torso (short legs) so all bodysuits pull down too much around cleavage and up my privates & butt.

-Ana B.

Bodysuits to Try

If you want to give them a go, there are MANY brands – from lingerie brands to fashion brands – that make bodysuits. I suggest trying some on for yourself, and seeing what makes you and your body say hurray! Get creative. Wear a sheer style with a cool lace bra underneath. Or try a turtleneck style under a blazer. Wear one around the house, just for you, and see how you feel. Below are just a few to test out and try.

Hanky Panky – It’s no secret that I am a fan of this brand. They make super soft and stretchy bodysuits in mesh and lace for many sizes. They even make a few awesome plus size specific bodysuits, which I featured in this Bustle Facebook Live segment about lingerie for sizes 24 and up. Made and designed right here in NYC!

Wolford – These bodysuits are expensive for a reason. They are the epitome of stylish and wearable bodysuits, made of some of the most amazing materials you will ever put onto your body. Ever.

Bluebella – This UK brand makes some of the sexiest bodysuits at the best prices. The designer is a very cool woman, and her daring designs make my jaw drop (without dropping hundos).

Adore Me – I have mixed feelings about their business model {there’s an autopay thing happening here} and some of the quality, but overall this brand actually works with some great designers, and has a wide size range (straight and plus) at lower prices. So all in all, it’s a fun place to start trying styles before investing a ton. Also, you can use my link to get your first set or item for $24.95, so hurray!

Commando – This seamless brand makes really great simple, smooth styles (plus a few new fashionable styles) that are easy for layering and wearing out and about. Plus, they are made in the USA!

Felina – If you want a simple t-shirt or tank top style, or a sexy style, this well priced brand has a few great pieces to start with. Personally, I want to try the Ribbed Racerback style!

There are SO many more amazing lingerie brands that make bodysuits. I couldn’t possibly name them all here! You can also shop for fashion forward styles at some fast fashion shops like Forever 21, ASOS, Tobi, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and H&M. Free People has a relatively larger assortment, though their size range is narrow.

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Your Turn: Have you worn a bodysuit before? What do you like and dislike? Do you wear them for daytime, nighttime, work, sexy time? What are your favorite styles? What do you wish existed? Leave a comment here and let us know!

Styles notes and credits: I’m wearing a Glossies bodysuit by Gossard. It’s super sheer so I’m also wearing a neutral-for-me mesh thong from On Gossamer, and nipple covers from Dimr’s. I bought the hat from a street vendor in Paris, on a bridge over the Seine River, underneath the Eiffel Tower.

These photos are airbrush free. As always. They were taken by Becky Yee during a #HurrayVacay in Paris in January 2017.

Note that I may receive a commission for clicking on some of the links above. I always share my honest opinion about styles. And a little cash helps me keep this website going, and bringing you things to say hurray inside, outside, and underneath. xo

 

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