A catsuit is a close-fitting one-piece garment that covers the torso and the legs, and frequently the arms. Catsuits, which date from at least the 1940s, can be worn by both men and women, and, despite the name, do not generally have feline characteristics.
- Leotard — a skin-tight one-piece garment that covers the torso but leaves the legs free. Usually entered through the neck. Often worn combined with tights.
- Unitard — like a leotard but with long legs. Much like a catsuit.
- Bodysuit — like a leotard but has snaps or hooks at the crotch.
- Onesies (or snapsuits) — bodysuits for infants and toddlers.
- Bodystocking — similar to a leotard or unitard, but worn as underwear (lingerie).
- wrestling singlet — a one-piece, tight-fitting garment usually made of spandex, lycra, or nylon, used in amateur wrestling.
- Jumpsuit — a one-piece garment with sleeves and legs, originating in skydiving. Not skin-tight.
- Boilersuit (coverall) — a one-piece garment with full-length sleeves and legs like a jumpsuit, but even less tight-fitting.
- Romper suit — a one-piece garment mostly for infants and toddlers.
- Drop-seat pajamas (blanket sleepers, footed pajamas, Dr. Denton's) - a one-piece item of nightwear, with or without feet.
- One-piece swimsuit — for swimming.
- Wetsuit — usually made of foamed neoprene, for watersports.
- Drysuit — like a wetsuit but designed to prevent water entering.
Catsuits in mainstream
Catsuits were occasionally worn as a high fashion item at various times from the 1960s to the 1990s. During the 1970s and 1980s they were worn for aerobics and disco dancing. Around 1980 disco dance catsuits briefly became a street fashion item in the UK.
Athletes in sports such as speed skating, bobsled, winter triathlon, ski-racing, cycling and gymnastics wear garments that are similar to catsuits, but which are specifically geared to the needs of the sport involved. Also similar in appearance are wetsuits and drysuits used by scuba divers, and the speedsuits used by competitive swimmers before the more extreme forms of the suit were banned. Also, in tennis Serena Williams once wore a black catsuit during the 2002 US Open.
On stage, unitards and bodysuits worn by dancers, circus performers, pop singers and magicians are similar to catsuits.
Catsuits in BDSM and fetishism
Some people consider catsuits to be a fetish item. Catsuits for fetish use are often made of latex or PVC where such a catsuit is typically highly shiny, tight fitting and may be (but is not exclusively) worn with a corset over the top of the suit. Other materials such as lycra, shiny wet look, or velvet are options for fetish wear too, with some lycra materials having animal print designs. Catsuits can have zips on the front, or rear for access with some having zips on the shoulders. Additional zips can be placed in specific areas for access, if required.
Typically a fetish catsuit will not have gloves or feet. Feet, if present, are typically form fitting like socks and the gloves will have individual fingers. Typically gloves and socks can be worn as additional accessories to a catsuit to give a whole body look, with some opting to add a hood as an option too. Hoods can also be incorporated in to the catsuit. Rarely will a catsuit incorporate boot or shoe, although it is possible. An option instead of gloves might be bondage mittens, which might have a D-ring at the top, and such catsuits can be used as straitjackets in the context of bondage. More extreme options for catsuits have incorporated monoglove instead of sleeves and they can also be used for bondage. Catsuits may also have incorporated corset and/or neck corset, although these are typically added as accessories to complete a look.
A zentai is a fetish garment, usually made of spandex, being a catsuit with both feet gloves and a hood which totally encloses the wearer. The name zentai comes from the Japanese word for "whole body".
A spanking catsuit is a catsuit designed so that the wearer's bottom is uncovered. This makes it easier to spank the wearer, similar to a spank skirt.
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