Leotard Rankings: Week Six

Unexpected teams upped their leotard game this week with more variety in the rankings. From ombre to interesting backs, which designs were your favorite or week six? Let us know in the comments, on social media or, back by popular demand, in the reader poll at the bottom. The criteria is the same as always: up to three points for design; two points for fabric, sparkle, etc.; and two points for school spirit; three points for overall appearance. This week’s guest judge is Emily HF, our MPSF editor!

North Carolina: 9.075

✨ Check out senior Morgan Lane rocking our new leotards! ✨

A post shared by Carolina Gymnastics (@uncgymnastics) on

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.6/3 1.8/2 1.9/2 2.8/3 9.1/10
Christina 2.7/3 1.6/2 1.9/2 2.8/3 9.0/10
Elizabeth 2.7/3 1.6/2 1.8/2 2.7/3 8.8/10
Emily HF 2.8/3 1.8/2 1.9/2 2.9/3 9.4/10

Caroline: This is probably the closest thing any leo maker has to Carolina blue and I’m in LOVE! The ombre sleeves, the V on the back leading into the NC logo, the sweetheart neckline – absolutely gorgeous.

Christina: LOVE! This is so elegant, and I am obsessed with the ombre. The neckline is gorgeous, and I love the deep V in the back. My only small criticism would have been more sparkles in the back especially along the V, but really, this is stunning.

Elizabeth: Love this! The ombre, the UNC on the back, the sparkles—it’s all great! My only complaint is I wish the color scheme was a little less dark. Maybe some white in the ombre fade might have been nice?

Emily HF: All the hearts for this! I loooove North Carolina’s school colors and love seeing them get used in leos! I adore the dark to light blue ombre and the color of the mesh goes really well, which can sometimes be jaring on this style! Love the school insignia being in sparkles at the end of the V.


Illinois: 8.95

New Leo alert for tonight’s meet against Minnesota! #illini

A post shared by Illinois Women's Gymnastics (@illiniwgym) on

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.7/3 1.7/2 1.6/2 2.7/3 8.7/10
Christina 2.8/3 1.8/2 1.7/2 2.8/3 9.1/10
Elizabeth 2.8/3 1.9/2 1.6/2 2.9/3 9.2/10
Emily HF 2.8/3 1.6/2 1.7/2 2.7/3 8.8/10

Caroline: This is so gorgeous! A hint of orange is the only thing that could make this more perfect. The ombre is gorgeous, I love the back cutouts (which normally I hate, so props to Illinois for that), and there’s just enough bling. I also love the name down the sleeve!

Christina: Gorgeous! I LOVE the ombre from white to navy blue, the sweetheart neckline is lovely and the intricate and unique criss-cross back is stunning. The ‘Illinois’ on the sleeve is perfect for school spirit. I love this one so much I’m not even mad it doesn’t have a hint of orange on there. Such a refreshing change from Illinois.

Elizabeth: I LOVE THIS! What have you done with Illinois?! This is absolutely, 100 percent GORGEOUS. The back, the ombre, the colors, the sparkle—there’s nothing I don’t like about this leo.

Emily HF: Love it! I wouldn’t have been mad if there had been some orange crystals mixed in with the white on the dark blue of the bodice, but overall so gorgeous! Love that the open back portion is slightly lower than on a lot of leos, and I’m obsessed with the white to blue ombre of the sleeve. The ‘Illinois’ on the sleeve is subtle but perfect.


California: 7.825

https://twitter.com/CalWGym/status/962430299853357056

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

Pink

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.3/3 1.5/2 1.7/2 2.4/3 7.9/10
Christina 2.2/3 1.5/2 1.8/2 2.3/3 7.8/10
Elizabeth 2.3/3 1.4/2 1.7/2 2.4/3 7.8/10
Emily HF 2.3/3 1.4/2 1.8/2 2.3/3 7.8/10

Caroline: I actually really like the wing design on the front, I think there’s some special symbolism there about lifting up those in need with these pink meets. I thought I was going to hate the big ribbon in the back after seeing it by itself, but on the leo as a whole I kinda like it!

Christina: This is a nice one. The design on the front had some potential, but the ‘butterfly wings’ look is odd to me for some reason. I do however really like the pink ribbon design on the back and sides.

Elizabeth: I’m liking this design, especially how the ribbon on the back extends to the sides. I also really like the sparkle design on the front and the incorporation of the C Bear on the back.

Emily HF: Really like how the pink ribbon on the back wraps around to be visible on the sides of the leo. I actually really like the butterfly wings on the front, I just wish there had been some more color incorporated into the front of the leo.


West Virginia: 7.8

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfCPNvQhBKm/?hl=en&taken-by=wvugymnastics

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.3/3 1.6/2 1.8/2 2.1/3 7.8/10
Christina 2.4/3 1.4/2 1.7/2 2.3/3 7.8/10
Elizabeth 2.1/3 1.4/2 1.8/2 2.1/3 7.4/10
Emily HF 2.5/3 1.5/2 1.9/2 2.3/3 8.2/10

Caroline: This is so blingy, I love it! The parallel Vs on the back are a cool touch as well – they help this design stand out. I do wish there was maybe a little more gold somewhere visible from the front, maybe in the sleeve trim rather than just the neckline? That would’ve given it another little boost for sure.

Christina: Ah I LOVE the back of this one. The front is also nice and makes it all look like a superhero shirt (this is a theme of many WVU leos I feel like), but really, the back is where it’s at.

Elizabeth: I love the back design. The stripes are throwback-esque and the relatively simple front is nice and not overwhelming.

Emily HF: I love the almost “superhero” motif they’ve had with their leos this year! And the WV together is so much like a Wonder Woman symbol that it works perfectly. The sunburst on the front is great too! The Vs on the back are a great touch too.


Stanford: 7.675

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

Pink

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.2/3 1.5/2 1.5/2 2.4/3 7.6/10
Christina 2.1/3 1.4/2 1.6/2 2.3/3 7.4/10
Elizabeth 2.2/3 1.5/2 1.6/2 2.3/3 7.6/10
Emily HF 2.4/3 1.5/2 1.6/2 2.5/3 8.1/10

Caroline: Can I just say how glad I am to see Stanford doing a pink leo? And it’s actually a good one! I love the firework design on the front, and the sleeves absolutely make the design pop. And is that a pink Stanford S I spy on the back?

Christina: I really like the simple design on the front with the white and pink sparkles, but damn those hot pink sleeves are too much. I guess it does make the whole look pop and it would have been too dark otherwise, but it’s really not my favorite shade of pink. The back is a bit too simple and I wish it had more sparkles.

Elizabeth: Stanford? With a pink leo? What is happening?! I really like this one, and it looked great on the gymnasts. The pink sleeves work well with the front design. Overall, a good one from Stanford!

Emily HF: LOOOVE the pink fireworks on the front of this! So pretty! And the bright pink of the sleeves is great! I think I would have prefered a slightly different line between the connection of the black and pink but, that’s just getting picky.  A+ for this one.


Air Force: 7.425

https://twitter.com/AFAgymnastics/status/962488755708817408

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.2/3 1.3/2 1.7/2 2.0/3 7.2/10
Christina 2.4/3 1.5/2 1.8/2 2.3/3 8.0/10
Elizabeth 2.4/3 1.2/2 1.7/2 2.2/3 7.5/10
Emily HF 1.9/3 1.4/2 1.8/2 1.9/3 7.0/10

Caroline: Let me start by saying I love a good white leo. This has lots of potential, but I don’t really understand the use of the mesh in the back, and the stark blue collar is a little bit jarring from the bright white of the rest of the design. Good thoughts, just maybe needed a little editing.

Christina: Ooooh I like a good white leo! This is quite nice and incorporates both school colors really well. The almost-high neckline is a bit too much for me, and I wish it was lower. I also wish the mesh was designed a bit better, almost sweetheart style. This criticism is the same for the back, where it could almost have been fine without the mesh at all.

Elizabeth: Hmm… I don’t love this. I really like the design but don’t think it makes the gymnasts look especially good. I do love the back and use of both shiny white, white mesh and white Lycra, as well as the blue sparkles.

Emily HF: The dark blue of the collar is kind of distracting from the rest of the leo and kept pulling my eye when I was watching it. Also not sure about the shaping of the mesh in the front under the collar and how it connects into the solid sleeves. I almost would have preferred this without mush at all. I really like the blue crystals on the white of the leo though.


Utah: 7.3

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 1.9/3 0.9/2 1.9/2 2.2/3 6.9/10
Christina 2.4/3 1.5/2 1.8/2 2.4/3 8.1/10
Elizabeth 2.3/3 1.2/2 1.9/2 2.3/3 7.2/10
Emily HF 2.0 /3 1.2/2 1.7/2 2.1/3 7.0/10

Caroline: I gave it some bonus school spirit and appearance because it is a throwback leo… but then again, it’s not really a true throwback, it’s just a modern spin on one. I can appreciate a sleek, athletic look but the short sleeves drive me crazy and there’s absolutely zero bling. Not my favorite.

Christina: This is a nice revisit of a throwback leo, but I wish Utah had gone all out with the craziness and had picked a wilder leo to bring back. The school logo on the front makes it look very superhero-like, and I really like the low neckline on the back.

Elizabeth: I love when teams do throwback anything, so I was here for this leo. I wish Utah picked one of the other designs shown in the video, but this is still classic Utah. I like the simple, athletic design and the red on black, but I wish the sleeve length was a touch longer.

Emily HF: I kind of like the matte look of this but would appreciate a little bit longer sleeves and a little more interest in the design? I get that throwbacks aren’t gonna have bling but there were several leos in that teaser video of this leo that I was more excited about than this one, to be honest.


Ohio State: 7.3

https://www.instagram.com/p/Be_nf5ZgHsY/

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.2/3 1.6/2 1.6/2 2.2/3 7.6/10
Christina 2.3/3 1.1/2 1.4/2 1.8/3 6.6/10
Elizabeth 2.1/3 1.4/2 1.6/2 2.2/3 7.3/10
Emily HF 2.4/3 1.5/2 1.5/2 2.3/3 7.7/10

Caroline: This is a really classy, classic look with some subtle details that really set it apart. The different colored stones really make the Vs on front and back pop, and I like the the stoning continues down the sleeves too. The red O in the back is a nice, subtle way to include spirit without hitting you over the head with it, too.

Christina: This is OK… Unsurprisingly, I’m not a fan of the shiny silver used for the bodice though. The neckline is lovely and I like the addition of the red sparkles alongside it. The deep V on the back is nice, but I really can’t get behind all that silver.

Elizabeth: I like this, but it reminds me a bit too much of SPU’s silver feather leo. I like the silver and neckline as well as the Block O on the back and the incorporation of the red.

Emily HF: I don’t mind the silver trend this year. It’s something different from a lot of the leos I saw last year. This was really pretty in motion, too! Love the use of different colored crystals on things rather than just the standard white, really pretty detail. The O on the back is really nice school spirit, I tend to like subtle school spirit like that worked into the leo design.


Centenary: 7.175

https://www.instagram.com/p/Be6B3wnBXRh/

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.3/3 1.6/2 1.4/2 2.4/3 7.7/10
Christina 2.1/3 1.4/2 1.4/2 2.0/3 6.9/10
Elizabeth 2.0/3 1.5/2 1.5/2 2.1/3 7.1/10
Emily HF 2.1/3 1.6/2 1.2/2 2.1/3 7.0/10

Caroline: I love this! The color contrast between the sleeves, the bodice and the sparkle makes for a nice trio, and I love the circle theme throughout the bling. I do wish it said Centenary on it somewhere though!

Christina: I like this one, although I do wish the sparkly “belt” would continue onto the back instead of abruptly stopping on the sides. I’m not a fan of the straight neckline, but it doesn’t bother me so much either.

Elizabeth: I’m really impressed with Centenary with this one! I love the red color and the amount of sparkles is really great for me. I don’t love the designs the sparkles make, but you can’t win it all.

Emily HF: I like how it’s kind of halfway in between polka dots and lots of sparkle. I actually had to look twice to figure out if it was dots or bling. I do wish that the pattern on the front continued onto the back instead of just stopping at the sides. I really like the colors though!


Nebraska: 7.150

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfCWGc2lYpnujgBppgYOKvTepUlNRLxVLO4Mfo0/

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 2.2/3 1.4/2 1.5/2 2.3/3 7.4/10
Christina 2.4/3 1.5/2 1.6/2 2.4/3 7.9/10
Elizabeth 1.2/3 0.9/2 1.5/2 1.4/3 5.0/10
Emily HF 2.5/3 1.7/2 1.6/2 2.5/3 8.3/10

Caroline: The asymmetrical squiggle across is a cool concept, but the execution is maybe not what I would have hoped. I do like that it’s echoed in the neckline, though, and that it gives a focal point to the rest of the design. And I love the sparkles on the red section!

Christina: This one looks almost unfinished to me? The sweetheart neckline is lovely but I feel like it’s missing a border of some sort at the top, maybe with the same band of sparkles that’s underneath. Other than that, it’s a tame yet elegant look overall that’s quite refreshing from some of the other eccentric looks we’ve seen from Nebraska lately.

Elizabeth: I really don’t like how this design cuts across the body with such huge blocks. It’s unflattering. I do like the sweetheart neckline and colors used but the big blocks just bring my eyes directly to the stomach… Not great.

Emily HF: Overall I really like this, though I’m not sure about the border between the red and the grey of the mesh. It either needs like a band of another color or a gradiantion of some kind? As it is it’s kind of jarring. Other than that it’s really elegant and I really like the angled black line of the waistline.


Arkansas: 7.05

https://twitter.com/razorbackgym/status/962008028961587202

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 1.9/3 1.6/2 1.8/2 1.6/3 6.9/10
Christina 1.7/3 1.5/2 1.7/2 1.8/3 6.7/10
Elizabeth 2.1/3 1.5/2 1.7/2 2.2/3 7.5/10
Emily HF 1.8/3 1.6/2 1.9/2 2/3 7.1/10

Caroline: Definitely not my favorite, especially after all the great designs we’ve had the last few weeks from Arkansas! I can appreciate a good faux halter, but the faux racerback hole on the back is too wide to really be flattering on anyone. I actually don’t mind the hog placement there though, and I do love all the bling.

Christina: This is alright, although it looks familiar to some older leos Arkansas might have had in the past. The front is simple but works well with the good amount of sparkles. I don’t like the design in the back that reminds me of a sports bra.

Elizabeth: I like this one because of how athletic the design makes the gymnasts look, as well as the hog featured in the back “hole.” Overall a good one but not my fave of the season.

Emily HF: As I said before I really like the different colored crystals used to contrast against the white of the sleeves but the back design is a little too wide in the white and pulls the eye a bit. I do like the little bling hog though, very cute.


UIC: 6.625

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 1.8/3 1.4/2 1.8/2 1.6/3 6.6/10
Christina 1.6/3 1.4/2 1.7/2 1.7/3 6.4/10
Elizabeth 2.0/3 1.4/2 1.7/2 2.1/3 7.2/10
Emily HF 1.7/3 1.3/2 1.8/2 1.5/3 6.3/10

Caroline: UIC is allowed flames because, well, they are the Flames, so I can’t be too mad. That being said… it feels too busy. I like how the navy bodice lines are designed to flatter the figure and the sleeve cuffs are cool! But yeah, just a little busy for me.

Christina: This is basically the only team that I judge acceptable to wear actual flames. I do like it overall and the sleeves are nice, but it’s a lot of flamey boobies in the end.

Elizabeth: I like how the design on this leo looks like flames, which is appropriate for the Flames. I also like the colors and fabric texture used as they go well together.

Emily HF: I really like the flame idea, I’m just not a big fan of leos that have what look like halter straps going over the shoulders? Overall I like the concept, just a few things that don’t quite work for me.


Arizona: 6.375

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfETV3MHtzu/

Design Fabric/

Sparkle

School

Spirit

Overall

Appearance

Total
Caroline 1.8/3 1.5/2 1.7/2 1.7/3 6.7/10
Christina 1.6/3 1.6/2 1.8/2 1.9/3 6.9/10
Elizabeth 1.3/3 1.4/2 1.7/2 1.4/3 5.8/10
Emily HF 1.2/3 1.6/2 1.7/2 1.6/3 6.1/10

Caroline: These side cutouts, though. Normally I don’t mind them so much, but these are so in your face and do not go with the rest of the design. Not a fan. The rest of this is nice, though! I love the navy shade and the slogan down the sleeve.

Christina: I’m torn on this one. As I read on Twitter, the white and red band made it look like they were all wearing a back brace, and I couldn’t unsee it. The placement and start of that band is quite unfortunate. I’m also not a fan of the neckline which I’ve never found flattering on anybody. I do really like the shade of blue used, and it has the right amount of sparkles.

Elizabeth: I like the direction this was going, but the huge red and white arrow stripe on the back is a gigantic no for me. Take that away and I actually like the design very much.

Emily HF: That band, both in front and in back really isn’t doing it for me. It does kind of look like a brace in the back and the almost touching points in the front really aren’t doing it for me it draws my eye there and disrupts the line. Also not a fan of the the solid color connecting into the the band of the neck.


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Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Christina Marmet, Caroline Medley and Emily Howell-Forbes

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