Skin tight suits that cover the entire body are commonly called zentai (from the Japanese ゼンタイ). This is likely a contraction of zenshin taitsu (全身タイツ) or "full-body tights". Zentai is most commonly made using nylon/spandex blends, but other materials such as cotton and wool are used as well.
Such suits were first developed for use in modern dance, but are now used in the arts to diminish the presence of an actor in a scene. In fact, in the traditional Japanese art of puppetry called bunraku the apprentice performers are completely covered in black garments against a black background to produce the same effect. Zentai is also used by artists as a medium to accentuate the body, sometimes making use of vibrant patterns. By making the performer anonymous, the performance of the body itself becomes the focus.
In major cities worldwide (but especially in Japan), zentai suits are becoming an increasingly common sight as recreational wear for both men and women at a wide variety of events ranging from conventions to dance clubs, furthering the growing popularity of the subculture.
Flesh tone cotton suits are often used by cosplayers to provide a base layer that looks like the cel-shaded skin of the animated character. When such zentai are worn under masks painted to resemble a character's drawn features, the total effect is called kigurumi.
In film and television special effects, solid-colored zentai suits are sometimes used to chroma-key or digitally remove actors from a scene.
The suits are also finding a place as a useful tool for meditation. It can provide a medium for body awareness, a focus for meditation via the senses by allowing for both sensory deprivation as well as sensory enhancement, as well as a symbolic barrier between the self and the world. It also allows the wearer to experience a sense of nakedness without the exposure of being truly nude, especially when one meditates outdoors.
In other uses, multiple organizations including NASA have experimented with a skintight space suit to replace current air-pressurized designs (with a transparent dome helmet instead of a soft fabric hood). This design is tentatively named a space activity suit.
With practical uses aside, zentai is also strongly associated with spandex fetishism. Indeed, zentai fechi (ゼンタイフェチ) literally means "zentai fetish". Some zentai fetishists are after the experience of total enclosure, while for others it provides a way to anonymously enjoy exhibitionism]. One might also experience it as a form of sexual bondage, even though it does not restrict the motion of the body or even act as an effective blindfold. However, there are also those who enjoy zentai for the recreational sensory novelty or physical comfort without any sexual connotations.
A bodystocking is an article of lingerie, similar to a leotard or a catsuit. It is much the same thing as a unitard, but the term bodystocking is likely to be preferred when the garment is worn as an underlayer in cold weather.
It usually has long legs, but it may have long, short, or no sleeves. It is usually made from a sheer fabric similar to those used for stockings and tights, or from fishnet material. Some people consider bodystockings to be an erotic garment.
A catsuit is a skin-tight one-piece garment with sleeves and long legs, and sometimes with feet or gloves, sometimes with a hood (the combination of which turns it into a zentai suit). It usually has a zip closure in the front or back, but other necklines are possible.
Unlike a unitard, its use rarely involves sports, and it is usually made of leather, rubber/latex, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or velour as well as the more normal spandex. It is identical to a unitard in construction, but the term "catsuit" tends to be preferred in fancy-dress costume or erotic contexts.
Although most catsuits are now made of spandex, that fabric was not invented until 1959. Catsuits date back at least as far as the 1940s with wetsuits appearing in the early 1950s, so it seems likely they were first made of knits or hand knitting—a rather more practical and cheaper fabric than rubber.
Jumpsuit is a term for a one-piece garment originally used for skydiving, hence the name. It has later come to be used as a common term for any one-piece garment with sleeves and legs and has from time to time had its place in fashion.
Contents [hide] 1 Uses of jumpsuits 2 Advantages and disadvantages of jumpsuits 2.1 Advantages 2.2 Disadvantages 3 Related garments
 Uses of jumpsuits The origin of the jumpsuit, or at least the origin of the word jumpsuit, was a suit made for skydiving. When you jump out of a plane, it is practical to have a one-piece suit, so that the air does not take too much hold in the clothes and part them. They are also used in aviation and space flight. Jumpsuits are practical for use in zero gravity/microgravity, because they don't float around like other garments but stay close to the body.
For reasons much like the ones in skydiving, jumpsuits were early on taken up in some sports. In skiing, jumpsuits can give good protection for cold weather, and in competitive skiing and speed skating, skintight jumpsuits are worn to create as little air resistance as possible. In motorsport – auto racing and motorcycle sport – jumpsuits are used for protective matters, manufactured using non-flammable materials.
Starting in the 1960's, jumpsuits were made a part of fashion. Even if it was never everyday wear for everyone, it stayed more or less in fashion until around 1980.
Jumpsuits have been used as stage clothes by various pop singers and members of bands, e.g. Elvis Presley, The Who, Alphaville, Goldfrapp, Britney Spears, Pink, Devo, and Slipknot.
Jumpsuits are used as an easy way of dressing children, especially in the winter time. In countries with cold winters, small children almost always wear snowsuits in the winter.
Jumpsuits are also often seen in science fiction, because they are seen as futuristic clothing.
Jumpsuits, especially orange ones, are usually the official uniform in prisons of some countries, e.g. United States, as orange colours allow the prisoners be spotted easily and jumpsuits can be a kind of clothing that can restrict the movement of prisoners.
A leotard is a skin-tight one-piece garment that covers the torso and body but leaves the legs free. It was made famous by the French acrobatic performer Jules Léotard (1839–1870), about whom the song "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" was written.
Leotards are worn by acrobats, gymnasts, dancers and circus performers both as practice garments and performance costumes. They are often worn together with tights. There are sleeveless, short-sleeved and long-sleeved leotards. A variation is the unitard, which also covers the legs.
Leotards are entered through the neck. (Constrast with bodysuits, which generally have snaps at the crotch, allowing the garment to be pulled on over the head.) Scoop-necked leotards have wide neck openings and are held in place by the elasticity of the garment. Others are crew-necked or turtle-necked and close at the back of the neck with a zipper or snaps.
A unitard is a skin-tight one-piece garment with long legs and sometimes long sleeves. It differs from a leotard in that a leotard does not have long legs.
Unitards are worn by acrobats, gymnasts, dancers, superheroes and circus performers, as well as others.
Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen, was known for wearing unitards and spandex during their concerts in the late 70's.
The term may also be used to refer to a wrestling singlet.
- More information on this topic is available at [ Wikipedia:Zentai ]