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If there’s a singular wardrobe staple that does all the heavy lifting, it’s the bodysuit. It can serve as lingerie, a base layer or a statement top all on its own. But, despite its potential, the piece can be polarizing, with some trendsetters swearing by it for ease and convenience and a whole other subset finding the task of pulling one on cumbersome and constraining. If you fall into the latter category, it may be time to reconsider, as the best bodysuits on the market today tackle shortcomings thanks to innovative designs and new materials.
“Bodysuits create the perfect foundation, hugging your curves and creating a smooth effortless look,” Liisa Thorson, national fit director at Nordstrom, tells WWD. “They’re great for layering, as you don’t have bulky fabric to worry about.”
“Plus, they’re two for one,” says Jacqueline Zenere, a celebrity stylist who dresses Olivia Palermo and Ashley Benson. “Skip the underwear if you dare.”
The modern bodysuit was originated by Jules Léotard as a fitted garment to wear during his trapeze performances. It then became a staple among dancers and was popularized for everyday wear in the ’40s by Mildred Orrick and Claire McCardell. Now, the bodysuit has taken a subversive turn, thanks to brands like Nensi Dojaka and Mugler sending cutout, sheer takes down the runways these last few seasons. But, don’t underestimate the bodysuit in its original minimal, body-hugging form. “They’re great companions to hero garments,” Zenere says. “A strong coat doesn’t need competition, so a simple bodysuit is great to throw underneath to let the outerwear shine.” You can still look to luxury houses like Fendi or Bottega Veneta for classic styles, but there are also a number of contemporary labels that specialize in basics to have on your radar.
How to find the best bodysuits
While bodysuits are generally stretchy, nailing the fit is important, as you want to make sure you choose an option that’s snug but doesn’t feel constricting. “Hold the bodysuit against your frame; if the bottom of the garment hits above your belly button, size up,” suggests Zenere, who calls herself “somewhat of an expert” in the realm of bodysuits, having had an aerobics instructor as a mother “during the Jane Fonda days” and participating in gymnastics in her youth. “Then, take the bodysuit and stretch the length of your torso and make sure there’s a pull to it,” she continues. “A bodysuit that already runs the length of your torso will stretch out, and you’ll have puddling around the arms and waist by the end of the day.” She also suggests trying the bodysuit on under bright lights to ensure it isn’t sheer or that the shine of the elastic shows through (a sign that the bodysuit is too small).
“Look for fabric that stretches with your body,” Thorson adds. “You don’t want to ever feel constricted, but a nice gentle hug feeling will keep you wearing the bodysuit all day long.” When shopping for the perfect bodysuit, also consider the purpose you want it to serve. If you’re looking for a base layer or lingerie, you may want to seek out options made with body-skimming fabrics and done in neutral tones. Meanwhile, if you want the bodysuit to be a statement piece, choose styles with texture or unexpected design details — like draping, cutouts or an asymmetric neckline.
How to wear a bodysuit
If you’re new to bodysuits, know that even the most basic options can easily be dressed up or down based on occasion. “Separates can be hard to pair, so a bodysuit offers a blank canvas,” Zenere says. “I often use bodysuits with sheer skirts on my clients. They give me peace of mind knowing there is coverage where we want it, and the tightness of the bodysuit can help posture as well.” And on days when you head from the office to the gym, “simply swap out the work look for leggings and [you’re] good to go,” Zenere adds.
Below, shop the 25 best bodysuits to add to your collection.
Skims Fits Everyone Bodysuit
Best Nude Bodysuit
Consider this slimming bodysuit the ideal layering piece. It hugs the body with double-layered fabric and features a high-cut leg and square neck — all features that allow it to easily remain hidden under a wide range of silhouettes. The style also comes in nine nude hues to help you find the perfect match for your skin tone. Skims is a favorite of Thorson, so know you can’t go wrong here.
La Perla Comfort Zone Bodysuit
Keep things simple in this white tank bodysuit from lingerie label La Perla. Not only can it serve as a base layer for sheer dresses, but it also doubles as an easy companion to jeans and skirts. Complete the look with a sleek blazer, or for something funkier, try a printed jacket.
Wolford Colorado Bodysuit
Best Turtleneck Bodysuit
You can count on underwear brand Wolford to offer a bodysuit focused on comfort. “Wolford has been my tried and true for over a decade,” Zenere says. This stretchy, cotton option is an easy basic that can serve as the starting point for many winter ensembles. Since it comes in nine colors, feel free to invest in a few options to anchor your cold-weather style.
Christopher Kane Patent Zip Bodysuit
Best Knit Bodysuit
An alternative to your favorite knit, this wool, zippered bodysuit from British label Christopher Kane can easily be layered with heavier winter pieces like a thick skirt or button-down. Just make sure to stretch and move around in this bodysuit before really wearing it out to ensure the low scoop neckline fits you properly and doesn’t slip too low.
Rodarte Floral Bodysuit
Best Printed Bodysuit
For those looking to add a pop of color into their wardrobe, this purple floral-print option from Rodarte is a winner. The Los Angeles-based luxury label is known for vibrant, feminine pieces, and this bodysuit is no exception. Try styling it with relaxed light-wash jeans and black ankle boots for a Southern California-inspired style take.
Girlfriend Collective Coco Bodysuit
Best Bodysuit for Working Out
Girlfriend Collective may be a brand best known for its leggings and sports bras, but its scoop neck bodysuit is not to be missed. This tank silhouette has a built-in bra for extra support. Plus, the cozy, stretchy material is made from 89% recycled water bottles, making it a more sustainable choice.
Free People Under It All Bodysuit
Best Bodysuit for Layering
In search of a layering piece that can serve as the base of your winter outfits? Look no further than Free People’s Under It All bodysuit. The sheer, ruched turtleneck can add a pop of color, and is a great way to style some of your favorite warm weather tops that may not get much traction when colder days roll around. You can also choose to layer a bra underneath and add a blazer on top for a slightly more skin-baring ensemble.
Khaite Cerise Bodysuit
Best Going-Out Bodysuit
For proof that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for sophistication, look no further than Khaite’s Cerise bodysuit, an off-the-shoulder style made of stretchy cotton. The twisted fabric draping across the front takes this option beyond basic, while the cotton-jersey material still offers the comfort you look for in a bodysuit. Since Khaite is a brand known for its simple-yet-chic designs, you can’t go wrong with this cute bodysuit.
Oh La La Cheri Bodysuit
Best Lace Bodysuit
Thorson is a fan of the lace bodysuits from lingerie brand Oh La La Cheri, noting that they’re “flirty and fun and can be worn so many different ways.” Great for anyone in need of undergarments that go beyond practical, this style comes in classic black as well as slightly more playful red and navy versions.
Bottega Veneta Halter Bodysuit
Best Summer Bodysuit
Leave it to It-girl popular label Bottega Veneta to offer the ideal transitional bodysuit — a crochet halter style that’s the perfect spring pick-me-up. The Italian label’s signature green hue is the star here, offering a pop of color that can liven up a pair of simple trousers. This is the best bodysuit for a statement-making outfit once warm weather arrives.
Live The Process Vector Bodysuit
If you don’t want it to be obvious that you’re wearing a one-piece, this bodysuit’s upper silhouette feels distinctly different from other options on the market. With puffy long sleeves and a sporty collar, the Vector bodysuit from Live The Process is an ideal style for a day at the office. Available in a wide range of bold colors, it’s also a statement choice.
Alix NYC Bates Bodysuit
Best High-Neck Bodysuit
Seeking a dressy bodysuit? Swap classic spandex or cotton versions for a luxe velvet option. This halter-neck style from Alix NYC is the best pick for a night on the town. The high neckline and thin straps add to the overall sleek and sophisticated feel of the piece.
Tove Tess Bodysuit
Best Bodysuit for Work
London-based label Tove has you covered when you’re in need of elevated basics. It’s become a fashion-insider favorite for its delicate dresses and floaty tops. This draped bodysuit is a sophisticated take on an everyday staple for work and play.
Calle Del Mar One Piece
Also Consider Best Summer Bodysuit
This stretchy viscose-lycra blend bodysuit from Calle Del Mar has the look of a summery swimsuit, but doesn’t have to be relegated just to the pool. If you’re headed out on vacation, this colorful bodysuit is an easy-to-pack piece to style with breezy skirts and light layers.
Tibi Stretch Bodysuit
Best Bold Bodysuit
For an activewear-inspired look, turn to Tibi’s bold blue bodysuit made of jersey. It leans into fashion’s current obsession with all things ‘80s, bringing back the aerobics aesthetic. Layer it with mom jeans and sneakers to pull off the look.
Commando Butter Bodysuit
Best Expert-Approved Bodysuit
With a signoff from both Thorson and Zenere, Commando’s bodysuit is a no-brainer for your closet. Opt for this turtleneck style when you’re in need of a warm layering piece that you can pair with a button-down or cozy knit. Finish the look with high-rise jeans and ankle boots.
ReOna Off The Shoulder Bodysuit
Best One-Shoulder Bodysuit
For fans of basics brands like Everlane, consider looking into ReOna, an emerging label that specializes in simple, stylish pieces for everyday wear. This off-the-shoulder silhouette is a great choice for a night out or dressier events. The asymmetric silhouette makes this option especially unique.
Aya Muse Forio Bodysuit
Best Cutout Bodysuit
Cutouts returned as a must-try trend for spring ’21, but they’re back in the new year thanks to brands like emerging label Aya Muse. Try this skin-baring option for a slinky evening ensemble — perhaps styled back to a pair of leather pants or tight jeans. If rocking full-on cutouts feels like too much, you can also choose to layer this option under a sheer or semi-sheer top.
Givenchy 4G Bodysuit
Best Sheer Bodysuit
Givenchy’s sheer bodysuit has major cool-factor. Thanks to the tiny jacquard brand logo printed into the fabric, this bodysuit makes for the ideal layering piece if you want to add a touch of texture and uniqueness to a look.
Loulou Studio Hierro Bodysuit
Also Consider Best Knit Bodysuit
This wool-and-cashmere-blend bodysuit from Loulou looks just like a sleek knit. The sporty polo shirt collar and button-front detail are simple additions that instantly add a luxe touch. To style your bodysuit, add high-rise jeans and a thick gold necklace for a combo that’s simple yet polished.
Mara Hoffman Ribbed Bodysuit
Best Ribbed Bodysuit
If you’re a minimalist dresser who still appreciates a pop of color, Mara Hoffman’s sage green ribbed bodysuit is one to add to your closet. The sweetheart neckline and t-shirt length sleeves lend an air of ease and elegance to the piece, making it ideal for daytime wear. Try styling it with trousers and a camel-colored blazer for spring.
Lapointe Faux Leather Bodysuit
Best Faux-Leather Bodysuit
Try embracing a sleek head-to-toe look by adding a faux leather bodysuit into the mix. Styled with coordinated trousers, black leather pants or a simple skirt, Lapointe’s high neck, sleeveless silhouette will make your outfit streamlined and fuss-free. it’s also ideal for layering underneath a jacket or simple button-down.
Moncler Scoop-Back Bodysuit
Best Outdoor Bodysuit
Calling all winter outdoor enthusiasts — Moncler’s technical bodysuit is the ideal piece for layering under ski gear or before you head out on a hike. The moisture-wicking fabric means you can enjoy exercise without worrying about sweat cooling you down too much. Layer the style under a sweatshirt so just the branded collar pops out from underneath.
Area Buckle Bodysuit
Best Statement Bodysuit
Looking to make a statement in an easy way? This cutout buckle bodysuit from buzzy label Area doesn’t require any accessorizing. Pair it with basic black jeans or a miniskirt, and this bodysuit will be the center of attention thanks to the crystal buckle detail.
Eres Couture Bodysuit
French label Eres is recommended by Zenere if you’re seeking something that skews towards lingerie. This lightweight jersey bodysuit has an elegant update thanks to trim details around the leg and neckline but still holds a minimalist aesthetic. Use this bodysuit as a base layer when the occasion comes to dress up.