What Should My Child Wear to Gymnastics Class?

wear to gymnastics class

You might be wondering:

What to wear to gymnastics class?


Boys and girls wear different things to gymnastics classes.

What should girls wear to gymnastics class?

A leotard.

The “proper” gymnastics attire for girls is a leotard, and most girls in the gym will be wearing them. You can buy leotards online, at a local specialty gymnastics or dance store or sometimes retailers like Target and Wal-Mart have them. Head over here for where to buy leotards online, and for helpful buying tips. Leotards are great because they won’t catch on anything and they let your gymnast have a full range of movement. Younger gymnasts are usually fine with just wearing a leotard.

Older gymnasts usually like to wear shorts on top.

The most common type of leotard right now is a tank leotard. However, there are also long sleeve leotards and unitards. Unitards combine the shorts with the leotard.

what to wear to gymnastics class

gymnast shorts

Tank Leotard/ Hipster Shorts/ Hair Ties/ Sports Bra/ Unitard

Girls can wear leotards by themselves, with a pair of biker/hipster shorts on top or with
a pair of elastic-waistband shorts like these on top. Wearing shorts on top can help any gymnast that feels self-conscious about the leotard moving around during class.

Older girls might need to wear a sports bra under their leotards.

However, if you are a beginner gymnast, and don’t want to spend money on a leotard for class, girls can always wear a t-shirt and shorts with no buttons, zippers or snaps.

What should boys wear to gymnastics class?

Boys should wear a t-shirt and shorts with no buttons, zippers or snaps to gymnastics class.

Other Things to Think About

  • Bare Feet: All gymnasts should practice barefoot. Wearing socks could cause slips or falls.
  • Glasses: If your gymnast wears glasses you want to make sure they won’t fall off. Some glasses are made for sports. Other glasses you can secure with a band like this.
  • Hair: Girls or boys with long hair should pull their hair back in a pony tail, bun or braid to keep their hair from getting in their eyes. Having hair fall in their eyes is a safety hazard when it affects their vision. (If you want to get creative with putting your hair up–check out my pinterest gymnastics hairstyles board for inspiration!)

I hope this helps clear up any questions you might have about what your child should wear to gymnastics class. Now that you are ready for class, check out 10 Ways to Get the Most out of your Gymnastics Class! 

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26 comments… add one
  • Jamaly rios November 23, 2013, 6:58 am

    My daughter starts today. She is only 5 yrs old and I have the least bit of idea what she should wear.

    • Ajay Nicholson-sloane April 11, 2019, 3:30 am

      She should wear a leotard and she will be asked to take her shoes and socks of- which is known as being in bare feet

  • Jamaly rios November 23, 2013, 7:00 am

    My daughter starts today. She is only 5 yrs old and I have the least bit of idea what she should wear. I know the instructor said a leotard, but I also got a lilitard.

  • MaicKaila Maceintire June 17, 2014, 4:02 pm

    Where a leo or a t shirt and shirt or yoga Capri pants

  • Kristin Black January 24, 2017, 9:31 am

    Thank you SO much for this article!!!! My daughter is about to start gymnastics & i had no idea what she should wear or where to get it. Now i know. 🙂

    • gymnasticshq January 24, 2017, 11:18 am

      So glad it was helpful! And hopefully she loves gymnastics!

  • paula February 28, 2017, 2:06 pm

    Great site thanks

  • Nicole June 26, 2017, 7:46 am

    My daughter is a year and a half and is starting tumbling class. Does she need a leo or is there something else for a toddler to wear?

    • Savannah October 8, 2017, 1:59 pm

      A Leo is probably the best option. You can find Leo’s at target for low prices. She could also wear a unitard. (Which are also available at target)

  • Paula June 26, 2017, 10:41 am

    I agree leotard is better for females in my days it was navy blue pe knickers leotards were just catching on

  • Emily August 8, 2017, 5:33 pm

    In my experience a Leotard and leggings is the best thing to wear to a gymnastics class. Sports bras are not needed because the leo covers and holds a lot. Always bring water and a pair of comfy shoes! THx

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  • Elgin Joyce December 5, 2017, 1:43 pm

    My boy (6 years) is really shy about going barefooted. Can he wear something or should I try to get him over the fear and do it in his barefeet?

  • Elgin Joyce December 5, 2017, 1:44 pm


  • Liam barr December 5, 2017, 1:45 pm

    I did gymnastics barefoot once and really didn’t like it. Floor was too cold my toes felt numb

    • Liam barr December 5, 2017, 1:48 pm

      Also should i be allowed to use the toilet during gymnastics? My instructor told me to hold it in when my bladder was about to burst. Surly thats dangerous?

  • Jamie January 14, 2018, 8:11 pm

    My child goes to Dana mannix and 4/5 is not wearing a leotard. Most of them are girls and they just wear t-shirts bras and shorts

  • Santa January 24, 2018, 4:36 pm

    Should girls wear underwear and bras

    • gymnasticshq January 24, 2018, 4:50 pm

      they can–but don’t have to 🙂

  • Margaux Ford February 23, 2018, 8:12 pm

    I appreciate the tips on the proper attire for girls to wear to gymnastics class, like leotards and unitard. I enrolled my daughter in a gymnastics class, and we’re looking for the attire that she’ll be using. I think that a leotard paired with gymnastic leggings would also be perfect. I’ll start looking for high-quality products for gymnastics attire later. Thanks for the advice!

  • B March 13, 2018, 10:36 pm

    Thank you article awesome

  • A gymnast April 30, 2018, 11:26 pm

    what is the purpose of hipster shorts?

    • Paula May 1, 2018, 12:07 am

      I agree what is the point of hipster shorts my daughter hates them .

  • Maureen Elena Laneski September 18, 2018, 10:19 am

    Real, genuine question here: My 3. (Nearly 4) yo boy is starting this week. I was going to get him a Spiderman leotard or something, but I’m reading that he’s fine in shorts and a tank top. Why are girls supposed to wear leotards, then? It creeps me out a little that there’s a difference. In the beginning classes they’ll be doing the same exercises. Why is there a difference? Thanks much for this list!!

    • gymnasticshq September 18, 2018, 11:28 am

      Hi! Yes your boy will be fine in shorts and a shirt and girls at that young age are really fine to wear shorts and a T-shirt too. At the higher levels a leotard is important so it doesn’t get caught on the beam or bars. At higher levels there are different skills so this is less important for boys (although they tuck their tank tops in for the same reason..so they won’t get caught)

  • New beginner gymnastic mom? December 4, 2018, 8:14 pm

    Hey I was wandering what should I do with the blisters she will get


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