The (Not-So) Secret Lives of Handmade Bodysuits

Bodysuits — has there ever been a more perfect, powerful separate?


Whether they’re donned underneath it all or revealed in a statement of pride and prowess, the bodysuit has long been a go-to item for many. It’s sexy silhouette makes it an easy choice, while its roots give it a vintage flare that’s both functional and chic. 

The bodysuit’s lineage includes athletic apparel — most agree that its earliest ancestor is the leotard, created by French gymnast Jules Leotard in the latter half of the 18th century. The version we see in present day looks almost the same, though a bit less functional and favoring more feminine varietals of fabrics, including mesh and lace

handmade bodysuit

Near the mid-19th century, the bodysuit began to appear in more fashion collections and most give credit to designer Claire McCardell for ushering it into the mainstream, prompting model Bettie Page to don the item and bring it to the forefront. Later, Donna Karan included the bodysuit in her “Seven Easy Pieces.” 

handmade bodysuits

Since then, bodysuits have evolved beyond the simple leotard-style. Designers have taken liberty with fabrics, colors, and designs, with more recent designs featuring styles that are clearly intended to be seen. Straps that criss cross the back create visually interesting patterns can up the ante of any outfit, though for some, it’s more exciting to keep those underwraps. 

black bodysuit

The piece’s versatility is another reason it’s been a fixture in fashion. Depending on your desire, it can be dressed down or up, making it a perfect choice for an evening in or out on the town. It can be a simple way to draw attention or it can easily take the backseat as a perfect compliment to statement pieces. 


No matter your preference or practical need, there’s a bodysuit out there waiting for you.


Find your dream piece and let us know how you like to wear it in the comments. 


 Blog was written by Alex Fluegel
Photography by Daniel Lisi of Kipriece Tate wearing handmade Siobhan Barrett lingerie. 


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