What To Know Before Buying A Bodysuit

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The stylish bodysuit, which has been worn by celebs like Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and the Kardashians, is a versatile asset in your wardrobe that can easily be dressed up or down.

Kim Kardashian's shapewear brand, Skims, has a section dedicated to bodysuits, including long-sleeve and mock-turtleneck options. These bodysuits even came up on an episode of "The Kardashians," when Khloe Kardashian complained to her sister that the style needed a larger crotch area, according to Page Six.

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The roots of bodysuit design go back to leotards, first created by French gymnast Jules Leotard, per Startup Fashion. The leotard began to make its way into mainstream fashion in the 1940s. By the 1980s, leotards and bodysuits were being worn as athleisure wear — think Jane Fonda and her famous workout videos — as well as everyday fashion. In 1985, Donna Karan included a bodysuit in her Seven Easy Pieces collection as one of the essential clothing items you need in your closet, via Vogue

Today, the bodysuit trend is still going strong. If you want to try it yourself, here are some things to know before buying one.

A fitted bodysuit can make you feel more secure

Bodysuits are fantastic because of their versatility and how put together you can look in them without much effort. Depending on the fit and the style, a bodysuit can be perfect for everything from a date night to a day at work, per Lulus

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If you're a bodysuit beginner, it might be a challenge to wear something with such a body-conscious fit. You don't, however, have to wear a bodysuit as your only layer. Use one as a base layer for just about anything, topping it with a jacket, a button-down shirt, or a dress, according to Stitch Fix.

And, even if you're not used to wearing tight clothing, a bodysuit can be unexpectedly comfortable as it acts like shapewear, smoothing out any bumps you might not want to show. "You might think that wardrobe that fits snugly to your body would make you more uncomfortable," stylist Laurie Brucker explained to Glamour, "but when you kind of feel that sucked-in feeling, it helps you to feel secure."

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Not all bodysuits are designed to be tight all over

Some bodysuits are designed to work like shapewear, but not all. You can still get the effortless tucked-in look with a bodysuit that's looser in the arms or top, per Cosmopolitan. Try the L'Acadamie Long Sleeve Bodysuit from Revolve or the Free People Turnt Bodysuit for a looser look. Try pairing a sheer maxi skirt with a long-sleeve black bodysuit, as pictured above, for a look that's covered yet revealing all at once.

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If you are tall and/or have a long torso, it might be more challenging to find a bodysuit that fits comfortably. To find out if you have a long torso, measure the distance between your underarms and your waist and between your waist and the top of your hip. If the length between your waist and top hip is shorter, you have a long torso, according to Infamous Swim

But don't fear. There are many brands that make bodysuits specifically for longer torsos, per Well + Good. While shopping for long-torso bodysuits, look for ones that have adjustable straps, like the aptly named Skims Fits Everybody Cami Bodysuit.

Wearing underwear with a bodysuit comes down to personal preference

A bodysuit is designed to give you a sleek, seamless look, and you don't have to worry about keeping your top tucked in or any bulky fabric around your waist and hips. Some bodysuits come with built-in support, so you can skip a bra, although wearing a bra with your bodysuit comes down to your level of comfort and necessary support. 

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You can also skip underwear since bodysuits are designed to be a top and underwear combo, via Annibody. Though again, it all comes down to your preference, and you can find bodysuits with a range of bottom styles, from thong to full coverage.

If you're not going to be wearing your bodysuit with underwear, make sure that there is moisture-wicking material in the crotch area. You want to have breathability there to help prevent yeast infections and irritation, according to Self. A cotton liner is ideal, but anything that helps with breathability works in helping to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

You may have to strip down to go to the bathroom in a bodysuit

Keep in mind that going to the bathroom when wearing a bodysuit is going to be a little bit different. Many bodysuits come with snaps at the crotch, so you're not having to strip down entirely in the bathroom. But if you're "in a rush ... and you're fussing with the snaps to get them back on, I find that challenging," stylist Laurie Brucker told Glamour. Putting one leg against the wall or on the toilet may help in getting the snaps back together more easily.

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If your bodysuit doesn't have snaps, you'll either need to pull it off entirely or pull aside the fabric at the crotch, via The Cut. For designer Norma Kamali, if you're preoccupied about going to the bathroom while wearing a bodysuit, then you shouldn't be wearing one. 

"The people who need to be told how to pee shouldn't be wearing a bodysuit," she told Glamour. "You should forget it — it's not for you, don't worry about it. Wear a top. Do something else." Ouch.

Wear a one-piece swimsuit as a bodysuit

While bodysuits may often look like one-piece swimsuits, they aren't necessarily one in the same. Bodysuits may not be designed with fabric that looks good when it's wet, so avoid jumping in the water in just any old bodysuit. But there are some swimsuits that are stylish enough to double as bodysuits, making them the perfect addition to your packing list for any warm-weather vacation, via Marie Claire

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Check out swimsuits like the Koraru Zabel One Piece Swimsuit or the Revly Sport Elle One Piece if you want maximum versatility. If you wear them with jeans or a flowy skirt, people may not even know it's a swimsuit. And, if you're not a frequent beach- or pool-goer, choosing a swimsuit that you can wear as a bodysuit means you'll have more opportunities to wear it. Keep in mind, though, that a swimsuit won't have the snaps at the crotch that can help make going to the bathroom in a bodysuit easier.

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